Just yesterday, I opened up my polka dot lunch box to an array of single stacked containers each containing a separate food item: a scoop of peanut butter in one, sliced bananas in another, and two slices of bread in a final container.

Yes, I did want to keep each food item a separate entity so my sandwich would not deteriorate into a soggy mess.

Unfortunately, these were the only three items that fit in my lunchbox alongside an icepack. I’m no skimpy eater, so a sandwich alone just isn’t going to cut it. I had to pack the rest of my non-cold items in my book bag where they would either end up squished between my books or eaten during class.

While I could just buy lunch from the local café, I would rather not spend all of my paycheck on lunch everyday. As it turns out, food storage companies are listening to similar complaints and taking a stand. They have designed some innovative (and weird) food containers that will leave your book bag free of banana sludge and excess weight.

1. Klip It Cube Max To Go


Photo courtesy of thecontainerstore.com

For your basic sandwich needs. The separate compartments make it easy to pack sides, for those of us who can’t merely survive on two slices of bread alone. The underneath compartments are great for keeping sandwich fillings separate until assembly at lunchtime. For health nuts, the small container makes it easy it carry dressings and other liquid items to drizzle on top of a salad.

Not looking to eat another PB&J? Try a pizza panini or a waffle sandwich. The sandwich options are endless.

2. Dip ‘N Dunk


Photo courtesy of thecontainerstore.com

Who doesn’t want ranch with their carrots or queso with their chips at snack time? This little bad boy ensures that your snack will never remain uncoated in a delicious dip.

Instead of packing the usual dips, try this baked buffalo chicken dip.  The protein of the chicken will keep you full, and the kick from the Tabasco sauce is sure to wake you up. Just be sure to pack something to cool your mouth in case too much Tabasco ends up on your chip.

3. Snackeez


Photo courtesy of snackeez.com

Feeling parched after snacking on a bag of pretzels or peanut butter crackers? Never fear. Keep your drink and snack in the same container with the all-in-one cup that holds a drink in the bottom compartment and a snack in the top compartment. This “party in a cup” keeps one hand free, snacks fresh, carpets clean, and thirst quenched.

Personally, I always crave a salty snack while I study.  Get creative and pack a DIY trail mix in your Snackeez without the fear of being left thirsty.

4. BlenderBottle GoStak


Photo courtesy of blenderbottle.com

Gym junkies across the country are celebrating the new BlenderBottles. Designed to hold protein powder in a separate bottom compartment, these bottles let you make your protein shake on your own time.

But the company has an even greater invention to let you pack a series of snacks for a long day on the go: lock together as many containers of any size filled with your favorite snacks and attach the handle to the top container. Never again will you tote around 5 individual snack containers for a long day of activity.

While candy and salty snacks are easy to pack, try a healthy mid-day munchie.  With these satisfying snack swaps, you can be sure to fuel your way through the day without feeling the after-snack slump.

5. Stay Fit Deluxe Salad Kit, EZ Freeze


Photo courtesy of amazon.com

Whether you’re a regular salad-for-lunch kind of person or merely on a health kick, packing a salad is no longer a pain in the ass. The Deluxe Salad Kit has three compartments up top to keep all add-ons from squishing/soggify-ing the delicate romaine below.

In the middle, you’ll find a convenient container for dressing (or perhaps another topping). The bowl on the bottom is a generous 6.25 inches in diameter — enough room to cram a few handfuls of greens.

The routine salad is out the window with this container.  Try one of these 27 salad recipes, and look forward to a healthy lunch that will inspire you to get creative. Substitute any of the ingredients to truly make it your own.

6. Serving Cup Shaker


Photo courtesy of amazon.com

Nutritionist-approved (if adhering to its intended use), this salad container is analogous to a blender bottle. With roughly 8.4 inches in inner storage space, this bottle can hold fresh salad, fruit, cereal, and any other food items you desire. The top has a small container to hold dressings and other toppings.

An added bonus: It will make you feel like a professional bartender as you shake the contents together in the bottle.

Think of this container as an upgraded mason jar. While Pinterest is flooded with salad recipes made for the classic containers, the serving cup shaker eliminates any premature mixing.  For some alternative options to salad, try using the container for breakfast as seen in one of these mason jar recipes.

7. The Sunflower Lunchbox


Photo courtesy of yankodesign.com

This lunchbox is the king of all storage containers. Its innovative design has three storage compartments that rotate outwards to resemble the petals of a flower, yet they align and attach for easy carrying.

What takes this lunch container over the top is the temperature-controlled environment for each compartment. The lunchbox holds a rechargeable battery that charges via solar energy. When the petals are aligned, an electrical circuit is complete, allowing you to control the temperature of each compartment down to the degree.

While cold pizza is bearable, cold pasta is not okay. Now you can enjoy last night’s pasta dinner for lunch with the Sunflower lunchbox. Plan your fancy feast with one of these 5 easy 15-minute pastas without the fear of wasting leftovers.

8. Mo:Ben


Photo courtesy of yankodesign.com

Another innovative design to thermo-control your lunch, the Mo:Ben ensures that your stir fry stays hot until your lunch break begins. The lunchbox lets you choose a single compartment or three separate compartments to be placed inside the storage container along with a built in cutout for a reusable spoon and fork. The internal battery powers the heater to keep your meal toasty.

#SpoonTip: Charge the lunchbox next to your phone at night, and it will be ready to pack and go when you wake up.

I am a veggie fanatic. While I eat them in any shape or form, I’m a sucker for good veggie stir fry. Try this mixed vegetable tofu stir-fry for lunch and you’ll be looking forward to a delicious (and healthy) meal without the struggle of finding a microwave.

Food container companies are starting to realize that it’s the little things that can make us food-centered Americans happy. The anticipation of eating a great lunch can be the transforming factor for a bleak Monday or hangover Friday.

Innovative storage and lunchbox designs nix the days of soggy salads, bag lunches, and room temperature food. However, napkin notes from Mom are not included. This first world problem has officially been solved.