OmieBox is the best lunch box for kids ever
Your child, like mine, is probably a child of what I will generously call limited palate preferences. You know that in order to get them to eat, you have to offer them a wide range of reliable favorites, with the hope that on any given day one of these cute options will appeal to them, and they will actually choose to eat and refuel the second half of the day. For months, I eyed other people’s snack boxes, scoured the internet, and finally came to see – with clarity – that the OmieBox Lunch Box was the perfect elementary school lunch box for my 5-year-old. It’s easy to open, uniquely versatile, and fits seamlessly into a backpack. It is BPA and phthalate free. Comes in cute and cheerful colors. Best of all, my stubborn child, who often forgets to eat, actually uses it and eats (most of) what’s in it. He simply wins, over and over again.
- price: $45
- Sizes: Only one size, 8.5″ x 7.5″ x 3″.
- Colors: Purple Plum (purple with teal accents), Meadow (shades of green), Sunshine (yellow with blue accents), Pink Berry (pink with blue accents), and Blue Sky (blue with orange accents)
- in order to: Technically, the OmieBox is intended for children, but adults can happily use it too.
- When to use: Lunchtime, snack time, or for a hearty breakfast on the go.
What’s included in OmiBox?
The thing that makes the OmieBox so much better than other lunch boxes, bento-style lunch boxes, and insulated containers for kids I’ve tried is the organized versatility of the design. It appears to have been designed by a mom for her “picky baby” and I can see that in every thoughtful, adaptable detail. This box can be reconfigured in many ways, so it grows with your child and meets their ever-changing needs. It comes with:
- Main large container
- 8.5 oz stainless steel insulated thermos
- A small divider that you can use (if you like) to further divide the sections in the box. Small details, but very clever. I use it all the time.
The OmieLife store sells lots of extras, like a spoon and fork set that slides into the pod to keep it clean, then twists onto the OmieBox handle. Or a small beverage bottle that fits nicely inside the box. OmieLife also sells replacement parts, so if any part of your child’s lunch box is lost or broken, you won’t have to replace it entirely.
Your kids’ meals might look as pretty as these. Or, if you’re like me, lunch might look more like store-bought bags, granola bars, and Starburst. And that’s nice too.
Maintenance: How to clean OmieBox
Yes, you should hand wash the OmiBox. Do not put this item in the dishwasher. However, I would much rather wash the OmieBox than clean my old bento-style lunch box, which always seemed damp in places that took a long time to dry, like the bottom of the little compartment that had all the compartments in it. The OmieBox gets soapy and rinsing quick, sits easily upside down and I swear it dries very quickly. Maybe it’s the design, maybe the material, or maybe both. It doesn’t really have any obnoxious nooks and crannies, and even the gasket comes off and back on super easily. Additionally, I often choose to hand-wash items that kids use frequently or need at specific times because it’s very difficult to run the dishwasher and not be able to reach for a lunch box or thermos at a crucial moment (like, say, three minutes before… You need to get out the door.)
Feeling: Can young children open this lunch box?
It is easy for kids to manage this lunch box on their own, which is very basic and not unusual for every kids lunch box. Our child went to a co-op preschool, which meant I was helping out in the classroom a lot and — it turns out — spending a fair amount of time helping people with small hands try to work with difficult fasteners and metal bento boxes containing a large number of tiny tabs. The OmieBox has a large tab on the front that is easy to open, even for kids who are still mastering fine motor skills. Plus, it’s just one – even if there’s a little struggle, they only have to open it once and they’ve opened their entire lunch.
The thermos requires a little practice, so so far I’ve only used it for keeping things like strawberries nice and cool and not for dangerous foods like soup or yogurt. My child is 5 and usually doesn’t finish every last bite, so I’m mainly concerned that he might not close the thermos tightly after eating. I would imagine that by age 6 or so, he would be ready for it, or a 5 year old with a greater food drive could master the thermos with a few practice sessions at home. The easy-grip handle on this thermos lid is sure to be designed with little hands in mind.
The OmieBox is very easy for young children to use on their own, which is a big plus.
Backpack test: Is the OmiBox leak-proof?
So far, it seems to be completely leakproof. The little gasket lining the seal is removable – which is great for really cleaning the box – so I suppose if your child doesn’t finish all of their lunch, and then decides to mess with the gasket at lunchtime, it’s possible they could experience some leaks. But this will be more important to your child than the OmieBox, which frankly does its best not to leak.
How long does the OmiBox stay warm? How do you keep food warm in an Omie lunch box?
The (very cool) thermos that comes with the OmieBox is supposed to keep food warm for up to six hours. However, it really depends on what you are packing and how you prepare the food before filling the thermal packs. OmieLife suggests a few tricks to ensure whatever you pack for your baby stays warm:
- Heating the thermos: Pour hot water into an empty, clean thermos and leave it for a few minutes to warm the thermos. Pour out the water, drain if necessary, then add your hot food.
- Make sure the food is nice and warm before adding it to the thermos. Heat your food as much as you can.
- Make sure the seal is good and tight: Double check to make sure the silicone O-ring gasket is securely seated on the thermos lid.
- If you really want to make sure they get a hot meal, choose “water foods” like soup or pasta with sauce.
The OmieBox gasket keeps things airtight.
Pros and Cons
- With moveable (and removable) dividers, this lunch box is extremely versatile.
- It’s easy to open. The large tab is a gentle lift for little fingers who are still mastering those fine motor skills.
- You can send cold food—carrots or crunchy, crunchy grapes—in the same box as the hot soup container.
- You can buy replacement parts for your OmieBox instead of having to replace everything, or go without the only splitter you really need.
- The thermos is a bit difficult for very small hands.
- You have to wash the OmieBox by hand, which is a little annoying.
- It is more expensive than some other lunch boxes.
Finding the best lunch box for your child can be a comedy of errors – no one wants to find out that their lunch box is leaking the hard way. It gets even more complicated when your child needs a lot of choices in lunch every day. The OmieBox fits everything I need for my preschooler, keeps him warm or cold as needed, and most importantly, keeps all of his contents securely inside before and after lunchtime. Bright, colorful, versatile and kid-friendly, the OmieBox is a smartly designed kids lunch box with serious staying power.
This is easily the best kids lunch box our family has tried.
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