Lunchbox and Meal Tool Product Reviews

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ips Egg White Chips Review

ips Chips Review

Egg whites...and chips? That is the thought that first ran through my mind when I heard about ips (Intelligent Protein Snacks). Honestly, when ips first offered to send me samples to review, I thought the idea of these chips sounded crazy. I almost said no. Then I saw the flavors, and said to myself, "Why not give them a shot? I'm always looking for healthy alternatives"

Founder Sean Olson started ips with cooking eggs in his kitchen. His kids liked the crispy edges and the idea for egg white chips were born. ips states that their chips have 7g of protein in every chip, 50% less fat than regular potato chips, and less carbs than leading baked chips. They also have no artificial flavors or colors. They credit their patent-pending Pressure-Puff process for the taste.

Although I like to find healthy alternatives, especially to snack foods I love, those healthy alternatives still need to taste good. ips chips come in four different flavors: Barbeque, Sea Salt and Black Pepper, Aged White Cheddar, and Cinnamon Sugar. I not only wanted to see if these chips could win me over, but my kids as well.

The chip's shape and texture are similar to other baked chips. They also are very light and don't make you feel like you have a pint of grease on your hands afterward. The Sea Salt and Black Pepper impressed my kids. They weren't sure at first but they said this flavor was great. I thought it was a little heavy on the pepper, but if you enjoy that, you will really like this flavor. The Aged White Cheddar tasted similar to other baked cheddar chips on the market, but it didn't have quite the distinctiveness of the Black Pepper flavor. I felt the Barbeque chip's taste fell short. They didn't have smoky flavor I enjoy, but my kids disagreed. They finished off the bag with no problem. 

The last ips chip we tried was the Cinnamon Sugar. This was hands down the best of the four. I usually prefer savory chips, but the perfect balance of the sweet with the light and fluffy texture worked perfectly. My whole family were wishing for more long after the bag was finished. These are healthy enough for an afternoon pick-me-up snack and sweet enough to be dessert. If you are only going to try one flavor, get these.

ips snacks might be too different of a taste to fit everyone's desire, but if you are looking for a healthier chip with a lighter feel, give ips a try. They might surprise you. For more information check out

Disclosure: intelligent protein snacks sent me their products to review. I have received no other compensation for this post and the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.

Annie Chun's Seaweed Snack ReviewAnnie Chun's Seaweed Snack Review

Everywhere you look today you see roasted seaweed snacks for sale. When I attended the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco last month you couldn't turn around without running into another seaweed snack booth. The market is getting crowded and the problem is that most of these taste the same. If you love seaweed snacks, then a little variety can spice up your snack time. 

Seaweed snacks can be an acquired taste. I don't usually eat them myself but my daughter cannot get enough of them. If I let her, she will sit down and eat a whole package. My son will eat them also. He doesn't go crazy for them like my daughter but he still enjoys them from time to time. 

I always review products from a whole family's point of view but my kids were the main judges on this one. My wife and I also tasted them but I was most interested to see if these would work in school lunches. Annie Chun's sent me two flavors to review, but in addition to those, their line also includes Sesame and Wasabi.

We started with the Brown Sugar & Sea Salt flavor. They were sweet and definitely a different taste. My wife and I didn't prefer this flavor but my kids loved it. They kept grabbing the snacks, and when I went to change the flavor, I was lucky my hand didn't get taken off. Their vote was a resounding "thumbs up!"

The second flavor we tried was Cracked Pepper & Herbs. My kids both said they were too "spicy." However, my wife and I really liked these. They weren't spicy as in hot, just seasoned well. If you don't normally choose seaweed snacks, I would give this flavor a try. My wife and I both gave these a "thumbs up."

So there you have it, a split decision. I will keep the Cracked Pepper & Herbs for myself and send the Brown Sugar & Sea Salt to school or serve them for healthy after school snacks. If you want to serve your family something a little different, try Annie Chun's Seaweed Snacks. Even if you don't normally eat roasted seaweed, you might just be surprised with what you find! You can see all of Annie Chun's Seaweed Snacks at

Disclosure: Annie Chun's gave me their product to review. I have received no other compensation for this post and the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.

McConnell's Ice Cream Review
McConnell's Ice Cream Review
When I do a review of a product, it has to be something I'm interested in and something that will be applicable to the whole family. Good ice cream certainly fits into these two categories. Even though my blog is mainly about healthy alternatives for lunches, sometimes a family needs a great dessert as a treat. When McConnell's Fine Ice Cream approached me about reviewing their new flavors, I couldn't resist. In fact, our family and friends couldn't resist either! We invited a number of them over to taste all the interesting flavors.

Before I tell you my take on McConnell's new flavors you need to know a bit about the company. McConnell's is a family owned dairy in Santa Barbara, California. They actually make their own ice cream base from scratch, which many ice cream companies don't do. They use local raw milk and organic cage free eggs. In fact all of their ingredients are all-natural sustainable and organic! There are no no stabilizers, fillers, or additives. Even all of their jams, caramels, chocolates, etc. are housemade. Their use of all-natural ingredients is one of the reasons I was interested in their ice cream in the first place. They also use their one of a kind ice cream machine to stir and freeze their products. So before even tasting their ice cream, it was evident that they took great pride in their ingredients and recipes. I could tell in the creaminess and texture that this was going to be a different sort of dessert than I am used to.

With that said, all of the above doesn't matter if the taste of the ice cream is not appealing to kids or adults. I was given the opportunity to taste these flavors: Eureka Lemon and Marionberry, Oaxacan Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate and Raspberry Jam. McConnell's also carries other fun and different flavors such as Olive Oil and Salted Almond, Churros Con Leche, and Dark Chocolate Orange. Here is my review of the three flavors along with some of the opinions of my family and friends.

After the review be sure and scroll down to see my two delicious recipes 
featuring McConnell's ice cream!

Eureka Lemon and Marionberry
McConnells Eureka Lemon and Marionberry ice cream review

This was the all around favorite by most people including myself. If you like intense, fruity flavors then you will love this. It is bright and refreshing. The lemon flavor is tangy but doesn't overpower the rest of the flavors. Kids and adults alike loved this. When I took the ice cream to work to take pictures, my wife told me I better bring this flavor back home!

Oaxacan Chocolate
(See Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe below)
McConnells Oaxacan Chocolate ice cream review

This one took some getting used to for me. Since it is a dark chocolate, I expected a bitterness to it. There was no bitterness but I was surprised at all the different nuances this ice cream has. There is a cinnamon undertone with a hint of a chili pepper finish. I know this sounds strange, but it is what good Oaxacan chocolate is supposed to taste like. I felt the flavors worked very well together and this was my second favorite overall. Some of my friends really liked this as well, but the kids were not impressed. This is definitely more of an adult flavor.

Milk Chocolate and Raspberry Jam
(See Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe below)
McConnells Milk Chocolate and Raspberry Jam ice cream review

This was the kid's second favorite flavor. This duo of chocolate and jam is good, however I felt it needed a little something salty to go with the sweet. When I paired it with homemade peanut butter cookies, they added the saltiness that I wanted and made the taste almost like a chocolate PB&J sandwich! It is very good with or without, but I preferred this flavor paired with the saltiness of peanut butter.

You can find out more about McConnell's Fine Ice Cream, and also where to locate it in your area, by going to their website at or on Facebook HERE.


McConnell's Oaxacan Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

McConnell's Oaxacan Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich:
1. Start with your favorite all natural Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies. Since McConnell's ice cream is all natural, you don't want to ruin that by using cookies with artificial ingredients. You will need two cookies per sandwich. 

2. Spoon out a small amount of McConnell's Oaxacan Chocolate Ice Cream onto one cookie. A little goes a long way so you will want to use it sparingly. 
3. Place the second cookie on top and push down lightly until the ice cream reaches the sides of the cookie all the way around. Use a knife to even up the look of the ice cream if desired.
4. Wrap in wax paper and put back into the freezer if not serving immediately. 

McConnell's Chocolate PB&J Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

McConnell's Chocolate PB&J Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich:
1. Start with your favorite all natural peanut butter cookies. Since McConnell's ice cream is all natural, you don't want to ruin that by using cookies with artificial ingredients. You will need two cookies per sandwich. I made my own peanut butter cookies using all-natural peanut butter. Softer cookies are better.

2. Spoon out a small amount of McConnell's Milk Chocolate and Raspberry Jam Ice Cream onto one cookie. A little goes a long way so you will want to use it sparingly. 
3. Place the second cookie on top and push down lightly until the ice cream reaches the sides of the cookie all the way around. Use a knife to even up the look of the ice cream if desired.
4. Wrap in wax paper and put back into the freezer if not serving immediately.

Disclosure: McConnell's Fine Ice Cream 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.

Yumbox Lunchbox Review

Yumbox Kids Lunchbox ReviewThe Yumbox inspiration came from healthy and balanced French school lunches.  The desire was to help parents everywhere pack those kind of lunches for their own kids.  The moms behind Yumbox are so passionate about this that they even developed two iPhone apps to encourage kids to try new foods.  Click HERE to see Kids Food Adventure and HERE to see Choose My Food.  But here is the truth about lunchboxes.  Passion and ideas are all well and good, but if they don't translate to a practical usable product in real life, then it doesn't do us as parents any good.  Click here for the recipe that I made in the Yumbox--a healthy lunchable style lunch!

The first thing I noticed about the box was how heavy it is.  It's not too heavy to carry, but the weight surprised me.  It is listed at 1.5 pounds but certainly feels heavier.  From the outside, it looks like many other lunchboxes, but when I opened it the interior set the box apart.  

The inside clear tray looks nice and I love that it is removable and dishwasher safe. However, the compartments each only hold 1/2 cup of food each. This is perfectly fine for younger children, but older kids might need a little more. This all depends on the individual's appetite. The other part of the tray that I appreciated was that each compartment is labeled to remind you of the food groups that help make a balanced diet.

When I first opened the box, I didn't pay much attention to the silicone on the lid. This is a useful feature, though, because it seals each compartment. It is not recommended that you fill it with liquids such as soup or watery dressing. You can pack foods with a "Ranch Dressing" like consistency.  I always recommend testing liquids if you are unsure if they will work.  In our testing, we didn't see any leaks, but it is best to be cautious when packing lunches.  You don't want your child to arrive at school and find yogurt covering all their other food.

When it comes to the outside, my main concern was the durability of the hinge. I thought that with a few drops the hard plastic pieces would break. I did accidentally drop it on the cement and the hinges held up fine. Only time will tell how durable they are but for now they seem to hold up with no problem.  The latch is easy to use and my 7 year old was able to work it with ease.

Overall, the Yumbox met my expectations.  I liked the removable tray, the reminder labels, and the silicone seal on the lid.  However, it was a little heavy and the portion size will probably be too small for older kids and adults.  Yumbox will be coming out with a bigger box soon, so I am looking forward to seeing how they adjust the compartment size and if they introduce any new features.  The customer service was also great.  If you are looking for a smaller basic box with little food compartments that can seal, then check out the Yumbox.  You can find it online at for $28 in either pink or green.

Disclosure: Yumbox 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.
Squeez'Ems Refillable Food Pouches Review
We have used disposable food pouches with our kids ever since my daughter was little. They have always been so convenient for a meal on the go. There is basically no mess, and they don’t need to be refrigerated. The problems my family has had with them has been that they are relatively expensive (even on sale) and they create a lot of waste from throwing them out.

When I had the chance to review some of the Booginhead Squeez’Ems Reusable Pouches I was excited. With a 7 year old, 3 year old, and a baby on the way a good reusable pouch would be very valuable for our family. Booginhead sent me out a few pouches to review and so I tested them with a variety of foods.

I first tried them with applesauce. The first thing I noticed was that they were easy to fill. A regular sized spoon will fit all the way into the top of the pouch so you won’t make a mess. I was happy with the amount I was able to put in. Another nice thing about refillable pouches is that you can buy a large jar of food to fill them and it costs much less and produces little waste. My kids sucked the applesauce down fast without many problems.  The only small issue was that because of the design of the lid, there was always a small spoonful of food left at the top that couldn't be sucked out.

The next day I washed them again and filled them with my wife’s healthy fruit smoothies that the whole family loves. We froze those because I wanted to see how the pouches did in the freezer. We took them out the next day and I gave one to my 3-year-old son while also taking one for myself. The pouch worked well once it thawed a bit.  The last test was a bit tougher. We filled them with yogurt and took them to the local amusement park. The kids ate the yogurt for lunch and the pouches spent the rest of the day in a cooler. I was interested to see how they would clean up after that. 

The Squeez’Ems pouches cleaned up fine in the dishwasher after every use, even after a day at the amusement park. The one problem I found was that after a few runs through the dishwasher it was harder to get the lid lined up correctly on the pouch. It still screwed down and didn’t leak but it was a little frustrating to get started. This was true for all the pouches I was given. My suggestion would be to hand wash them to make sure you don’t run into this problem. Also, over time there is the chance of buildup and I don’t really trust my dishwasher to get it all so I would use a bottlebrush to clean them.

Overall, I like the idea of the Squeez’Ems refillable pouches. Only time will tell if the durability will hold up, but so far the only real issue I have had is with the lids. One thing to keep in mind is that your food will need to be chilled, unlike disposable pouches. The only other suggestion I would make would be to buy a number of them and fill them all at the same time. It can be kind of tedious to fill one or two just for the day. However, if you use them enough they will most likely pay for themselves over time. You can order a two-pack online from for $7.99.

Disclosure: Booginhead 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.
You might have seen the Yubo lunch box in the hands of celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner.  However, just because a product is hot with celebrities doesn't always mean it's practical enough for regular parents and kids living an everyday life.  Yubo "wanted to make the lunchbox customizable, interactive, fun, flexible, functional, washable, ecological, colorful, beautiful, and of course, very cool and loaded with personality."  The resulting product is fun, recyclable, dishwasher safe, and BPA free.  It starts at $29.95 plus shipping.  Click here to see the 1 Meal 3 Ways lunch I made in the yubo!

When I first opened the Yubo package, the amount of pieces made me skeptical.  I always do real world testing, and with all of these pieces, how practical would this lunch box be?  After making numerous lunches in it, I find it simple and easy to use.  The custom ice pack (shown below) is such a great idea.  I hate trying to find room for an ice pack in other carriers.  The three leak proof food containers fit right on top of the ice pack (different size options are available).  You can pack items such as yogurt or fruit, as side dishes, and a sandwich with small snacks in the main container.  The containers give you options, but at the same time help you carefully consider what you are putting in your child's lunch.  The accessory that might be hard to get used to is the drink holder (shown below).  A bottle won't fit inside the box so a drink holder attaches to the outside (for an extra $5.95).

One feature that stands out in this lunch box is the fun factor.  Yubo has made their box very customizable.  It comes with faceplates in many designs to complement the colors of the box.  However, you can also have them personalized.  They can include your child's name or you can even upload a picture that they have drawn!  The faceplates are available in horizontal (above) or their brand new vertical designs (to the left).  They easily slip in and out of the plastic panel that holds them so they can be changed to a different set when desired.

As far as durability goes, all the pieces are high quality plastic.  However, with kids (mine at least!) these will get bumped around quite a bit and might get some scuff marks with regular use.  They did hold up well in our testing.  One of the best parts of the yubo is how easy it is to clean.  You just take all the pieces apart and throw them in the dishwasher.  I love how both side panels come off so you don't get gunk stuck in the crevices!  The only thing not dishwasher safe are the faceplates.

If you can't tell, this has turned into one of my favorite lunch boxes to use.  The one drawback is the amount of pieces.  If your child has a habit of losing things, you could be ordering replacement parts for this quite often.  Regular Tupperware might work in the box, but you won't get the perfect fit that the yubo containers offer.  This could be frustrating to some parents.  Other than that, if you are looking for a FUN, easy to clean, personalized lunchbox, then you should try the yubo.  Check out for all the options and designs.

Disclosure: Yubo 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.
PlanetBox Shuttle Review

The PlanetBox Shuttle is the newest product in the PlanetBox line.  Planetbox desires to make all-in-one lunch containers that are durable, non-toxic, and dishwasher safe.  It sells for $39.95 on  To read more about the company and their mission scroll down to check out my review of their PlanetBox Rover.

The Shuttle is the smallest box in their line and I was skeptical at first.  It measures 7.75”x5.2”x2” and is made completely out of stainless steel with one hinge.  There are only two compartments, but a leak proof dipper container is included, as well as a magnet set to decorate the top.  Click here to see the 4th of July Simple Summer meal I made in the PlanetBox Shuttle!

When I first inspected the box, I could see it was as durable as the larger Rover, and would probably clean up as easily in the dishwasher (after testing it does).  The lunch box and dippers are dishwasher safe, but the case must be spot cleaned.  I just couldn’t figure out how I would pack more than a large snack in there! I set to work and found out that the Shuttle is actually a beautifully simple alternative to larger, more complicated lunch boxes.  I found it very easy to pack a smaller meal in this box.  The larger compartment can fit something as big as a sandwich and a small side dish, such as sliced fruit, will fit well in the other compartment.  My six-year-old daughter ate almost her whole lunch and didn’t go hungry.

The Shuttle can also be bought with a carrying case for $5 more.  The case is made to be able to match the design of the magnet set.  It has a small carry handle on the top.  There are two drawbacks with this case, however.  The first one is that it is very hard to put a normal size ice pack inside it.  This makes it almost a necessity to buy the optional PlanetBox ice pack, which does fit inside.  It also does not include a shoulder strap for those who prefer to carry bags in this manner.

The Shuttle is best suited for younger children, or those with smaller appetites.  It could also work well for snack time during a play date, day trip, or after swim lessons.  If you choose the Shuttle I recommend purchasing the case and also the ice pack.  When you factor in these two options, the total price might raise some eyebrows.  However, because of its durable build, the Shuttle should last for a very long time.  It can be purchased with case from for $39.95.

Disclosure: PlanetBox 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.
The creative parents behind PlanetBox wanted to design a lunch box that helped to promote healthy kids and a healthy planet.  They desired to make it all-in-one, durable, with a simple to use latch, and easy to clean.  The resulting lunch box accomplishes most of those goals.  However, it isn’t perfect and there are some things to keep an eye on before you pack a lunch in it.  Click HERE to see the Finding Nemo Lunch I made in the PlanetBox Rover.

I reviewed the “PlanetBox Rover Complete” with CarryBag, magnets, and dipper set.  This model retails for $59.99, however packages without the bag or dippers are available for less.  There is also the larger “PlanetBoxLaunch” model. 

The lunch box itself is constructed out of stainless steel so it is non-toxic and very sturdy.  It is reminds me of a lunch tray with five compartments to hold food.  The attached lid folds down and latches securely and easily.  The Rover’s tray cleaned up nicely in the dishwasher.  You can choose the style of magnets, which stick on the lid, to make fun designs.

There are two drawbacks to this design.  It is heavier than most lunch boxes and it doesn’t seal completely.  You should not pack foods like yogurt or applesauce inside because they will leak out.

To solve this problem you need a set of PlanetBox dippers.  I found out the hard way that these are necessary when I packed Jello in the Rover tray.  My daughter didn’t eat all of the Jello and it leaked everywhere. It was my own fault, however.  The instructions clearly state that the Rover tray is not leak proof.  The dippers can fit inside the tray or in the pocket of the CarryBag. 

The CarryBag is well constructed and made with recycled materials.  It
has one carry strap and one shoulder strap.  One pocket on the outside can carry a bottle and the other can carry utensils or a dipper.  There is also a pocket on the inside.  The bag can be washed in soap and water.  This is fortunate since it was very sticky after the Jello mishap.  After a few uses the bag has a few small stains on it, but they don’t bother me much.  The CarryBag is handy because it fits the Rover and accessories well.

Overall, I like the PlanetBox system.  I found it durable and easy to clean.  The CarryBag is sturdy and the shoulder strap is handy.  However, if you like an all-in-one system you must remember that the dippers are almost a necessity.  These add extra pieces and cost.  This stainless steel lunch box is unique and fun, but starting at $39.99, it comes at a price.

Disclosure: PlanetBox 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.


Easy Lunch Boxes Review

Easy Lunch Boxes
 Kelly Lester created Easy Lunch Boxes when she became frustrated with packing lunches for her daughters.  There were so many containers and making lunch became complicated and time consuming.  She knew there must be a better way.  From there, Easy Lunch Boxes were born.  They are now the number one selling lunch boxes on  They retail on Amazon for $13.95 in packs of four.  Click here to see my UP lunch that I made in an Easy Lunch Box.

What sets this container apart from your traditional “Tupperware-like” container are the three compartments.  You can easily fit a main dish and two side dishes in one

Easy Lunch Boxes Container and Lid
box (9.38”x6.1”x2”).  I have made a number of lunches for my daughter in these containers and each time the portions of food fit exactly how I hoped they would.  The lid snaps on snugly, but not too tight and is easy for my daughter to put on and take off.

Easy Lunch Boxes Mini Dippers
Beware that the lunch boxes are not leak proof.  However, Lester also designed leak proof “mini dippers” (2.5oz.) that hold a small serving of “pudding like” foods or sauces.  These dippers can fit in either the lunch box itself, or in a carrying bag.  The “mini dippers” retail for $7.95 for a set of 8 on

The durability of both the lunch boxes and dippers are impressive.  They are both dishwasher safe.  The Easy Lunch Box lid is thicker than other plastic disposable tops and seems as though it will hold up well to the beating a lunch box can take.  I have run all parts through the dishwasher multiple times now, and I have seen no wear.  They clean up very easily.  They are also said to be freezer safe.

The big difference between these and other more expensive lunch boxes will be life span.  With regular use, these will more than likely wear out faster than one of the $30-$40 lunch boxes I have reviewed.  TheEasy Lunch Boxes website states that with everyday use you should be able to use these for many months.

Easy Lunch Boxes Cooler Bag
Another addition to this Easy Lunch Box line is a specially designed cooler bag.  They are designed to hold the box upright, which is a bonus for those who like to keep their lunch creations looking nice. You can actually fit two Easy Lunch Boxes, a water bottle, and an ice pack into one bag quite easily. This bag retails for $7.95 on

The Easy Lunch Box isn’t the flashiest lunch box you can buy, but the design is very practical.  The price is low and works well if you have multiple kids to buy lunch boxes for.  If your child loses a box it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to replace it.  The containers and the lids are made of clear BPA-free plastic and are FDA approved. Lids are offered in both standard and bright colors.  If you want a trendy looking lunch box that will last your child all through elementary school, then this might not be the box for you.  However, if you need a few identical lunch boxes that are inexpensive, durable, simple to pack, and easy to clean you should check these out.  Click the link to the right of this review to buy the Easy Lunch Boxes on

Disclosure: Easy Lunch Boxes 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.


If you are looking for a unique kid's lunch box that will cause people  to stop and notice, then this might be the one for you.  Go Green Lunch Boxes are plastic (BPA and phthalate free) and include a stainless steel water bottle as well as an insulated fabric carrying case.  The company claims that their lunch boxes pay for themselves after one month of use (compared to using disposable lunches and bags). Click here to see the Star Wars lunch I made using the Go Green Lunch Box.

The first thing I noticed about the lunchbox were the rubber side clasps, which allow the lunch box to open and close.  Initially, I was concerned that my 6 year old daughter might have problems with the system.  However, she was able to open the lid with no problems when I showed it her how to do it.
Inside of the Go Green Lunch Box

The inside of the lunch box has plenty of room.  There are four compartments for food and one that holds the stainless steel water bottle.  This is a unique feature that you don’t find in comparable lunch boxes.  It is nice that the bottle can be contained here, but it also adds size to the lunch box that might make it too big to fit in some smaller backpacks.  It might also be troublesome to carry for some younger children.  The depth and size of the food compartments causes it to hold too much food for the typical lunch for my 6 year old.  The trade off is that it also means there is enough room for older kids who can eat more.  Go Green says that each compartment is leak proof and can hold foods of “pudding-like” consistency such as yogurt and apple sauce.  My daughter unwittingly tested this out by accidentally dropping it 3 times on the way from the car to her classroom.  The Go Green Lunch Box held up nicely and the food (including applesauce) stayed in the correct compartment without leaking.

Turn 'N Lock knob to keep things fresh
The feature that sets this lunchbox apart is its "turn 'n lock" knob.  Turning the knob from open to close locks the lid down and keeps the food in each compartment fresh and separate from everything else.  This is accomplished through the use of silicone bands that keep each compartment leak-proof.  Turning the knob back to the open position allows the lid to be removed.  This is an important feature to show your kids so they don't become frustrated trying to open it at lunchtime.

The lid is held to the bottom by two strings with clasps.  The clasps allow the lid to be disconnected for cleaning.  It is a handy feature, but I get worried that the small strings could break with repeated use and cleanings.  So far, however, these have not caused problems.  If they did break, it would not be the end of the world, it would just be easier for kids to lose the lid.  Cleaning the Go Green Lunch Box is fairly easy.  You detach the lid from the bottom and hand wash it.  The bottom portion can be put in the dishwasher.  If you are one who needs to throw everything in the dishwasher then this might be annoying, but Go Green insists that the lid should always be hand washed to preserve the durability.  The lunch box has held up well to the beating it can take from a 6 year old taking it to school and back.  It has also cleaned up easily.

All the features of the insulated case
The insulated carrying case is one of the best parts of this system.  It comes in a variety of patterns and helps to keep your lunch cold.  Inside there is a small mesh pocket for utensils, icepacks, or other things.  The best part of this case is the small whiteboard inside.  You can use dry erase markers to write notes to your child.  This is an awesome idea to give them something extra special in their lunch—a letter to tell them that you love them!

Overall, I am very happy with the Go Green Lunch Box.  If you are looking for a unique package that keeps your food fresh, and lets you keep everything together in one case, you should check out this lunch box.  However, if you like lunch box systems that are more compact with all dishwasher safe parts, then you might want to look elsewhere.   The whole package retails for $34.99 on the Go Green website.

Disclosure: Go Green Lunchboxes 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.

ECOLunchboxes Review

ECOlunchbox Solo Cube
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.


Laptop Lunches Review

Front view of packaging
I discovered while doing some research on lunch box containers.  They are based out of Santa Cruz and have been featured in magazines such as Everyday With Rachael Ray and Parents.  Their mission is to provide lunch boxes that are safe, cost-effective, reusable, recycled, easy to clean, and waste free.

I was immediately impressed with their website.  It was professional, easy to navigate, and very helpful.  They offer newsletters, a store, healthy tips for lunches, and a place for users to send in pictures of lunches they have created.  Their customer service was also prompt and helpful.

Rear view of packaging
When I received the lunchbox I was impressed with the packaging.  It was fun and engaging.  It also shows key features and has a QR code on the back to scan with your mobile phone.  This leads you to a mobile version of their website.

The outside container seems sturdy and attractive enough.  However, it is just one solid color.  So if you are looking for different designs, you will need to choose a more expensive bento kit from their website (this particular model reviewed costs $23.99 + shipping).  My daughter was just happy it was purple.  After one use, I did start to notice some scratches on the top but this didn't compromise the overall build.

Top of lunch box
Inside of lunch box
When I opened the box for the first time, I really enjoyed the bright colors of the inside containers.  Some of the pieces came with lids, which is helpful to contain those things you dont want spilled.  There were five containers included, plus there is a compartment for utensils.  The containers really did help to not pack too much food, but at the same time really made you think about what you are putting in the lunch.  It was fun to pick out the different foods for to fit in each one.  If you want to see the finished product for the lunch that I made for my daughter, click here to see the Angry Birds Lunch.  My daughter ate everything and the lunchbox was easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
Close-up of the latch

The biggest problem my daughter had was with the latch.  Even though there are clear instructions, it took a good amount of practice to open it consistently.  I tested the latch out with more K-1st grade kids and they all had the same problem.  When I tested it with 2nd graders, however, there were able to open it with no problems.

Overall, I was very pleased with this product and would recommend it, as long as you practice opening it with your kids beforehand.

Disclosure: Laptop Lunch 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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