Back to school: Lunchbox and Water Bottle Reviews

We’re wrapping Summer up with a nice little bow and moving on to school supplies and lunch boxes at my house. While perusing the aisles of Target for a scientific calculator from my daughter’s supply list that I’m pretty sure they quit making in the 80’s, I happened upon these:

At least they give you a warning sign now, right? Just like cigarettes!
Plastic is the new margarine
A few years ago something new showed up in the plastics world: BPA free. It rocked our little hippie hearts. We were willing to pay an arm and a leg for “safe” plastic bottles to drink out of that didn’t leak harsh chemicals that mimic estrogen. It turns that all the good intentions and dollars spent may still be for nothing.
According to this study most plastic products release chemicals having easily detectable estrogenic activity. Even the BPA free plastic.
To take the worry out of your lunchbox and water bottle buying I’ve compiled some of my favorite safe products.
This is our first year using PlanetBox. You may need a small loan to buy them if your family is as large as mine, but they are worth every penny. You could likely buy it for your kindergartner and they’d still be using it for middle school. You can also go in on a group order like we did and get 10% off. Until recently we were using a BPA-free (but still plastic) lunch system that had 4 inserts. Multiply that times 4 children and washing and storing them was a huge pain. With PlanetBox, it’s one piece! My dishwasher has never been so happy. The cute, interchangeable magnet designs make it a hit for the kids. They come in a larger size now aimed at adults and older kids.
I discovered Lifefactory about a year ago. After I tried one for a while, I bought the smaller ones for the girls. Warning: they are glass and will break. While the silicone sleeve is helpful, it won’t prevent shattering. Just proceed with caution and make sure the lid is on tight before you pick it up by the handle (or put it in your backpack to have water spill everywhere as my 8 year does so frequently.)  The 9 oz size that’s perfect for kids is $15. They offer free shipping for orders over $40.
If the thought of your child carrying glass stresses you out, here’s a not entirely plastic free option but it’s safer due to the fact that the liquid is encased in steel. These 12 oz Thermos bottles with straws will cost you about $14. They’re available in plain colors or designs. Both of the water bottles fit perfectly into the Planetbox case. Bonus points!
There are so many great, safe products on the market. Share your favorites. Here’s to a healthy school year to all.

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