Making School Lunches Easier – My Favorite Containers

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I have sort of a love/hate relationship with making school lunches for my first grader.  I love that I know what she’s actually eating, but I dread having to add one more thing to my to-do list every night.  That’s why I put a lot of time researching all the options for lunch boxes and containers.  I scoured online reviews and researched just about every option out there.  My criteria was this: I wanted lunch containers that were re-useable, BPA free, cost effective, and had minimal lids to remove and then replace when lunch was over.  This last point is crucial in my opinion.  Lunchtime is quick, and if there are several little lids floating around, especially the ones with multiple sizes, chances are the lunchbox will not come home in the same condition it left.  That means extra effort on my part before I even start the packing process for the next day.  Have you ever had to scrub pesto sauce out of every nook and cranny of a child’s lunch box?  I for one never want to have to face that mess again.

After all the research and testing you may be surprised by which container I like best.  I’ve ended up using the Glad Soup & Salad container more than any of the others I’ve tried for our school lunches.  Here’s why – It’s got a single lid that easily snaps tight so my daughter can manage it on her own.  It’s the perfect size for her lunch box, leaving enough room for her thermos to go inside the lunchbox too – that’s huge for a 6 year old.  I can’t tell you how many times she’s gone to the lunch room but her drink stayed in her backpack.  And best of all, with these Glad containers you get five containers for less than half the cost of some of the others I tested out.  So I can make a week’s worth of lunches all at one time if I so choose.  That’s an amazing thing.

Below you’ll see how I like to pack my Glad containers for lunch.  I use silicone baking cups to act as dividers inside the container.  I love this because they’re flexible, meaning I can add more grapes and less animal crackers if I want, and I’m not limited to a set number of divisions inside the box.  I can add or take away depending on what I’m packing for that day.  The silicone baking cups are sturdy to keep things in place and can go right into the dishwasher for cleaning and re-using.

This lunch features my daughter’s favorite – Pizza Bites.  I used silicone baking cups to make separate spaces for grapes, a clementine, and animal crackers.  I added some pizza sauce for dipping in a mini round Glad containerPizza Bites Lunch 057 Making School Lunches Easier   My Favorite ContainersShe loves her little lunch notes that I tuck inside.  Just index cards and Dollar Store sticker books and I’m set for the year.

This is my daughter’s second favorite lunch – a plain old jelly sandwich.  This time I made two more sections for strawberries and mozzarella cheese.

Sandwich Lunch 059 Making School Lunches Easier   My Favorite ContainersSee what I mean by the flexibility?  I love being able to change things up depending on what she’s eating that day.

I’ve been loving these little snack size Glad containers too.  They’re so perfect for my pre-schooler’s afternoon snacks.  These work great for sending snacks along with the bigger kids to their after-school activities too.  I even fill a few to keep in the pantry so the kids can grab their own munchies when I’m tied up with other things.

Snack Containers 058 Making School Lunches Easier   My Favorite Containers

So that’s how I’m making lunch this year.  What are some of the lunch tools you’ve found to make lunch easier?


I have partnered with The Glad Products Company through DailyBuzz Moms to help promote their Food Storage products. I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Thank you GLAD!


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  1. I bought some divided Gladware for Garrett’s lunches this year and I’m excited to use them! School starts Wednesday! :)

  2. ashlye says:

    love your lunch notes! i have a 3×5 index card box full of pre-made notes complete with inspirational / motivational / friendly messages and cute stickers. this makes it easy to pull a note out and stick it in her box. also, i stick my lunch notes in a snack size ziploc baggie so they don’t get dirty, wet, and reuse them throughout the year. isn’t the silicone muffin cup a useful thing?! love your blog – check it daily for new posts!! : )

    • Susan says:

      As I was writing this post I was struck by the idea of writing a bunch of notes all at one time to make things easier, but it’s still on my to-do list. I love your suggestion for reusing them! Thanks!

  3. Lisa T says:

    I have the bento box from Pottery Barn Kids for both of my girls. I love the 5 sections that tempt me to think of new things to fill them up without having to worry about the girls not getting all the pieces back into the lunch box. The biggest downside is finding a lunch box that fits them if you don’t want to buy the pottery barn one which doesn’t wear very well. On of my favorite lunch items lately is pinwheels, I put everything from chicken, to lunch meat, to veggies in a tortilla, wrap it up and cut it into slices.

    • Susan says:

      Pinwheels are perfect for lunch – great suggestion. Bento boxes are so fun to use – I have one that I use for Sophie from time to time to switch things up. Keeping lunch interesting is our biggest challenge around here.

  4. Katie C says:

    Are the silicone cups the regular size?

  5. It’s official – I have got to pick up some of those silicone baking cups. The idea of using the snack size containers is a great one, too. I’ve just started packing lunches (as of last week) and have been hunting for options besides my boys’ staples – pb&j and mac&cheese. I think I will try those pizza bites! Ah, your post is full of inspiration for me! (ps – found you via DailyBuzz Moms today)

  6. Certainly an inexpensive way to go. Thanks for the suggestions.


  1. [...] Read more about our lunch container and see even more lunch ideas I’m using this year here:  Making Lunch Easier – my Favorite Containers. [...]