Wednesday, January 12, 2011

EasyLunchBoxes

Right before X'mas last December, the very vibrant owner of EasyLunchBoxes, Kelly Lester contacted me to do a review of her lunch boxes and cooler bags. When I took a look into the company's website, I immediately thought that the colorful lids of the 4 in 1 value package were very tempting and imagined a whole bunch of different themed lunches that I can pack with them. I am very open to ideas and despite the fact that the containers themselves looked plain and nothing out of the ordinary with the storewide offerings of plastic containers, I believe that every food container deserves a try and what really matters is what I pack in them and the ease and functionality of the container itself. And the bags came in lovely chic colors too, not mentioning their generous sizes!


The Containers & 4 Colorful Lids


Easy Lunch Boxes

One set comprised of 4 containers and 4 different colored lids. When I first took them out from the delivery box, I was surprised on the quality of the plastic boxes. They felt sturdy but not heavy, light but not flimsy, wide and readily compartmentalized. For any plastic boxes, the quality I look for is the grade BPA free and made of polypropylene plastic #5. Without these features, I will simply drop and walk away even how cute or beautiful it may be. No matter how healthy your packed lunches are, if the quality of the containers are in doubt, there is really no point in packing at all. So these containers passed my first requirement and I am impressed of EasyLunchBoxes able to show and prove their Product Safety details.

I tried to bend the containers gently and drop them on the countertop with my packed lunches in them. They didn't warp nor dent easily, which are usually the disadvantage of the store available containers after a few uses. Perhaps after a continuous period of usage the color of the plastic container itself may fade but I wash my containers with hands and so far there are no leftover foodstains nor difficulty in cleaning the separate compartments. With the 3 different sized built in compartments, I find it very easy to visualize my lunch or meal before actually packing the food inside it and this saved me alot of time of trying to slot in extra smaller containers into my Bento just to separate different types and textured food. The idea of healthy eating is to slot in the main components of nutritions to make the meal itself complete. With these containers, I was able to plan and pack separate combinations of carbs, protein, vegetables and fruits, all tucked into their individual space. The only thing is the contour and design on the inside compartments is not very straight and uniform as to form a perfect rectangular or square shape, hence I find it a bit difficult to arrange my lunches neatly as there are small gaps here and there. But perhaps it is just me who always want things neat and tucked in!

In terms of the size of the containers, I find it a bit too big for my 1st Grader and Pre-Kindergarten kids, unless I use one for Both kids OR pack both their snacks and lunch into One container. I would think it is the perfect size for older kids about 9 and above when they need more energy during their busy schedules of school, sports practice and extra curriculurs. And definitely a man's appetite can be fed through lunch packed in these boxes as I myself who is currently watching my calories intake find these containers quite spacious for me to pack alot of fruits and vegetables that come in different shapes and sizes. And if you have a bigger appetite person in your household, just pack and fill up another container and carry them in the EasyLunch Box cooler bag. I tried all my other cooler bags and it seems the containers only fit into their spacious cooler bags, which can actually contain 2 of their containers with a flat ice pack  And of course, the simple design of the containers without frills or squiggles of cutesy animated characters like those you find in most Japanese styled lunch boxes makes these boxes suitable for all ages, gender or tastes.

For the lids, I really like the colors they come in, which were not shocking to the senses and pleasing to the eyes. I packed large sushi rice balls in the container and the lid did not squish them flat. They close easily with one palm press down and can be lifted open from all 4 corners without any sharp edges besides the one corner tab. Although the lids don't close very tight and not leak proofed, EasyLunchBoxes was frank and honest about this in their marketing labels. The fact is the lids fit snuggly but doesn't simply fall away from the container itself when being shifted or moved. Well, to tell the truth, who would ever play with their lunches and shake or turn their lunchboxes upside down except for curious babies and displeased kids? This little disadvantage can be saved in a few extra ways, like using an elastic band around it, containing watery and liquid sauces in extra smaller containers that fits into the lunchboxes itself and packing them in a steady cooler bag.

And lastly, speaking for myself and all the busy moms out there, we always strive for more space in our kitchen! Being a Bento enthusiast, sometimes I am overwhelmed on how many containers I accumulated and I just hope that they don't fall on my face everytime I open the cabinet shelf that contains all of them. For these containers together with the lids, they are all stackable and easy to stack them sideways or upright. The only thing you have to do everytime you pack with these containers is just choose the lid color to suit your mood of the day and all is done. No searching for displaced lids, no mismatched sizes as all containers are of the same size and 1 lid fits all!

My Easy Lunch Boxes





All in all, these containers are good value for starter enthusiasts who want to try Lunch Packing the green way with less plastics and brown bags and keen on eating healthy with the right proportions and a combination of the nutritions recommended. The ready compartments built in the container itself divide different types of food which may be of different texture and flavors that needs to keep till lunch time. It has sufficient space for anything from a sandwich to burger sliders, a proper meal of pasta and meat together with fruits and also a regular sized muffin. Other than being a bit oversized for my young kids and the non tight sealed lids, I see myself using these containers to pack my own lunches and also finger food for picnics or snacks for a playdate.

The Cooler Bag

Red Cooler BagsBlack Cooler Bags

My personal favorite is the Red one and they come in 5 different colors. One thing I like about these bags are that they are generous in size and I can fit one EasyLunchBox container in them, 1 large bottle of water, extra yogurt cup and an apple and my cutlery together with an ice pack. And I tried with cans of soda and they fitted 9 nicely! I swung the bag with my lunchbox inside and it was still intact. The other thing I like about these bags is that I am able to put my containers inside it flat down rather than standing upright, which most of the lunchbags in the market are designed to be. Keeping your lunchboxes flat ensures the contents don't scatter all over the place during transportation and that ensures a happy Luncher rather than a messy container that can hamper appetite! 

I would love an adjustable strap to the bag though since now it is designed only for carrying with your hand. Being a busy mom who carries alot of things all the time and not mentioning to hold onto my kids hands in busy surroundings, an adjustable strap will enable me to sling the cooler bag over my shoulder or sling it backside like a small messenger bag. 

I received these products for review and not compensated in any other ways.To find out more about these containers and cooler bags, click EasyLunchBoxes .
EasyLunchboxes.com - Bento Lunch Boxes - Best Lunch Containers, Cooler Bags for Kids, Adults

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