August 5, 2015

REVIEW: PlanetBox Eco-Friendly, Stainless Steel, Waste-Free Lunch Box

You know you're a green mom when it literally makes you giddy with excitement when your child's PlanetBox arrives in the mail. I have tried many different lunch systems for Miss O., and PlanetBox is my absolute favorite for its totally streamlined design that makes it effortless for kids to use and for parents to pack. I'm no fan of lunch packing, but filling up the PlanetBox actually makes the task, dare I say, "fun?"

I know people throw around the words "easy" and "fun" a lot... but in the case of packing a PlanetBox lunch, truer words were never spoken... and Miss O has tried many lunch box systems, and PlanetBox is by far her favorite to use too. Read on for my review.

This review is of the PlanetBox Rover Complete, which comes 'complete' with the Rover lunch box, the Big and Little dipper containers for wet or messier foods (dips, yogurt, apple sauce, etc.), a Rover carry bag in your choice of the colors shown above, and a set of magnets that adhere to the outside top lid to personalize your lunch system. You can choose from an array of adorable magnet designs or now, you can even customize your PlanetBox by creating personalized magnets bearing photos you upload. Worth noting: the carry bag features an inner compartment for holding an ice pack to keep the lunch cool, and it also comes with a longer strap so kids can tote it on their shoulder if need be. The outside of the bag has compartments to hold a drink bottle (not included) and a snack.

The Rover Complete lunch box holds about 4 1/2 cups of food, which is the perfect amount for my 7 year-old, and I'd imagine for kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. There are several different sizes of PlanetBox lunch boxes to suit your family's needs. And they're not just for kids -- adults use and love PlanetBox lunch boxes too!

I am a HUGE fan of the fact that this lunch system is entirely comprised of stainless steel -- a major selling point for me. I have been hearing so many reports of BPA-free plastics still leaching toxic chemicals, that I just want to avoid plastics altogether. Additionally, the carry case is made from recycled polyester, which is another awesome eco attribute and a sign of PlanetBox's commitment to sustainable design.

So let's talk about why PlanetBox is my absolute fave. Described by the company as part Bento box, part TV dinner tray, it simply couldn't be easier to pack or for kids to enjoy using. Let me tell you a quick story. One day when Miss O was in kindergarten, she brought her lunch home still full of uneaten food. I was so worried! Why hadn't she eaten all day? She told me that one of the pre-packaged items I put in her lunch was too hard to open and she spent the ENTIRE meal with her hand raised waiting for a teacher on lunch duty to assist her. Then the bell rang and her package was not opened nor was any of the rest of her lunch eaten. This story haunts me, and I vowed never to put packaged foods in her school lunch again.

Which brings me to my next point. PlanetBox makes it practically mandatory to pack whole, fresh foods for your kids -- which, let's be frank, is what they should be eating over pre-packaged fare. Miss O's lunch system before PlanetBox enabled me to pack whole foods, but I did so by using several different BPA-fee plastic containers - up to 4 or 5, all with lids. So a large portion of her brief lunchtime is spent opening and closing containers! Miss O has had issues in the past (in preschool) with even getting some of her lunch boxes open at all! At times, I could barely manage to open one system we used previously. But with the PlanetBox, you simply lift the small latch to release the lid and all the food is at your fingertips.

The PlanetBox makes lunch look enticing as well, which is essential since people eat with their eyes first. Everything is displayed in its own separate compartment (and since both of my kids HATE when their food intermingles, this feature is not to be taken lightly)! The compartments also offer forced healthy portion control.

I love that I can pack the PlanetBox the night before, refrigerate it overnight, and then it's fresh and ready to go in its carry case and off to school in the morning.

Image via Organized Bites

If you're creative with your culinary endeavors, the sky is the limit with how you can pack your PlanetBox, as evidenced in the image above. People go crazy with the amazing ways they design food to fit in a PlanetBox, based on themes, holidays, favorite characters, and more.

PlanetBox is an investment that's well worth the price. The PlanetBox Rover Complete costs $59.95. If you wince at the cost, consider that this lunch box will be appropriate for your child for many, many years and beyond the school cafeteria, it can be toted on airplanes, to picnics, beach days, road trips... you name it! One of my friends has a son who has been using his PlanetBox for well over five years and it's still as good as new -- yet another perk of the stainless steel material its comprised of.

PlanetBox lunch boxes are also an awesome option for families with multiple kids, due to the fact that they are super simple to pack assembly line style. There's no fiddling with bags or containers. I'll definitely be getting Mr. A his own PlanetBox once he starts kindergarten.

So send your kiddo back to school this year with wholesome lunches packed in a PlanetBox! You'll be happy you did!

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