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How to Choose a Healthy Lunch Box

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Make sure your child's lunch box protects your healthy lunch creations with toxic-free, durable waste-free packaging.

lunchbox child

If you want to make sure that the healthy lunch that you pack for your child stays healthy and nutritious, you can avoid common contaminants and costly throw-aways by choosing the right lunch box solutions. Sign up for our Healthy Kids Network, and we'll send you healthy lunch recipes and other resources.

Metal or cloth is better than plastic
Many plastic lunch boxes are made of PVC (plastic #3), which can contain contaminants such as lead, or leach chemicals like phthalates. If plastic is your best option, look for lunch boxes that are phthalate and BPA-free.

Wrap without plastic wrap or plastic baggies
Some plastic wrap and baggies are made with toxic chemical phthalates. Re-useable containers are a better choice; or you can choose butcher paper or napkins to wrap a sandwich.

Pack it yourself
Packaging for greasy foods like microwave popcorn and french fries may be treated with PFCs, a non-stick coating linked to health disorders. Canned food and soda may also leach the chemical BPA. Choosing fresh or bulk food to package yourself is a healthier alternative.

Healthy food tips
Give your children all the nutrition they need and none of the sugar and additives they don't need. See our nutrition tips for more information.

Where to find toxic-free lunch boxes:

The Soft Landing

Soft Landing

Many brands of lunch kits, dishware and other products that are free from BPA, phthalates and PVC.


Ecolunch boxes

  • Cotton lunch bag, bamboo spork, stainless steel food containers, cloth napkins. Plastic, BPA, and Phthalates free
  • Add-on Options: Metal-lunch box, bamboo utensils
  • Average kit price: $45
  • Available online and at REI



  • Cotton lunch bag, cloth napkin, stainless steel canteen and food containers, recycled-plastic utensils
  • Contains plastic; BPA, and Phthalates free
  • Add-on Options: Food containers, canteen, food cozy, thermos, steel Tiffin, cotton napkin, water bottle lid, food container lids, natural cleaning products, ice pack
  • Average kit price: $42
  • Available Online and at Bambini (Eugene, OR)
  • Stainless steel food containers and lids
  • Plastic, BPA, and Phthalates free
  • Average Price: $14.99
  • Available in stores across Oregon



  • Plastic lunchbox, cloth bag, cloth napkin, plastic bottles, steel bottles, hemp lunch bag
  • Contains plastic; BPA and Phthalates free
  • Choose from Bento Bags, Laptop Lunch System (plastic lunchbox, plastic water bottle, plastic food containers, utensils), Lunch Date (Bento bag and box, Bento sleeve, ice pack, plastic water bottle, lunch jar)
  • Average Price: $37.99
  • Available online, Mirador (Portland, OR), Whole Foods and New Seasons Market (check local stores for availability)

Lunchsense (an Oregon-based company)

  • Plastic lunchbox, plastic bottles, plastic food containers, ice pack, lunch box carrier
  • Contains plastic; BPA and Phthalates free
  • All lunch boxes contain plastic food containers, ice pack, plastic water bottle, and a carrier strap
  • Add-on Options: Food containers, lunchbox without containers
  • Average Price: $39.99
  • Available online or at Mirador (Portland, OR), and Market of Choice (Portland and Eugene, OR)
  • Organic cotton bags made in the USA
  • Plastic, BPA, and Phthalates free
  • Average Price: $24.95









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