ECOlunchboxes Review

Thursday, February 28, 2013

ECOlunchboxes Review

If you are looking for some great looking, eco-friendly, fair trade lunch containers, then these are for you.  They are durable and clean up easy.  However, all of the products might not work for kids and all of the features come at a price...CHECK OUT MY FULL REVIEW HERE

ECOlunchbox makes stainless steel lunch boxes and accessories for those families that are looking to keep their food in containers that are, "Healthy for People and the Planet."  They say their products are, "plastic-free, waste-free, BPA-free, PVC-free, petroleum-free and vinyl-free."  They are fair trade artisan hand crafted goods made in India.  I love that they are doing their part to help the planet and help people.  I only have time to go into my real world review of how the products worked for my family, but to learn more about how their products are made click HERE.  To learn more about fair trade and how you can make a difference in people's lives check out the Trade As One site HERE.  
Clever Packaging

The customer service for ECOlunchbox was friendly and prompt.  They answered my questions very quickly--even on a holiday weekend!  I received my products in a couple days and was immediately impressed when I opened the box.  Their packaging was simple, but smart and communicated their mission clearly.  Their "nutritional facts" label was very clever.  All the packaging was made from recyclable materials.

The Oval, Solo Cube, ECOlunchpod,
and Spork
I looked at their stainless steel food container products first.  They were simple but sophisticated and very functional.  They sent me their ECOlunchbox Oval (with included small stainless steel cup and lid), Solo Cube, ECOlunchpod, and spork.  The Oval ($24) was my favorite piece as it is big enough to pack numerous food items in, yet small enough to be extremely portable.  The latches held the lid snug and I had no issues.  You need to be aware that the small dipping cup is not water tight so it will leak if you are not careful.  I chose to put cold pasta in the dipping cup for my daughter and it was a great serving size for her (check out  the whole lunch that I made in these containers HERE).  The Solo Cube ($20) is the perfect size for a sandwich or similar food.  For the small ECOlunchpod ($7), I put in a serving of blueberries.  It seemed to be a good size for a side dish such as this.  My daughter was very excited about the unique looking spork ($20 for a set of 4).  I was skeptical about it, but it turned out to be a fun way for her to eat.  There is one caution.  If you plan on using this, make sure to include hand sanitizer or be in a place to wash your hands.  The spork doesn't have a handle and you need to touch either the spoon or fork side to use it.

All the containers held up well after a day at Kindergarten.  One thing that surprised me was how cold the containers were after taking them out of the fridge (I make my daughter's lunches the night before).  There is no insulation, however, so if your food needs to stay cold for long periods of time you will need to find a way to include ice.  ECOlunchbox provides ideas for this on their website so you can check those out if interested.  I was wondering how hard it would be to clean, so I tried hand washing and using the dishwasher.  Both methods proved very easy to clean.  There were some water spots, so if you are very particular, this might drive you nuts.

ECOlunchbox Soft Goods
I received three bags to review, the Furoshiki ECOsnacksack, Furoshiki ECOlunchwrap, and ECOlunchbag with cloth napkins.  These come in all different colors and seem to be durable.  They look thin, but are double layered and sewed together well.

My daughter chose the Lunchbag (the largest bag, $50 bundled with container, napkins, and bamboo spork) to take to school.  One drawback to using multiple containers is that you need more space in your bag to carry them.  This Lunchbag carried them well with room to spare, although you wouldn't be able to carry a tremendous amount of stuff in it.  The cool thing about this bag is that it can be converted to be used as a backpack, purse, or hip bag.  The cloth napkins match the bag and come in handy for numerous things besides cleaning up.

The Furoshiki ECOlunchwrap ($35 bundled with a container and bamboo spork) is a pretty cool bag if you want something different.  Be warned it does take a few times to figure out how to tie the knots well (although instructions are included for this, as well as all their bags).  This bag style dates back centuries in Japan and can carry a few of the lunch containers, but not as much as the larger Lunchbag.  My friend and food critic, the Picky Eater, loved this bag and thought it could come in handy for her needs.  This bag is probably not for the kids since there are no latches and it can come open easily.

The Furoshiki ECOsnacksack ($35 bundled with a container and spork) was the smallest bag.  My wife really liked this one and said she would use it to tie to the stroller for snacks while she is out with the kids.  All the bags have different purposes so the one you would choose would depend on your needs.  As a man, I do have to say that while the stainless steel containers work for everyone, the bags seemed to be geared more towards women.  Due to the patterns and look, they are not my cup of tea, but I love how they are made and the women I showed them to were highly impressed.

Overall, I give all of these products a high grade.  The stainless steel containers don't have the bright colors for kids that some lunch boxes have, but the bags could serve that purpose for your child.  If you are looking for reusable lunch containers that help the planet and are well made, then these are for you.  They don't come cheap, but if you use them regularly they will pay for themselves over time.  You can order them from

Disclosure: ECOLunchboxes sent me this product to review.  I have received no other compensation for this post and the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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Week 21: Spiderman

Monday, February 25, 2013

Superhero kids lunch
Week 21: Spiderman.  My kids found the old cartoon on Netflix Instant called Spiderman and his Amazing Friends.  It is from 1981 and they have been addicted to it!  The funny thing is I remember watching the same cartoon when I was my daughter's age.  So, I thought I would have some fun with a Spiderman lunch for her today.

I also received another lunch set to review, so I packed it in there.  It is from a company called Eco Lunchbox.  You can find their website HERE.  I will post a full review later on this week, but overall I have been very impressed.

Overall doing a Superhero was fun and if your kids are into them, then go ahead and copy my design to give them a fun lunch.  Make sure and follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook!  As always, let me know what you would have used or pass on some creative ideas of your own.

1 red apple
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 stick of string cheese
1 slice of white cheese
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of pasta, cooked
   Black food coloring or food 

   coloring marker

  1. To make the mask, cut the apple in half.  Draw black lines on one half of the apple, using the picture as a guide.  Use either a black food coloring marker or a toothpick dipped in black food coloring to make the lines.  Using the template to help, cut two mask eye pieces out of a slice of white cheese.  Place both pieces on the mask as shown in picture.
  2. Arrange spinach to cover the bottom of one container.  Pull string cheese into long narrow pieces and arrange like a spiderweb on top of the spinach.  Place completed apple mask in the middle of the web and set container aside. 
  3. Fill a smaller container with blueberries.  Use template to carve the shape of a spider out of the apple.  Place spider on top of the blueberries and set container aside.
  4. Use another smaller container and fill it with pasta which has been cooked according to package directions.  Flavor pasta according to your what your child likes.
  5. Use template to cut Spiderman’s hand out of the remaining piece of apple.  Use black food coloring marker or toothpick dipped in black food coloring to draw the lines on the hand.  Use the picture to help if needed.  Place hand on top of pasta in the container.
  6. Meal is completed!  If you need containers similar to the picture, check out

Week 20: Happy President's Day

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Abraham Lincoln bento lunch
Week 20: Happy President's Day Abraham Lincoln!  It was President's Day weekend and I was gone for work for four days, but I still wanted to celebrate with my daughter.  Her favorite president is Abraham Lincoln (no really she is obsessed with him), so it was an easy decision to make this lunch.

I cut honest Abe out of a turkey and cheese sandwich.  I used a little food coloring for his eyes and nose and black olives for his eyebrows and beard.  His hat and shirt are Nori (dried seaweed).  She wont eat that part but it works well for large areas of black.

I laid down a background of spinach and made a border out of sliced kiwi.  I then filled it all in with small grape tomatoes.

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend and let me know what ideas you are coming up to make for your own kids, I love to hear them.  Help support the blog by spreading the word about us and make sure to check out our new store with T-shirts, hoodies, etc (use promo code "extra20" to get 20% off your order, but its only good until the 21st!).

Week 19: Hearts Galore, Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentines day easy kids lunch
Week 19: Hearts Galore, Happy Valentine's Day!
This Thursday is Valentine's Day (you better not forget this men!) so I made it a Valentine lunch.  As I was creating it, I decided there isn't much to this holiday besides hearts and pink.  It made me miss Christmas and Halloween and all the fun we had with those lunches.

I used the bento lunchbox from Laptop Lunches again because it lent itself well to the theme.  I started off with cutting heart shaped strawberries and surrounding them with blueberries in the green box.

The blue box obviously is just baby carrots.  My daughter loves them and they add good color.  In the lower left corner I made conversation hearts out of cheese.  One is cheddar, the other is havarti.  I then wrote on them with a toothpick and food coloring.

In the lower right hand corner I made a peanut butter sandwich.  I used cookie cutters for the shape and then lowfat cream cheese for the color on the top.  I did not use jelly inside because I felt it was too much sugar.  The red hearts in the middle of the sandwich are apples that I cut into the heart shape.

As always, let me know what you would add for a lunch for your kids and follow me on Twitter and Pinterest!  If you want to support this project visit our store and pick up a shirt or just click on same ads while you are here on the blog.

Lunchbox Dad Store

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hey readers, check out the new Lunchbox Dad store!  It is hosted by and you can buy all your Lunchbox Dad shirts, hoodies, and more while supporting the blog at the same time.  There are some logo designs as well as some other fun designs we came up with.  All the profit goes into helping make this blog go!  You can also help support us by clicking on some ads whenever you visit.  Thanks for following the blog and for your support!

You can click on the store link to the right of the blog or click here.

Week 18: A Super Lunch: Oakland Raiders

Monday, February 4, 2013

Raiders kids bento lunch
Week 18: A Super Lunch!  Last night was the Super Bowl, so I decided to go with a football theme for the lunch today.  Our house is filled with Raider fans (including my kids) so I tried to use Raider colors.  Unfortunately, there aren't many healthy foods with silver and black coloring so I did the best I could.  This turned out to be another easy lunch that you could make at home and even adapt to your own home team, except the 49ers, I forbid that!

The Raiders football is just a PB&J sandwich with some cream cheese on top.  I used food coloring for the black parts a few grey sprinkles for the silver.  I also used some silver sprinkle type balls for the accents in the black grapes.

I also threw in some goldfish crackers and then finished it off with slices of cutie oranges to add some more color.  If your team has different colors there are many more options you could do to make it fun.  I can't wait for baseball season to do an Oakland A's lunch, yellow and gold will work great!

I also want to thank Justin Starratt for the design of my new logo and header.  He did an awesome job which allowed me to redesign my blog.  Also, thanks to Pete Rich for setting it up and his help in the design area.  My site looks so much better now!

Remember to follow me on Pinterest and Twitter and go Raiders!
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