My Kids Love This Lunchbox So Much They Now Pack Their Own School Lunches

published Aug 5, 2022
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Pink Yumbox lunchbox with a variety of foods
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Packing lunches can be one of the most time consuming, frustrating activities for families with kids. Everyone has plenty of opinions on what should be packed, and the drudgery of packing lunch day after day can be very real. But I’ve found a solution that really works for packing my kids lunches: I don’t do it. 

No, my kids aren’t going without lunch; they’re packing their lunches for themselves. Ok, maybe once a month, if I’m feeling particularly charitable, I’ll hook them up with a lovingly packed Mom Lunch, but for the most part, my two kids — Lily, 10, and Hazel, 4 — pack their own lunches every night while we’re cleaning up from dinner, and it’s due in no small part to Yumbox, the kid-friendly, bento-style lunch box my kids love.

Yumboxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the original 6-compartment design, to the 3-compartment snacker (both of which are made of BPA-free plastics), to the new, stainless steel tray style. We have four of them — three originals and a panino, which has four compartments, one of which is the perfect size for sandwiches. That way, we have time to wash out that day’s lunch box while packing for the next day without any lag time. These lunch boxes aren’t meant for the dishwasher, so we wash and dry them by hand (something I’m still working on getting the kids to do themselves).

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

The kids love their Yumboxes because they have bright cheery designs (one has a ballet theme, and one is decked out in space stuff), but they also seem to appreciate how easy they are to pack. Yumboxes are simple to pack because there’s a set space limit and number of compartments that takes the guesswork out of the process. On some of the designs, the compartments are even labeled with guiding words like “protein,” “dairy,” or “fruit.” Sometimes, those are helpful, and sometimes we ignore them, but what we never ignore is the little compartment in the middle, which gets filled with sweet treats like chocolate chips or M&Ms.

My job is to make sure we have ingredients on hand that the kids like to eat and that they can access for themselves. That usually includes salami, cheese, crackers, hard boiled eggs, olives, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables, especially cucumber spears and apple slices. Then Hazel and Lily choose what they want and fill each compartment until the whole box is packed. We’ll also check out lunchbox Instagrammers if we’re ever in need of inspiration.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

The Yumboxes aren’t just for school lunches. We’ve taken ours for picnics, pool snacks, and road trips many times. While they’re not insulated, they do a great job of keeping the items cool with an ice pack (I also love these freezable lunch boxes for keeping the Yumbox cool all day), and the silicone design inside the lunchbox keeps the foods from interacting with each other during transit, so when you open your Yumbox, your lunch will look pretty darn close to how it looked when it was first packed.

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