Time Out Chicago: Cool school lunchboxes

August 2, 2011 9:55:17 AM PDT
It's Back to School time once again and it's time to send your kids off to school in style. Time Out Chicago Kids' Editor-in-Chief Amy Carr went shopping and found some new products to make transporting lunch to school a lot easier. These products are available in all price points and can be found at Chicago area stores. They are all featured in the newest issue of Time Out Chicago Kids which is now on sale.

BrightBin lunchbox, $13 at Toys et Cetera (Andersonville, Evanston, Hyde Park and Lakeview, 800-546-0900), Green Genes in Andersonville, The Chopping Block in Lincoln Square, brightbin.com

The bi-level polypropylene BrightBin, developed by Evanston mom Stephanie Stiller, holds a sandwich or mac 'n' cheese on the top tier and three sides on the bottom.

One Less Soda Can by Storebound, $13, at amazon.com.

Made from PLA, a corn-based industrial compost, the double-walled, spill-proof "can" holds 10 oz. of your favorite hot or cold beverage. Dishwasher safe. And it's biodegradable to boot.

Black + Blum Lunch Pot, $26, at The Chicago Architecture Foundation, (224 S. Michigan Ave., 312-922-3432), Uncle Dan's (3551 N. Southport Ave, 773-348-5800). black-blum.com

These two containers stack on top of each other to form a post-modern lunch pail that keeps food hot or cold. The set comes with its own "spork." After dining, the smaller container fits inside the larger one to save space. Microwave and dishwasher safe.

Alex Bottle by Nice Reusables, $26 (20 oz. size) and $30 (32 oz.), at The Container Store (908 W. North Ave., 312-654-8450).

The stainless steel bottle untwists at the silicone ring, allowing you to fully clean the interior (making it the perfect carrier for smoothies and protein shakes) and to store one half inside of the other when done. If you have both sizes, the halves can be mixed and matched.

SnackTAXI reusable Sandwich-sack, $9, and Snack-sack, $7, at Green Genes (5111 N. Clark St., 773-944-9250). Greenheart, 1911 W. Division St.; Gethsemane Garden Center, 5739 N. Clark St., and snacktaxi.com]

Eliminate plastic bags from the lunch menu with these organic cotton sandwich and snack holders. They're backed with nylon, have Velcro closures and can be tossed into the washing machine.

OOTS! Lunchbox, $40 (comes with five containers) at landofnod.com.

Up to five BPA-free plastic containers stack inside the colorful plastic lunchbox to hold a multi-course feast, while the top is designed to cradle a water bottle. Dishwasher and microwave safe.

Sistema's Breakfast to Go, $7, at Macy's (111 N. State St., 312-781-1000).

For eating the first meal of the day on the run, fill the bottom compartment with cereal or yogurt, and put berries or nuts on the lift-out tray. It even comes with a clip-on spoon.

The Slimline Quaddie by Sistema, $10, at containerstore.com.

Two levels in the BPA-free plastic container keep your sandwich separate from fruit, chips and a small beverage bottle -- to make things even neater, each compartment has its own hinged lid.

Klipo Cutlery Set to Go by Sistema, $5, at The Container Store (908 W. North Ave., 312-654-8450).

Snap the spoon, fork, knife or chopstick head onto one of the two handles and say sayonara to disposable utensils.


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