I labored part-time as a nanny all through faculty. Three days every week, I used to be the backpack provider, the gymnastics-practice chauffeur, and the yard soccer goalie for 3 children beneath 12. As chaotic as issues might get, I beloved serving to my nanny-kids have enjoyable till mother and pop acquired residence. However I used to be at all times searching for shortcuts to release my time and power from chores so I might concentrate on being current whereas caregiving. One in all my favorites was a dear however worthwhile splurge: PlanetBox lunch packing containers.
PlanetBox makes a wide range of stainless-steel bento-style lunch packing containers with one compartmentalized tray lined by a hinged lid, plus a few leakproof containers for liquids (and an insulated carry bag you should purchase individually). Wirecutter named the PlanetBox Rover our improve decide in our information to children lunch packing containers with one huge caveat: the value. Every field runs round $60, plus about $35 for the case. Practically $100 for a lunch field can really feel obscene, however I’ve seen firsthand what worth they are surely.
PlanetBox lunch packing containers are sturdy
Who has time to ever-so-carefully set down their lunch bag as soon as the bell rings for recess? When it’s playtime, children hurl their lunch packing containers onto exhausting concrete. A very good lunch field ought to have the ability to survive the tough put on and tear that comes with being a child. When Wirecutter testers put a Rover by means of a drop take a look at, it sustained solely minor scratches. Add the insulated case, and also you’re taking a look at a well-protected field that may survive years of being tossed round in backpacks and automobile trunks. I witnessed my nanny-kids’ steel packing containers survive a year-and-a-half of elementary faculty nearly unchanged—no warping, no dents, and no damaged hinges.
PlanetBox affords a five-year guarantee on its stainless-steel packing containers. When you do the mathematics primarily based on the sticker value, the associated fee works out to about $12 a yr (Amazon reviewers write that the field plus its case can final for even longer nonetheless). As an alternative of changing your child’s dirty, beat-up lunch bag and cracked plastic containers yearly or two, this one field can final a lot of their childhood.
PlanetBox lunch packing containers are simple to pack, use, and clear
Cleansing out the youngsters’ lunch packing containers couldn’t have been simpler. As every child introduced me their field, I unhinged only one lid and dumped the contents of only one container right into a countertop compost bin. When you’ve got a dishwasher, you may pop the field in in a single day so it’s able to pack the subsequent morning. Once I washed the PlanetBox by hand, it solely took a pair fast swipes with a sponge over the floor to take away any lingering meals bits. (Meals by no means actually acquired crusted onto the stainless-steel.) I’d often give the within of the case a fast wipe-down too, on the off-chance any juice or oils leaked out. Plus, mould isn’t a problem since they aren’t sealed and might’t entice moisture.
I additionally beloved that I by no means needed to hunt by means of overcrowded drawers to search out the right-sized containers as I helped the youngsters assemble lunches for the subsequent day, and my days of taking part in Tetris to suit totally different vessels and baggies right into a lunch sack felt like a distant reminiscence. It’s simpler on children too, since they don’t should wrestle with opening containers through the few valuable minutes of their lunchtime.
PlanetBox lunch packing containers are sustainable
Youngsters are likely to put on down gadgets in a short time, which might imply a number of throwing out the damaged stuff and shopping for new stuff. Changing gadgets provides up over time. We’ve discovered the Rover has nice longevity, as a few our staffers’ children long-term examined it. “It looks like the Rover would final 50 years,” says Wirecutter senior editor Courtney Schley, who has despatched her field in a carry bag to high school every day for the final two years. It appears nearly new, with just a few regular grime on the case. And the encased packing containers weathered my nanny-kids’ multitude of actions, by no means displaying any put on regardless of getting tossed to the aspect at soccer video games, soccer observe, and epic playground periods.
Wirecutter senior editor Kalee Thompson has additionally packed lunches in a Rover for a number of years, and she or he informed me she appreciates that bento-box choices assist keep away from further plastic use. The design reduces the necessity for single-use baggies and different containers, saving time, cash, and sources.
Summer season is beginning in full power and with it day camps and summer season faculty for the little ones. I’ve discovered myself jealous that I don’t have an excuse to spend money on these packing containers fairly but. I preferred them a lot, I’m tempted to purchase one for myself (with a unicorn-print case, clearly).
This text was edited by Annemarie Conte and Marilyn Ong.