EasyLunchbox Containers Can be Leak Free!

by on March 25, 2010 · 47 comments                       

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September 2012 UPDATE!

I’m now selling small, leak-resistant dip and sauce containers!
Here are my ► MINI DIPPERS.

Original post:

Because my EasyLunchbox containers were designed to be easy-open, not leak-proof, I haven’t recommended including really runny foods (like yogurt or juicy fruits) for use in the container. Until now.

How to make your EasyLunchboxes leak freeI hate paying for extra packaging. But since I’ve resolved to eliminate high fructose corn syrup from our home, I started having to spend a lot more money on individually packaged containers of healthy yogurt. The kind with real sugar and not all the other junk. (I know… sugar’s on the list of things to go next). Anyway, the good stuff doesn’t go on sale nearly as often as the crappy stuff (what’s up with that?), so spending almost a dollar on each container was really adding up. The 32 oz. containers however, are more reasonably priced.

Good news!

I’ve just figured out how to portion out the yogurt directly into our EasyLunchbox containers and not have it leak! Please note: the below tips are not applicable if you carry the container sideways in a cooler bag other than the EasyLunchbox cooler. For carrying upright only. (More about other size coolers HERE.)

Ok, so here’s my little ‘stop the leaks’ trick:

Cut a square of thin wax paper or plastic wrap to cover the compartment you want to put the runny food in. Then put the lid on (firmly), and the cut square you added will act as a leak barrier!

“I recently purchased a set from you and I love them…..I found the Glad Press ‘n Seal Wrap is perfect!!!!!!!!!!!  You can cut a piece from the roll to fit any of the three compartment sizes and press down around the top of the compartment you put the yogurt or whatever in and it becomes totally leak-proof!!!!!  It is great!! So run out and buy some to try with your containers and you’ll see what I mean. “ -Julianna J.

To make things even easier, I was shopping at my local Smart & Final warehouse and restaurant supply store and I came across pre-cut (dry)wax paper sheets.  Like 1,000 in a box for something ridiculous like $6. These would last me a year! You can find them online HERE as well.

Patty Pac wax paper sheets

Now I don’t even need a scissors. Wahoo!  I can spend my time making yummy lunches and even recreating my daughter Julia’s favorite yogurt treat. The kind that has little candies or something in it.  I bought a bag of marshmallows (not all junk food is banned – I’m never going to be that obsessed) and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and it’s lasted me almost two weeks. Can you hear the $$avings? Ka-ching.

Easylunchboxes are THE BOMB, especially for my DD, everything fit perfectly in there and I was actually able to give her vanilla yogurt I buy in bulk rather than the individual packaged YoKids. I opened one of those Yokids for her once, got some on my finger and it was so sweet! Your lunchbox enables me to pour the yogurt, sans flavored sweeteners and packaging, and provide a spoon tucked into a bandana napkin, with the ice pack on top, et voila! – Cecily, Los Angeles, CA

A picture tutorial is below to show you how to make most runny foods safe to pack in an EasyLunchbox container. (But please carry upright in my cooler bag or similar, not sideways.) A whole world of possibilities just opened up :)

This meal was a hit. Affordable Yogurt Sundae!:

Put the wax paper (wax side down) or plastic wrap over the section with the runny food:

Wax Paper goes over compartment

Be sure to press down firmly on the lid to ensure a secure closure.

Close the container firmly

Enjoy a leak-free lunch!

(And spend the money you save on something important.) Disclaimer: Don’t try this with soup or other foods that are mostly liquid. And remember, EasyLunchbox containers are recommended for use with my cooler bag, carried upright, not sideways. More about other size coolers HERE.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison Moore Smith March 25, 2010 at 9:47 am

That is a genius solution.

We just got our boxes/coolers yesterday and the kids are so excited to use them. My six-year-old has been carrying his around since they arrived. I’ve promised them all a picnic on Monday (it’s supposed to be above 60 for the first time this spring).
.-= Alison Moore Smith´s last blog ..Big Top Cupcake =-.

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2 Kelly Lester March 25, 2010 at 9:59 am

Thanks so much Alison! Enjoy the lovely weather and your lunches as well :)

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3 Katie Cox April 18, 2010 at 6:24 am

Thanks so much for creating this convenient and bpa free(yay!) product. I’m a mom and a personal trainer and am ordering these for my clients. They take the hassle out of healthy meal planning!

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4 Kelly Lester April 18, 2010 at 8:53 am

Hi Katie! Thanks for your support :) Yes!
Good portion control is easier with only so much room for food in the container. If you ever want to order in bulk, our wholesale minimums are pretty low.
http://www.easylunchboxes.com/neat_ideas/make_money/wholesale.htm
Contact me for more info if you’re interested.

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5 sue May 31, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I used my lunch boxes last week for work and I love them, I work in the outdoors all-day and use a backpack. I found that the lunch boxes kept my food secure and my lunch looked attractive and delicious at lunch time. They hold just the right amount of food. Thanks for the tip for leak proofing.

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6 Kelly Lester June 1, 2010 at 6:57 am

Thanks Sue! So glad you are enjoying them :) Appreciate you comment.

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7 Cindy June 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Would applesauce be too runny to put in alone (w/o a protective liner) in a compartment?

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8 Kelly Lester June 26, 2010 at 4:04 pm

You know how it kinda separates and then there’s a bit of liquid? I wouldn’t risk it without some wax paper or wrap unless it’s your own lunchbox and you’re sure not to tip it. Kids won’t be careful enough….

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9 Karen August 12, 2010 at 9:24 am

Hi, I recently purchased (well, my dad did) this system and I love them, we all use it. (he ordered 2 sets of containers by accident so now we have 8!) The container can fit in other bags so we just got one bag for my daughter’s lunch. Anyway, I had been putting yogurt in before I even read this and haven’t had any leaks, I even put applesauce in too. I am wondering if the reason it hasn’t leaked yet is b/c I have been carrying them. (parks, and outings) School starts on Mon. so I guess I will find out or maybe just use wax paper! Thanks for these tips, and all the yummy food ideas, now if I can just get my picky daughter to eat some of the lunches you have pictured!

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10 Heather August 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I literally spent 3 or 4 HOURS looking for something like this online. I gave up after looking at all of the prices and not finding something that will work for my family. Well, today at the healthymomskitchen blog I found the answer – I can’t wait to order! My one concern was how to pack a nice, inexpensive “yogurt parfait” side we make for our kids – layers of berries and honey sweetened plain yogurt, that didn’t leak all over. And you have the solution to this too! Thanks so much

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11 Kelly Lester August 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Oh wow Heather. Well I’m glad you finally found my site! I’m obsessed with yogurt so of course my kids have to bring it to school!

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12 Cindy September 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Not being able to put yogurt in the Easy Lunchbox System actually deterred me from purchasing one, I am so glad I found a solution to that!! We always buy the large containers of yogurt (the ones with cream on top and that don’t have 27 grams of sugar, yikes!) and I need a way to safely send it to school with my son. Thanks a bunch!

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13 Kelly Lester September 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Yea! Personally, I like plain yogurt, but of course my kids think I’m weird. When I see the sugar total on the labels I cringe too! So glad you found this little solution :)
We like to pack little treats on the side for yogurt toppings. Sometimes if you put it all in together it’s soggy by lunchtime, depending on what your add-ins are.

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14 Jessica March 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

I have just discovered this site and these containers. I love all your yummy lunch ideas. Just wondering what the spinach meal is? Some kind of spinach pizza maybe? My kids have salivated over the pictures and this looks really good. Can you share what it is? Thanks for sharing all these ideas.

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15 Kelly Lester March 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

Thanks Jessica! The pic above shows a slice of veggie pizza. Sorry I can’t remember exactly what it was that night, but knowing me, it was probably a spinach pizza from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes I take plain frozen pizzas and add my own veggies. So glad you’re enjoying all the yummy lunches :) Thanks to all my fans who share them with me!

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16 Iva Young March 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Love these tips and ideas Kelly!
I just placed an order for 4 bags and four lunchboxes….can’t wait to get them!
The kids will love them for sure and so will me and hubby!! :)
THANKS A BUNCH!

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17 Kelly Lester April 1, 2011 at 12:29 am

Thanks so much Iva!!!! Enjoy :)

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18 SF Mom2Three April 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I just won these lunchboxes at my daughter’s school auction (thanks for donating and supporting public education). I have been looking and looking for something like this. We’ve used the bento style boxes, but too many lids. We used the Tupperware Lunch ‘n Things container, but it’s too long for kids lunch boxes and too hard for little ones to open. The easy lunch box is perfect and I’m so happy to learn about the wax paper trick for leaks.

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19 Kelly Lester April 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Yay!! So glad you’re getting a chance to use my system My kids are in public education. It takes a lot to make it great, so I try to do my little part where I can…. Thanks so much for your comment and I’m thrilled that you like my EasyLunchboxes. Enjoy!

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20 4realmom August 27, 2011 at 8:05 am

Seriously? The idea is to have a useful luch box iem that saves on the environment. Yo can wash and reuse plastic containrs–not the plactic wrap. If I have t use plastic wrap then its pointlesss and in my opon a lot more work for me-MOM! Plasctic stoarge conatiner companies need to do their job more effectively and provide a leakless conatiner–end of story–anything else to work around that is more money and time for me = useless!

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21 Kelly Lester August 27, 2011 at 8:27 am

Thank you for your feedback.
With my EasyLunchbox System, if you’d like, there is plenty of room to include a smaller, reusable, leak-free container in the cooler for runny or liquid items along with my EasyLunchbox container. I agree with you that all of us should strive to use products that do not pollute the environment. However, my easy-open containers address the fact that many small children have great difficulty in removing lids from leak-free containers. In order to be leak-free, the seal has to be closed just so, something that small children are often not able or mindful enough to do. EasyLunchbox containers were not designed to be leak-free, they were designed to be easy-open.

There is a trade-off here and a balance of priorities that is simply a personal choice. As the mom/manufacturer, my choice is to offer a product to address this need.

As indicated above, I bought one small box of the patty sheets about 2 years ago to use w/the occasional lunches I pack that include runny items, and I still have not gotten all the way through it. Takes about a second to pull out and put over the container section.

I’m sure my EasyLunchbox System is not the perfect choice for everyone. But it does fill a price/quality/function void in the marketplace, and for that, I’m proud. It’s completely up to the consumer to purchase it or something else that better suits their needs.

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22 Erin September 7, 2011 at 6:33 am

Thanks so much for providing a way to leak-proof the Easy Lunchbox. My 5 year old is at kindergarten all day with 20 other children, and the teacher already has 7 string cheeses, 12 yogurt cups, 14 applesauce cups, and 8 hot lunches to have to coordinate. My daughter is not able to open a normal “leak-proof” container (we’ve tried) and with this, she lifts the lid and is eating instead of waiting for the teacher to help her. This almost-leak-proof easy-to-open lunchbox was the answer. She loves it, and I now know how to include some saucier foods!

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23 Kelly Lester September 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

Hi Erin! I love how your comment really illustrates the amazing efforts that our teachers put out, just to even get the kids started eating. So thrilled that my products allow your daughter to be self-sufficient and eat at her own pace, without waiting for help. Thanks so much for your observation and your comment :)

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24 Kristin October 11, 2013 at 11:51 am

I put yogurt in the small portion almost every day and hardly ever have a problem with my 4 year old taking it, carrying it, and setting on the shelf. Sure, sometimes there is a little on the edge, etc. but the inside of the lunchbox itself wipes clean so easily, it isn’t a problem without using the wax paper/plastic wrap. Certainly don’t let that deter you, but it is nice to have a fully leak proof suggestion!

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25 Kelly Lester October 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hi Kristin – That’s great to hear! Many mornings you’ll hear me tell my kids – “don’t tip your lunchbox today, there’s something runny in it” and they know how to keep it upright. It’s great that your 4 year old can too! But with, say, pineapple from the can or watermelon, I def use the wax paper trick. But since many kids can’t always do that, the plastic/wax paper is a big help. And certainly – accidents will happen. One stop short in a car and things go flying :/ Happy to hear you’re enjoying my ELBs :)

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26 Katy @ Live Laugh Love Craft July 31, 2012 at 10:06 am

Question.. As long as I am not putting any leaky foods in there, will it be fine to carry upright?

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27 Kelly Lester July 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Hi Katy – Definitely. And the dry food will stay in the compartment you put it in as the lid keeps the foods separated and they won’t combine.

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28 Rachel July 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Shouldn’t it just not leak in the first place?

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29 Kelly Lester July 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Hi Rachel – Although my containers are a great lunch option for all ages, they have been particularly designed with small children in mind. EasyLunchboxes are the answer to a parent’s frustration with their child’s lunch coming home uneaten if the child cannot open a container lid. It is also very time consuming for a teacher to have to open multiple small containers for a classroom full of small children. Often by the time one teacher gets around to helping each child, lunchtime is half over and the child may not have enough time to eat. (From my FAQ’s page) : Although our Easylunchbox containers hold food securely, they are not designed to be leakproof, and we don’t recommend putting really wet food or liquid into any of the compartments. For a compartmentalized container to be completely leakproof, this would require carefully sealing all of the compartments, every time. We have found that most children are not able to do this consistently, and if you send such a container to school properly sealed, it may not come home that way; leftovers could be dripping out everywhere…

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30 Robin August 1, 2012 at 7:37 am

Did you know that you can easily make yogurt in your slow cooker? Gallon of whole milk, heat on low for about 3 hours until it reaches 180 degrees. Cool to 110 degrees, remove a cup of liquid and stir it in a cup of plain yogurt and return the mixture to your slow cooker. Cover with a bath towel for 8 hours or overnight. In the morning you can strain your yogurt using coffee filters or cheesecloth for thick, yummy, yogurt. You can sweeten and flavor to taste.

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31 Kelly Lester August 1, 2012 at 7:41 am

That is so cool Robin! Doesn’t sound like something I could even screw up, lol! Thank you for the fab recipe. I def need to try that!!! :)

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32 Annie October 11, 2012 at 7:58 am

When we send yogurt in the bento box, we use press and seal wrap. It seals the yogurt in- and it can even be carried sideways.

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33 angelia December 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I have a question- how is your product different than the zip lock containers (which look identical to these) ? esp when they are a 1/3 of the cost ?
Just Curious ?

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34 Kelly Lester December 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Hi Angelia – Thanks for asking! Your question will most likely be answered in this post: http://www.easylunchboxes.com/blog/how-do-ziploc-3-compartment-lunch-containers-compare-to-easylunchboxes/

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35 Tricia January 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

WOOHOO! The leaky yogurt problem is SOLVED. I too have to buy big containers because we eat soy based yogurt a lot and I would love to mix in fruits for the kiddos so JACKPOT! This will work great for not having to buy applesauce containers too. My kids have so little time (it seems) at lunch that the easier I make things, and the less they have to open, the better. Yeah! Thanks for passing this great idea along!

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36 Kelly Lester January 31, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Hi Tricia! So happy I could help solve this issue for you!All the little tricks and conveniences put together really do help make the lunchtime chore a success :)

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