Molly and I like to get out and explore. We visit the zoo, we go to the park, we have play dates at friend's houses. A lot of times these adventures mean that we are away from the house for lunch. I like to pack food for us as I don't like to spend a lot of money eating out everyday and to be honest, the items on most kid's menus are not to my liking. I mean how many chicken fingers, mac-n-cheese and fries lunches should one kid have in a week. I also like that I have food ready to go when Molly is hungry. There is no looking for a place to eat or waiting for food to be ready. We can be munching on lunch within minutes.
Of course, packing a toddler's lunch means that I have a honed a small collection of containers that I think are perfect for packing and eating lunch on the go.
I pack a lot of snacks in our Innobaby Smart Storage System. It's got a little handle which makes carrying super easy. Each of the tiers comes apart and can be used separately or together. The great thing about this item is that I was able to use it when Molly was still on formula but now I use it for snacks. I pack cheerios, grapes, cheese, blueberries, etc in it.
Molly likes to take her milk on the road so we put that in our Thermos Foogo Leak-proof straw cup. It keeps her milk nice and cold. It also doesn't leak as much as other cups we've used.
I also love the green sprouts sproutware snack cups for bigger food items. They hold about 4 oz of food and are perfect for pasta, peas, beans and other treats. We used these a lot when Molly first started on purees. I would put the frozen cube of food into them the night before and then she would eat the defrosted cube for meals the next day. Now we use them for leftovers and lunches.
For snacks on the go, we rely on our Munchkin Snack Catcher which is awesome for cut-up fruit, crackers, dried fruit and cheerios.
I usually put all of the lunch food into my old Medela pump cooler with a reusable ice pack. It's the perfect size for a toddler lunch and even leaves some room for my food. There are some super cute lunch bags out there though and when Molly heads off to preschool, I'll be packing her lunch in those.