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great product but little pots far too hard for little ones to get off - ours have got stuck and lids wont come off! should be screw top or much easier to remove! but otherwise good product as cool packaging and design make it very cool for older children i.e. 7 upwards - great shame about the design of pots being too hard for kids of this age to budge
My daughters both take packed lunches to school every day and over the last couple of years we have tried out a variety of lunch boxes with various different cartoon characters and so on. They've generally been made out of fabric with insulated linings that only have wipe clean surfaces. Consequently and mainly because my daughters have to bring all their rubbish home the insides become very dirty, difficult to clean and ultimately get a very bad odour. At that point there is only one thing to do with them and that is to throw them away and start all over again!
This gets pretty frustrating and also very expensive so I had a good search on Amazon to see if I could find something that would perform better and that is when I discovered the Food for Thought lunchbox with its own cooler bag. It looked pretty good and I was intrigued to see that it had been featured on the BBC programme Dragons' Den. It struck me that this product might be the one that would solve all our lunchbox problems.
The box is made out of clear recyclable plastic and has a hinged lid with a clasp that is reasonably easy to manipulate. It is an interesting shape that helps to fit fruit such as apples or bananas snugly without risk of bruising them. It also comes with two different coloured pots which are ideal for things like raisins, dried fruit and is even the right size for a small yoghurt pot. All together the lunchbox contains about five or six items quite easily including a drinks carton. Another very useful feature is that it has a thermospot on the back that shows you whether the contents are still cool enough to eat.
The plastic box does not have a handle which is not ideal but we bought ours with bright attractive cooler bags which are made out of stretchy material that means that the lunchbox fits snugly inside. This has a carrying handle and also an attractive design with space to write a name on. It also helps keep the lunch contents nice and cool.
There were two important tests though. Firstly would the girls like them as much as they have liked their previous lunchboxes - after all these do not come with cartoon or film characters? The answer is that they absolutely love them and think that they are very cool! They were at a sports camp all last week where they had to take packed lunches and they were very proud to be taking these in. We did just get them to practice opening the lunchboxes (no problem), the little pots (a little trickier) and removing the box from the cooler bag and putting it back in. This was initially a little difficult but they have quickly mastered how to do this!
The other test was the cleaning test of course. It's great because you can just wash this in normal washing up liquid in a bowl which does the job perfectly. If you really feel it needs a better wash though it is also dishwasher safe. This would be worth washing in this way on a regular basis as it will give it a deeper clean which will make it much more hygienic which is extremely important as far as the food is concerned. The thermal cooler bag can also be washed in a washing machine (but at a low temperature) if necessary. Therefore all components definitely pass the cleaning test!
The only negative thing that I can mention about this product is that it is more expensive than your typical lunchbox. The lunchbox on its own costs £9.49 on Amazon (August 2010) but with the cooler bag it comes in at £17.49. This is much more than I would expect to pay for my children's lunchboxes but I think it will be worth it in the long run as I hope that they will last much longer than the ones we had previously.
I don't remember seeing this lunchbox on Dragons' Den so I don't know how the dragons rated it. I am very happy with it though. It keeps food fresh and not squashed, makes it easier to take fruit and can be cleaned very easily. Oh, and my girls recommend it too!