Should You Buy a Lunch Bag or a Lunch Box?

lunch bags for kids

Lunch Bags vs Lunch Boxes

When children start school or nursery or go back for a new year lunch boxes are often on the shopping list. You need something to send their lunch that will keep it fresh and ideally not too squashed until lunchtime.

If you send children with a packed lunch you need something to pack it in, and children generally arenít happy with a carrier bag, plus if you are packing foods that need refrigeration you also want to keep them cool until lunchtime to avoid them potentially getting sick.

Then thereís the question of the lunch bag or lunch box?

The Pros and Cons of Lunch Bags for Kids

Lunch bags are a great option in many ways but they do also have some disadvantages.

The Pros of Lunch Bags

  • Lunch bags are softer and easier to carry especially for little ones.
  • Lunch bags are generally at least slightly insulated.
  • Lunch bags are less breakable than plastic lunch boxes.
  • Lunch bags are can accommodate lots of different foods.
  • Lunch bags can be a great inexpensive option.
  • Many lunch bags can go in the washing machine.
  • Once they are empty they take up very little space.

The Cons of Lunch Bags

  • Because they are flexible food can get squashed.
  • Lunch bags generally canít go in the dishwasher.
  • Most lunch bags will need either sandwich wraps or tuppaware to go with them to keep food separate.

The Pros and Cons of Lunch Boxes for Kids

Lunch boxes have come a long way since the brittle plastic lunch boxes we had as children. You can now get insulated food tubs, bento box style sectioned boxes, stainless steel boxes and of course, all the character lunch boxes that kids love to have.

The Pros of Lunch Boxes

  • Lunch boxes are rigid so thereís no risk of sandwiches getting squashed.
  • Many lunch boxes have multiple sections so you can keep food separate.
  • You can get lunch boxes that are fully sealed for liquid lunches.
  • Insulated food jars are perfect for sending leftovers for lunch.
  • Most lunch boxes can go in the dishwasher making them easy to clean.

The Cons of Lunch Boxes

  • Lunch boxes can be hard and break easier if they end up getting dropped or thrown across the playground.
  • Lunch boxes are rigid so they take up the same amount of space even if they are empty.
  • Lunch boxes are often more expensive and while they should last for years children are very good at losing things.

Next Up: The Best Lunch Bags for School