When your tot starts daycare it’s time to buy a lunch box for them, but it can be hard to know what to go for – a box, or a lunch bag, or a thermos? Or maybe all three?

With so many different food containers on the market it can be hard to make the best choice for your child – and there’s no question you’ll go through quite a few of them between toddlerhood to the early teen years.

Here are some important things to consider when choosing the perfect lunch box for your child.

Toddler-friendly: One of the first things to think about is how easy it is for your child to open. For little kids, look for zips with sturdy tags, and containers that seal well but are easy to open and close. Avoid latches that might catch small fingers.

BPA free: BPA has been proved to alter hormones and therefore is no longer used in children’s drink bottles and food containers, however, it’s important to check that the lunch box says BPA free.

Easy to clean: Embellishments might be cute but they can be hard to keep clean, the same for hinges. For lunch boxes, choose lids that can be popped on and off, where possible, as they are much easier to keep clean (but easier to lose, too…).

Dishwasher safe: Because you are busy enough!

Machine washable: As above – it’s great to be able to throw lunch bags in the washing machine for a good, hygienic clean.

Size: There are several factors to weigh up. Do you need to put both morning tea/fruit break and lunch in one container? Will it fit into your child’s bag? Can they manage a lunch bag as well as as day/school bag?

Sections: If you child enjoys a simple lunch of a sandwich, fruit and a yoghurt, you don’t need multiple sections, however bento-style boxes provide lots of sections for numerous portions of your little one’s favourite foods.

Brought to you by Kitchen Warehouse.