When you have a baby, a simple trip to the park involves a whole diaper bag filled with gear: Bottles, wipes, diapers, water, snacks, changing pad, and toys. But unless you yourself misplaces it, it’s likely to all come home with you at the end of the day. That all changes when you have a bigger kid who’s heading
back to school, going off into the world by themselves. Once they start school, it can be a real gamble whether the backpack, lunch box, sweatshirt, or expensive, insulated water bottle that you just splurged on actually comes back home with them. But these cute lunch boxes with water bottle holders can help your kid keep their gear together. And if you do have to go digging through the lost-and-found, at least their food and drink will all be in one place.
Getting kids excited for back-to-school can include more than just buying supplies: It might include reading them a
back-to-school poem and talking about their hopes and fears for the year. But it also includes getting the right gear, from a smell-proof backpack (more necessary than you might hope) and everything they need to have a good lunch that will power them through the day. One of these lunch boxes with a water bottle holder, and a good water bottle that fits into the pocket just-so can help them eat and drink enough to stay focused. Whether they’re into dinosaurs or sharks, unicorns or mermaids, there’s a product that is perfect for your school-aged kid to make sure they don’t lose their lunch (literally), or their water bottle. 1 A classic, monogramed lunch box
This lunch box has it all: Plenty of space for bags or a bento box, both a shoulder strap and a handle, and a large mesh pocket that can hold even a hefty water bottle. The sides are reinforced to prevent your kid’s PB&J from getting all squished. If you go all-in on this product line, straps at the back of the pack allow it to piggyback onto Pottery Barn’s rolling backpacks, but it also carries fine on its own. For an extra $15, you can get it personalized in white letters that really pop against the navy-blue print. If your kid loves this print, you can get a thermos, water bottle, and backpack with the same pattern and make them the most coordinated kid on the block.
2 A snappy-looking lunch box for the reptile lover
Crate and Kids new line of back-to-school essentials, this insulated lunch box with a water bottle holder has a mesmerizing design of swirling snakes. In addition to looking cool, it has sections inside that allow you to pack an ice pack for cold food without cooling down food that’s meant to stay hot. At 8.25 inches wide and 4 inches deep, it’s large enough to hold plenty of sustenance without being so bulky that it won’t fit into a backpack. There’s no shoulder carry strap on this one, but it has a reinforced handle on the top for easy carrying. Personalization costs an extra $12 and comes stitched in a pleasing shade of seafoam green. 3 A colorful unicorn lunch box that will keep water icy cold
This lunch box is perfect for a kid who likes her water extra, extra cold, since the water bottle pocket is made out of insulated material rather than the standard mesh. If you opt for an insulated water bottle inside this insulated pocket, there might still be ice cubes in her bottle at the end of the school day. The pocket is large enough to hold a 23 ounce water bottle, so your kid is sure to stay well-hydrated all day long in even the hottest weather. Zippered pockets make it easy to keep things separate for kids who like their food kept in clear categories. It’s easy to carry by either the small strap on top or to wear cross-body.
4 A big-kid lunch box that holds two water bottles
This is the perfect choice for a bigger kid or a kid going through a growth spurt who
needs to eat a lot. It has not one, but two water bottle holders on the side, each of which hold a 16 ounce water bottle. Tightly-zipped compartments can keep hot and cold food separate, and each at the right temperature. It’s the perfect choice for a kid who has outgrown having cartoon characters on his or her gear, because it comes in various colors and designs, none of which would look out of place when carried by an adult to office. In fact, you might have to grab one for yourself. 5 A lightweight lunch box for shark fans
This smaller lunch box is perfect for fitting into a backpack and is lightweight to carry for a kid who is always on the go. It fits a 10-ounce water bottle in its side mesh pocket, and the front zipper pocket fits napkins and utensils, or a nice note letting your kid know how special they are. Itsalso one of the most low-cost options out there — for the parent who realizes that, realistically, they’re not going to get away with buying only one lunch box this school year. And the wide open shark mouth just might inspire your kid to eat up everything you serve them.
6 A friendly dino lunch box in super-bright colors
A budding paleontologist will be sure to tell you point out the pterodactyl, allosaur, and triceratops on this lunch box, where even the scariest dinos are looking quite friendly. The black background and bright colors make them really pop. At about eight inches across and a foot tall, this lunch box is on the tall and skinny side. The side pocket lies flat and doesn’t take up any space when it’s not being used, so you can decide whether you want to include the water bottle or pack it separately. It also fits a bento box that’s sold separately. The neon green zippers and pocket lining give it some extra flair.
7 A sweet penguin lunch box you can wear on your back
In the younger grades, kids probably aren’t hauling textbooks around, and their backpack is basically just used to carry their lunch. This little penguin (complete with sweet wings) is just an insulated lunch box that kids can wear on their back. The water bottle pocket is also insulated, so hot drinks will stay hot and cold drinks will stay cold. It has padded, adjustable straps, and a place for your little one to write their name on the bottom (which hopefully will make it more likely to come home again).
8 A sturdy lunch box for Frozen fans
Many of today’s lunch boxes are soft, which can be a bummer for kids who want their chips or cookies to stay whole and not crumble. This one is made out of plastic, and the water bottle clips right in so that it doesn’t have a chance of rolling out. It’s the smallest of the products on this list, so it’s probably best for the youngest school-aged kids. But for a child who
can’t get enough Elsa and Anna, it would be a great companion for first journeys into the unknown. 9 An extra-durable lunch box for a planet-loving kid
PlanetBox is best known for their stainless steel lunch boxes, but they also makes these soft lunch bags that come in a whole host of patterns: unicorns, fruits, and, perhaps appropriately given the name of the company, multiple different space themes both the rocket one pictured here and another one with astronauts. The water bottle holder is flexible enough that it expands to hold almost any size of water bottle up to 24 ounces. Though the price point is a little higher than most, PlanetBox is a brand well-known for durability.
10 A unique lunch box that puts it all on display
The clear pocket in the front makes this lunch box perfect for all kinds of things: You could put a family picture for a homesick kid, a special toy, or just some supplies for the kid who might need a visual reminder to use a fork or napkin. The mesh pocket on the side for the water bottle has an adjustable loop, so you can cinch it in tight enough that the bottle will stay in no matter what happens. At nearly 10 inches across and 8 inches tall, it’s likely going to fit everything you need.
11 A pretty lunch box to bring out your inner mermaid
This lunch box is almost too pretty to eat out of — the shimmering scales will have you remembering the classic book,
The Rainbow Fish, or reminiscing about the first time you saw The Little Mermaid. The side mesh pocket is a little on the small side, but could still fit a juice box or a small water bottle. At 12 inches across and almost ten inches tall, it’s a medium size lunchbox that can either be carried on its own or easily slipped into a backpack. The slim front pocket is perfect for a set of napkins or utensils, or maybe an extra cookie if your kid is super lucky.
Though going into a new school year is never easy, any of these fun, cute lunch boxes with water bottle holders will help your kid get a little more excited about the transition.