I started using these Ziploc 3-compartment containers for the boy's lunch back when he was in preschool. (with props to Mr. Starr, it was he who first spotted these things at the store)
They are the ULTIMATE lunch container. Cheap, easy to wash, holds a variety of food and plenty of it. No baggies, no millions of little containers to wash and dry before you can make a new lunch and the lids are easy for the kid to remove and replace.
AND they fit perfectly in a lunch box.
Then, when he was in Kindergarten, the unthinkable happened. Ziploc stopped making them. I'd been dutifully washing the ones I had, but every once in a while a lid might tear or the boy might lose one. No problem, $2.50 and a trip to Safeway and I could get more, right? WRONG!
I scoured every store I could. I looked on eBay. I sent a queries out on Freecyle and Craig's list. I enlisted friends and family far and wide in my search. I even wrote to Ziploc (they sent me the standard "crazy lady" letter and a few coupons). I freaked out a bunch of senior citizens when I squealed - yes squealed - upon spotting one at a yard sale. I poured my tale of woe to my friend Deborah at lunch one day and she said, "I think I have some of those at home, I'll send them too you" -I practically jumped her I was so excited. Except for those two infusions, I've been washing and drying the same two containers for the past 6 years. John Starr will go no where near them - he's not gonna get blamed when the last lid breaks.
And then... and then... tonight I get home and there are two brand new packs of Ziploc 3-compartment containers on the counter! John had been to the store and had dutifully done the usual check in the vain, valiant hope that they'd reappear on the shelves. And today, my prayers were answered.
I don't know what you use to pack your kid's lunch, but it's nowhere near as efficient as in these lidded trays. Run, don't walk to a store near you and get some - while you still can!