A lunchbox is a major accessory for you or your kid ahead of the new academic year. It is an amenity often overlooked. At a glance, it seems like an insignificant convenience tool that doesn’t deserve much of your thought and consideration, But let us try to convince you otherwise. Lunchboxes are purpose-built items offering some specialized design features that make them ideal for their task.
In the old days, lunchboxes were simple tin boxes that looked more like part of military gear. They have greatly advanced and diversified since then, and today’s lunch boxes come in many shapes and forms. With so many different types on the market to choose from, how do you pick the one that’s right for you?
Below, we have listed a few main criteria to keep in mind.
Lunchboxes vary in size, volume, and distribution of compartments. Simpler ones provide a single shared place for the entire content; others have segregated sections for separating your food. Many even include specialized sections with indented shapes of food they are meant to accommodate. Given the varietal lineup of lunchboxes on offer, always consider your personal needs and food preferences when shopping for one.
Ease of maintenance
Tiny imperfections can add up. Details you might not notice or pay much mind to during purchase can end up causing you daily inconveniences down the line.
Before settling on your choice, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it dishwasher safe?
- Are internal compartments detachable for easier cleaning?
- Is it liquid sealed?
- Does it stain easily?
For something that is used for storing food, the quality of being waterproof is a must. Surfaces of dividing walls should be coated with a sealant to prevent leakage. A lack of proper insulation and stain resistance should definitely be a dealbreaker.
With hours between preparation and consumption, you want to keep your meal hot and fresh for as long as possible. The primary metric for a good lunchbox is how long it can maintain the temperature of its contents.
Food that is kept warm is not only more delicious but also safer to consume. This factor is no less weighty, considering a lot of everyday meals like fish and some dairy products are perishable and start to spoil in a matter of hours.
Moreover, thermal insulation works in both ways; just as it can keep your food warm, it can also keep it cold if necessary. Some modern lunch boxes are able to preserve food temperature for more than 6 hours. Those are admittedly more expensive, but considering their immense practicality, the one-time expense of buying a decent lunchbox can result in years of daily dividends.
Lunchboxes are primarily made of plastic or metal. Or a combination of the two. You should pay close attention to what yours is made of. Different materials used in lunchboxes have varying properties regarding not only thermal insulation but also the transmission of bacterial disease and harmful chemicals. Personal hygiene was never unimportant, but people are growing more conscious of it now that the world has seen its greatest pandemic in decades.
Glass and plastic are more prone to transmitting bacteria and leaking chemicals than, say, stainless steel or aluminium. By this point, lunch boxes made of metal look more promising in every aspect.
Good looks of a lunchbox seem like a low priority. But for something you are going to be using every day, styling matters! A visually pleasing lunchbox can bring a refreshing touch to your day. This is especially true for kids. Children develop strong personal and emotional connections with their items, so it’s essential they like their stuff.
School items, along with their direct use, also serve as children’s versions of styling accessories. Sporting a cool-looking lunch box can elevate kids in the eyes of their peers. Just as you might not like a piece of clothing bought for you by someone else, your kid may not connect to a lunchbox you chose for them, so parents should always bring their kids along when picking out a lunchbox.
Small things add up
Seemingly insignificant details can show themselves later and become a source of bother.
Things like handle placement, color, additional pockets, and type of fabric can be easily overlooked at first but prove important later. Try to run your mind through every possible detail before you finalize your choice.
Don’t cheap out
Some things are ok to save money on. But with others, like buying a safety seat for your child, hiring the best essay writers for your important assignment, or putting good oil in your car, quality matters above all. Lunchboxes store food, which gives them an important role in everyday life. They are also used daily, which means they are prone to wear and tear.
Considering these, we think it’s always better to spare some expense for a higher-quality lunchbox that will serve you well for years to come, rather than cheap out, struggle, and have to buy a new one every year.
Growth and diversification of global markets, along with increased availability, are creating a problem of too much choice. If you set out to get a lunchbox 100 years ago, you would have one choice. Not much to think about there. But a plethora of alternatives we see today can disorient and overwhelm a buyer. Advancements in technology have brought previously unimaginable, complex features to a seemingly straightforward item. We hope our list of instructions facilitates the choice and helps you single out a lunchbox that’s perfect for you.
Diane Sherron is a blogger, dedicated parent, and shopping enthusiast. Her blog specializes in providing clear, relatable, and informative guidelines for the online community, mainly regarding parenting and education. Her accessible storytelling has already attracted thousands of readers, with more joining in each day.