planetbox (warning: product promotion)

first of all, let me assure you that planetbox has absolutely no idea who i am.
i'm not getting any type of compensation for promoting this lunch box.

but you know when you really like a product
and it seems to make life a little easier,
you naturally want to share it with friends?

that's what i'm going to do.

in the last number of years, i've really been trying to eliminate waste from packing lunches.
so we bought a bunch of little containers to put food in 
instead of using prepackaged things or using tons of plastic bags. but then every morning, 
i was scrounging for lids, struggling with fitting everything into the lunch box,
and still needing at least one plastic bag.

when the kids came home after school, i found myself with a lunch box needed to be wiped out,
and all of those little containers needed to then be washed to be ready for the next day.

i read a review last year about these planetbox lunch boxes.
i decided it would be worth a try and ordered one.

it quickly became a crowd favorite and was definitely easy to pack.

i tried to find cheaper alternatives, but most of the reviews of other types of lunch boxes like this
had things i didn't like about them~
like the latches are difficult for little ones to open,
or it's easy to get up from the lunch table without it being closed all the way
and then the tray spills out everywhere.

so this year,
i went for it and invested in two more.
i'm so happy with the decision to buy these.

i can't tell you how easy it has been to prepare three lunches every morning in these.
here are some samples of how we pack them:

when the kids get home,
we open their lunches up, wash them out and set them to dry for the morning.
there is nothing to throw away
and nothing to sort and throw in the dishwasher.

we're saving water, making less waste,
keeping me more sane, and saving time in the mornings.
and there is just something about figuring out what to put in the different sections
that keeps packing lunch interesting to me.
(i get bored easily.)

a few downsides:
 1. nic (a growing eleven year old) feels it's too small for his appetite. 
i'm not sure about this, since he's recently been coming home with much of his lunch left over
due to playing instead of eating during his very short middle school lunch break.
but i do think a larger sized option would be nice.
(we are supersized americans after all.)

2. oliver says that when i put the cantaloupe in there the way that i did,
the juice ran into the pretzels a bit. he wasn't happy with soggy pretzels.
this downside isn't a problem with the lunch box, but was my mistake.

i forgot to show you that the planetboxes also have a small and large round dish 
that you can use for pastas, yogurt or any other non-solid food (or juicy cantaloupe). 
(you can see the little round dish in the photo above of oliver packing his lunch.
the large one fits into the largest section or in the front outside pocket.)

3. i haven't figured out a great way to include a freezer pack for those days when the kids need one.
perhaps there is a flatter one than the ones we have...

4. i can't just toss an apple, pear, orange, etc in. they need to be cut in order to fit. 
so that takes a little longer prep for me, but honestly makes things easier for the kids.  
now, i've had much less half eaten fruits come home.

this is what it looks like closed with the magnets on top:
 as you can see, the latch is super easy to open and close.
elliot had no problem with it at all when he was three.

i know some kids spend many minutes of their lunch time 
just trying to open up all of their food.
 i love that these eliminate that wasted time as well.

there is a mesh pocket on the inside of the case
as well as a velcro pocket on the outside.
and as you saw, they also have space on the front for a water bottle.
the kids choose which set of magnets they like best, 
but my older kids don't really care if they have them or not.

anyway... happy lunch packing to you all.
perhaps with these, the kids can do even more of it on their own!

i know there are other great lunch boxes out there, but i thought i'd share one we love.

hope this helps. :)