Inside: Looking for the best preschool lunchbox gear? I’ve got you covered with my absolute favorite finds for daycare and preschool, including Bento boxes, lunch bags, reusable water bottles, and more.
Sometimes I think about the amount of hours I have spent over the last 6 years reading reviews on things like lunchboxes and leak-proof water bottles – and honestly? That’s just a rabbit hole nobody has time for.
My goal with Because I Said So, Baby has always been to provide moms with practical solutions for everyday momlife.
That’s why mama, I’ve done the legwork for you and you no longer need to stay up until midnight driving yourself crazy reading all the Amazon reviews to find the best Bento for a 2 year old.
Motherhood is something, isn’t it?
Before we dive in, here are some of my personal requirements for Preschool Lunchbox Gear:
- Easy to find (more on this below)
- BPA free or quality stainless steel
- Durable and reusable
- Dishwasher safe
- Leak-proof or includes leak-proof containers
Where should I buy Preschool Lunchbox Gear?
I have a rule when it comes to these things. If I can’t find it at Target or on Amazon, then it doesn’t exist to me.
I need things to be easy and accessible and you do too, right? That’s why all the products in this post have direct links to Amazon so you can have your lunchbox haul delivered to your door in 48 hours.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. You can read our full disclosure policy, here.
My Favorite Preschool Lunchbox Gear
You should know, I have tested every single item featured in this post, and some of this gear I’ve had for years (and it has survived two kids)
Now, while we’re using the term “preschool” – all of these options would be good for daycare and I’ve also continued to use this gear for my daughter in Kindergarten as well.
Favorite Bento Boxes for Toddlers
This has been a top lunchbox in our house for years. I regularly pack these up on the weekend to head to the playground and they’ve also served us well on roadtrips.
- 100% leak-proof
- Inner tray is dishwasher-safe (outer lid is hand-wash only)
- Lots of colors/designs to choose from
- Perfect size for toddlers, and very light to carry
The only negative I have found with these lunchboxes is that the inner silicone lid easily absorbs odors, even when frequently washed. I’ve learned that in order to prevent this, it helps to put a little cling wrap over certain foods like hard-boiled eggs, to prevent the lid from absorbing the smell.
Yes, this Bento box is an investment, but certainly worth it as it’s made to last. My hope is that my older daughter will use this box all through elementary school.
- Durable stainless steel
- Dishwasher safe
- All one piece (lid & base are attached)
- Comes with 2 leak-proof containers
- Can choose matching lunch bag & magnets to decorate the box
Please Note: the lunch pictured above was for my 5 year old. Most daycares and preschools do not allow baby carrots, as they are a choking hazard. Additionally, for toddlers, slice whole cherry tomatoes in half.
While the entire lunchbox is not leak-proof like the Yumbox, the Planetbox does come with two different sized leak-proof containers. The only other negative to mention for this box is that once packed up and put in the carrying case with an ice pack and water bottle, it becomes quite heavy for a little one.
Again, it’s a little pricey, but it’s made of quality stainless steel, and can continue to be used for many years. When not in use for preschool, even an adult could pack up this box for lunch.
- Durable stainless steel
- Lightweight (not too heavy once packed up)
- 2 big compartments for “mains” and 3 smaller for “sides”
- Not leak-proof but can add leak-proof containers
This box could be a good alternative to the Planetbox if you’re looking for something a little more lightweight for a toddler to carry. The only downside is that the box itself is not leak-proof, however, you can add little containers for dips, etc.
Favorite Toddler Water Bottles
Here’s another thing that’ll keep you up at night – trying to find a reusable bottle that won’t leak, doesn’t have a million parts to clean, and is dishwasher-safe. Here are my top picks:
Each of my daughters has one of these and I’ve been using them for years. They last even through dishwashing and being constantly dropped on the ground.
- Easy to clean
- Only 2 pieces to assemble
- Good for water or milk
- Stainless steel container
The only negative with these is that if your toddler is a chewer, they could easily wear down the silicone straw over time.
I discovered this water bottle last year and wish I had known about it sooner. It’s practically unbreakable, and can hold a good amount of water for the day. If your toddler loves to chew straws, I highly recommend this one as the straw feature is hard plastic.
- Very durable
- Stainless steel bottle
- Hard plastic straw spout
- Only one component to assemble (straw bottom)
This one’s for the older toddler or Pre-K kid who has mastered drinking out of an open lid. This option is also great for a child who has destroyed other water bottles by chewing the straws.
- 100% stainless steel (no plastic)
- No straw to assemble
- Lid is attached with silicone rim
- Cute designs to choose from
The only downside to these bottles is that they are hand-wash only. However, if you are just using for water, they are very quick to clean.
Favorite Lunch Gear Accessories
These bags come in many designs for boys & girls, and they are 100% washable so you can easily clean spills and stains.
- Easy to wash/wipe down
- Holds the Yumbox or Lunchbots boxes + an icepack easily
- Comes in a variety of designs (you can also order the matching backpacks, which yes, I did)
Most preschools and daycares require everything you send in to be labeled with your child’s name. One thing that’s often left off preschool lunch gear round-ups are name labels! And these things are essential for labeling all the things: water bottles, lunch bags, Bentos, change of clothes, diaper bags, etc.
- Dishwasher-safe & waterproof (labels won’t peel off after being washed)
- 100% customizable (can choose colors, design, fonts, even upload your own picture)
- Comes in a variety of shapes & sizes to fit all the containers
I’ve partnered with Name Bubbles to offer Because I Said So, Baby readers 20% off their order! Just use code MARLA20 at checkout – and be sure to tag me on IG so I can see your gear all labeled up!
Since most preschools will not refrigerate lunches, you’ll need a set of ice packs to keep on hand for packing lunches. I love these slim ones as they sit flat on top of any Bento box and some lunchboxes even have a sleeve to store the ice pack in.
- Flat design fits perfectly in lunchbox
- Easy to find on Amazon or at some grocery stores
- Comes in a variety of colors and shapes