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Power Lunch Rule the school with crazy lunch boxes and water bottles

cool lunchkits and water bottles

Power Lunch Rule the school with crazy lunch boxes and water bottles

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If you’ve got kids in school, chances are you’re packing them a lunch in an effort to save money and ensure a healthier meal. No need to brown-bag it or load up an old-fashioned thermos. Lunch boxes have come a long way, baby. They’ve even gotten sort of high-tech, and it should be said, eco-friendly.

FANCY-PANTS TECH

While most of the Compleat line of lunch boxes are marketed to grown-ups, there’s zero reason why kids can’t use them. The Norwegian company has six different styles to suit your lunching needs. I’ve highlighted five of them below.

* Note: All prices are in euros, but the company ships worldwide, and the price alters and lowers a bit once you enter your U.S. address. We’ve given dollar equivalents to give you an idea of price.

Clean (€18.95, about $26, at Unikia.com) features a separate compartment for napkins or wipes. Kids will like putting the reusable stickers of pirates, princesses and fruit, designed by Norwegian artist Ingrid Alice Clausen, on the top of the box to customize.

Compleat Clean lunchbox

 

Gourmet (€24.95, about $34, at Unikia.com) has a separator, so you can put your cold salad on one side and your main course (or sandwich) on the left. It also comes with a little rubber container for salad dressing or dip. And, in a neat design, the top compartment seals up, so you can bring real silverware.

Compleat Gourmet lunchbox

 

Modular (€39.90, about $53.73, at Unikia.com) comes with four airtight (and spillproof) boxes of varying sizes, so you can bring snacks, sides and a main course. You can mix and match and keep them together with a wrap that doubles as a place mat or cutting board. (Although, perhaps, that latter feature isn’t quite as kid-friendly and is geared more toward adults.)

Compleat Modular lunchkit

 

Optimal (€29.90, about $40, at Unikia.com) is super useful for people who like to keep their cold stuff cold and their hot stuff hot. The box comes with two containers, one with a freezing-gel lid that will keep the food cold for 10 hours. Bonus: There’s a tiny circular dome on top to fit an orange or apple.

Compleat Optimal lunchkit

 

Perhaps the most interesting product in Compleat’s line is the Foodskin (€24.95, about $34, at Unikia.com), which the company describes as “the world’s most flexible lunchbox.” It’s an elastic silicone “skin” that does a stellar job of keeping your perfectly made sandwich and all of its awesome innards intact. The Foodskin is super weird-looking; it kind of resembles a small laptop. Based on the size and shape, it’s pretty amazing that the case doesn’t smash everything inside it, but it doesn’t. Even cooler, the Foodskin is reusable (much better than a sandwich bag!).

Compleat Foodskin lunchkit

 

ECO-FRIENDLY

Go green with the Go Green Bento Box lunchbox ($19.95 at Lunchboxes.com). It’s not the prettiest thing, but it is pretty useful. It’s got five compartments (including one for a stainless steel thermos, which comes with the box) and can fit a sandwich, chips, sides and snacks. And of course, the lunch box snaps apart for easy cleaning.

Go Green Bento Box lunchbox 

 

PRETTY PRETTY

PackIt lunch coolers ($19.99 each at Packit.com) take the concept of a lunch box and meld it with a cooler. On the outside, you get tons of fun, bright, quirky colors and designs. On the inside, you’ll find gel-lined walls that’ll keep your food cold for up to 10 hours. The totes are big enough to fit a water bottle, sandwich and a container for snacks. PackIt bags will fold down when not in use, so the experience is like brown-bagging it—except way, way better.

PackIt lunch coolers

 

UTILITARIAN

You want enough stuff for your whole day? Go with the Bentgo Bento Box ($14.95 at Lunchboxes.com). It’s like a double-decker lunch box. Two larger sections stack on top—one container is open, and the other features smaller compartments. A tray for utensils separates the two large containers and serves as a lid. Now you have enough food to get you through two snack breaks and a lunch hour.

Bentgo Bento Box

 

Bonus: Water bottles that make life—and drinks—better 

One kid showed up at my daughter’s soccer practice with an O2 Cool Mist ’N Sip ArcticSqueeze ($12.99 at Campmor). By the next week, everyone had one. The concept is genius. It’s an insulated jumbo-size bottle that lets you drink water or mist yourself to keep cool. It’s a great pick for kids who do sports before or after school.

O2 Cool Mist ’N Sip ArcticSqueeze

 

I do not like it one bit when a bottle claims to keep colds cold and hots hot—unless the brand damn well means it. ChillWarmer ($16.99 at Amazon) isn’t kidding around. Ideal for teens and college kids who drive to and from school, this bottle will keep  java nice and steamy or water icy cool. The ChillWarmer won’t sweat, drip or leak, and kids can pop open the bottle one-handed for easy sipping without fumbling.

ChillWarmer

 

Is this leakproof? Is the sun yellow? Pack the Thermos Foogo Phases Stainless Steel Bottle With Lid ($11.76 at Walmart) in even the most tossed-about backpack, and their drinks won’t spill. (Water and milk stay cold all day, too!)

Thermos Foogo Phases Stainless Steel Bottle With Lid

 

The fancy H2O doesn’t stop there. Click to see seven other high-tech water bottles.

—With Andrea Pyros

 

Coupon tips from our editors banner

Lunchboxes.com: Save 20% off sitewide.

Campmor: Through September 30, get 10% off.

 

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