Wednesday, November 20, 2013

School lunches - Planetbox Review.

Last week an exciting online purchase arrived at the front door. It was my long awaited Planetbox lunchbox. Well, Ben's lunchbox actually. These things are expensive and because you can't purchase them in Australia I also had to spring for a substantial shipping cost as well. It was with a lot of thought that I finally hit the 'confirm' button at the checkout!

Was it worth it? I can honestly say that it was. We bought the Rover complete set which came with an insulated lunch bag, magnets for the top, two dipper containers and the stainless steel bento style lunchbox. I also bought the cold sleeve which you can freeze and pop into a pocket inside the lunch bag to keep things cool. The lunch bag also has a spot for utensils and two pockets on the outside - one for a drink bottle and one for the big dipper container. Ben chose a black bag with space magnets but there are lots of options, and thankfully the accessories aren't too expensive on their own so you can change them as your child gets older.

The insulation and the cold sleeve were two reasons I really liked the idea of this lunchbox. Because it's metal it cools down really quickly and stays cold. That's important because we live in a hot climate and without sandwiches to fall back on I am often packing meat or rice for Ben's lunch. I've never been comfortable sending meat to school to sit there for hours so this gives me peace of mind and opens up some new lunch ideas that I would have considered unsafe before.

We've used the lunchbox for a full school week and it's been brilliant. I've packed fruit and we haven't had any leaks. Ben can easily open and shut the latch on his own and he's had no trouble opening the dipper containers. I love that the box stays in the lunch bag so that it won't get scratched and knocked about like his other plastic lunch boxes (we have been through 3 plastic ones this year already).

I have loved not searching for containers and lids in the morning. Even better is not having to tackle the complicated jigsaw puzzle of fit-the-containers-in-the-box. Ben is eating more lunch than he ever has because he can see it all in front of him and doesn't have to bother with little screw top containers. My biggest issue with him and his lunches has been that he can't be bothered opening anything to see what's inside, so he often won't eat for the whole day. He doesn't have a huge appetite so I guess the incentive wasn't there.

I never would have thought that a lunch box could be a game changer, but it really has made my mornings better. Making school lunches used to be one of my most hated chores but I really am enjoying them now. So much so that I bought another set for my daughter and a larger 'Launch' set for my husband.

Here are some photos of 4 of this week's allergy friendly lunches in the new box.

(GF, vegan apple sauce and carrot muffin, GF vegan choc chip cookie, walnuts, avocado and cucumber sushi, kiwifruit)

(apple sauce and carrot muffin from freezer, brown rice crackers and roasted broad beans, GF pizza bread with home made hummus, strawberries and GF marshmallow treat)

(white corn tortillas toasted and cut up with home made hummus, roasted broad beans and rice crackers, thai coconut sticky rice pudding with peaches, kiwifruit)

(GF, vegan chocolate cake, chickpea chips, GF vegan bread roll with avocado and salmon, strawberries)

Recipes for the baked items will follow in the next couple of days. The bread roll is a brand called Zehnder that I discovered by accident in the freezer section of our local IGA. They make a great, fluffy bread roll which we use for hamburgers or the occasional lunch roll like the one above.

So the low down?

The rover set cost us USD 59.95 plus shipping. All up it came to almost $100 Australian.

It's easy to wash, strong, and can fit enough food for my kids (6 and 9). There is a larger version for older (or hungrier) kids and adults.

The only downside for me is the price, particularly the shipping costs. There is no shipping discount for buying more than one item and when my next parcel arrives I will be checking carefully to see if I have been overcharged. I do think that the lunch box will pay for itself after a while because I won't be buying wrap or any more containers / snack tubes / lunch boxes (hooray!).

For more info see: Planetbox


  1. YUM! So happy you stumbled across this solution. Such a great idea and it's awesome that it is making Ben more interested in eating.

  2. There's a shop in Brisbane that sells them, free shipping if you buy two, as well!