meal prep containers

Whether you’re new to meal planning or a well-seasoned expert at preparing food ahead, it’s crucial to use the right food storage containers. While traditional plastic meal prep containers offer convenience, they are harmful to the environment and may not be the safest choice for your health. 

Thankfully, there’s a number of plastic-free alternatives that make meal prep easier and healthier than ever! To help you find the right meal prep containers that are safe, easy-to-use, and environmentally-friendly, we’ve rounded up the best non-toxic meal prep containers. 

Benefits of using meal prep containers

  • Great for portion control and helps with weight management or even lose a few pounds. By using meal prepping, it helps avoid overeating and easier to eat the right amount.
  • Help save money on food bills: By prepping meals for a few days at a time, people are less likely to eat out and more likely to stick to a nutritional guideline.
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. By meal prepping, people are less likely to eat fast food or dine out. Also, meal prepping led people to eat more food variety.

What to Look for in A Meal Planning Container

Not all meal prep containers are created equal. With a growing number of products on the market, choosing between meal prep containers can be surprisingly tough. When selecting for best meal prep containers, there are three key features you’ll need to consider: material, size, and style. 

Material

In addition to being taxing on the environment, traditional plastic food prep containers are made of toxic chemicals that may be hazardous to your health. These dangerous chemicals— most commonly found in cheaper and older plastic containers— can leach out chemicals and phthalates into your food. 

Studies have found that bisphenol A, better known as BPA, is linked to numerous health issues affecting the heart, brain, and female reproductive system. Even more alarmingly, researchers have found that early childhood exposure to BPA can potentially contribute to ADHD behaviors. 

While these days, there are some BPA-free plastic containers marketed as “non-toxic,” it’s best to avoid plastic containers entirely if you’re concerned about the environmental effects and potential health risks. When it comes to plastic-free meal prep containers, there are three common materials to choose from: glass, silicone, ceramic, and stainless steel. 

Glass

A glass container is the most common plastic-alternative for meal containers. Typically, glass containers have leak-proof lids made from plastic and keep your food fresh. It’s important to note that while the glass containers themselves can be placed in the microwave, oven, and dishwasher, these plastic lids cannot.

Pros:
  • Non-toxic
  • Plastic-free
  • Microwave safe
  • Refrigerator and freezer safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Does not absorb food tastes or smells 
  • Recyclable 
Cons:
  • Heavier than plastic
  • Not travel-friendly 
  • Not child-friendly
  • Easy to break

Silicone

Silicone food storage containers are the most similar to traditional plastic Tupperware, as they’re lightweight, flexible, and kid-friendly. 

Pros:
  • Non-toxic 
  • Plastic-free
  • Microwave safe
  • Refrigerator and freezer safe 
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Child-friendly
  • Lightweight 
Cons:
  • Not easy to recycle
  • Can sometimes absorb food tastes or smells
  • Low-end products can sometimes contain chemical additives

Ceramic

Thanks to their versatility, ceramic containers have been used for food storage for centuries. While they’re the most natural option, they’re not the most practical, as they’re heavy and can break easily. 

Pros:
  • Non-toxic
  • Plastic-free
  • Microwave safe
  • Refrigerator and freezer safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Does not absorb food tastes or smells
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • Not travel-friendly
  • Not child-friendly
  • Easy to break

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel food storage options are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their durability and versatility. Unlike glass, they’re nearly unbreakable, making them a popular choice among families with small children. 

Pros:
  • Non-toxic 
  • Plastic-free
  • Refrigerator and freezer safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Easy to clean
  • Does not absorb food tastes or smells
  • Lightweight 
  • Travel-friendly 
  • Child-friendly
Cons: 
  • Not microwave safe 
  • Typically more expensive
  • Can give acidic foods a slightly metallic flavor

BPA-Free Plastic

While plastic food containers should generally be avoided, BPA-free plastic containers are still a common choice for meal-preppers. If you do choose to stick with plastic, look for plastic labeled with the numbers 1,2,4,5 inside a triangle made of arrows, as they generally do not contain BPA. I recommend that you avoid plastic when possible. 

Pros:
  • Inexpensive 
  • Refrigerator and freezer safe 
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Child-friendly
  • Easy to recycle
Cons:
  • Not environmentally-friendly
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • It may still contain some harmful chemicals
  • Can absorb food tastes or smells

Size

To successfully meal prep, you’ll likely need multiple sizes of food storage containers. While larger containers are perfect for holding full meals, they’re too large to hold snacks. Plus, it can be a pain (quite literally) to take multiple large glass or ceramic containers on the go. 

If you’re new to meal prepping, we suggest purchasing a multi-pack or two meal prep containers set to start. These packs include multiple sizes and are often cheaper than buying each food container individually. 

Style

If lugging around (and cleaning) multiple containers isn’t your thing, try a food container with internal compartments instead of a traditional single compartment. Nowadays, many bento box-style containers have dividers that can be moved or removed for added versatility. 

The Best Meal Prep Containers That Are Non-Toxic

Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Container Multi-Pack

Prep Naturals’ glass meal prep containers make the perfect single compartment containers for on-the-go lunches. With SmartestLock lids guaranteed to be leak-proof, you’ll never have to worry about spills inside your bag. Remove these BPA-free plastic lids, and the borosilicate glass containers are oven-safe and microwave-safe for easy cooking and reheating. Each container set in the five-pack measures 6.5 x 4.75 x 2 inches and holds 30 ounces. 

Pros

Oven-safe and microwave-safe

Freezer-safe

Leakproof lid

Easily stackable

Cons

BPA-free plastic lid that is top rack dishwasher safe

The two internal compartments in these M MCIRCO containers make it easy to take multi-item meals and snacks on the go. Plus, these space-saving containers ensure your cabinets stay perfectly-organized and make for easy portion control. They’re made from high-quality borosilicate glass with a BPA-free snap-locking lid with an airtight silicone seal that prevents leaks. Each container in the five-pack measures 8 x 6.5 x 3 inches and holds 36 ounces. 

Pros

Oven-safe and microwave-safe

Freezer safe

An airtight silicone seal that prevents leaks

Two compartments

Easily stackable

Cons

BPA-free snap-locking lid

Does not nest. Will need some storage space. 

silicone seal

Verel Glass Meal Prep Containers with Bamboo Lids

Verel’s glass meal prep single compartment containers are made using durable borosilicate glass and eco-friendly bamboo lids with leak-free silicone seals, making them entirely plastic-free. Plus, the bamboo lids double as a small cutting board, making it easier than ever to enjoy meals on-the-go. Each container in the four-pack measures 7.75 x 5.75 x 2.3 inches and holds 36 ounces. 

Pros

Oven-safe and microwave-safe (not the lid)

Freezer safe

Entirely plastic-free

Leak-free silicone seals

Aesthetically pleasing and stylish

Easily stackable

Cons

Silicone seals

Container is microwave safe but the lid is not

Lid need be hand washed to maintain it's shape

Ball Wide-Mouth Mason Jars

These traditional Ball Mason Jars are perfect for meal-prepping soups, smoothies, and juices. They’re made using durable glass and metal lids with an airtight band seal. Each jar in the four-pack measures 3.5 x 3.5 x 7 inches and holds 32 ounces. 

Pros

More budget-friendly

Entirely plastic-free

Microwave safe but not the lid. Do not grab the microwaved jar directly, as it can be too hot to touch.

Cons

Not stackable

It may be hard to wash if food is stuck inside.

S Salient three Compartments Glass Lunch Containers

S Salient’s bento-box style containers are ideal for on-the-go lunches with a durable design and three compartments. In addition to three glass containers with locking BPA-free plastic lids, the kit also includes a three-piece utensil set: a knife, fork, and spoon. Each container measures 8 x 6 x 3 inches and holds 36 ounces. 

Pros

Three compartments and comes with utensil set

Easily stackable

Microwave and dishwasher safe

Freezer safe

Leak proof

Cons

BPA-free plastic lids

Bulky and can take up some space

Bovado Glass Food Storage Containers with Bamboo Lids

Unlike most glass food storage containers, the Bovado Glass Food Storage Containers do not use plastic lids. Instead, they use eco-friendly bamboo, making them entirely plastic-free. The four-piece single compartment set includes four different sizes of containers: 12, 20, 35, and 50 ounces.

Pros

Aesthetically pleasing and stylish

Microwave and dishwasher safe (not the lid)

Freezer safe

Entirely plastic free

Leak proof

Easily stackable

Cons

The lid has airtight seal

The lid should be hand washed 


U Konserve Rectangle Container with Divider

This convenient reusable bento-style from U Konserve is perfect for meals on-the-go. The moveable and removable internal divider makes it easy to portion-control and customize what’s inside. Plus, the clear lid makes it easy to identify its contents inside a crowded fridge. 

The stainless steel container measures 7.75 x 5 x 1.75 inches and holds 25 ounces. 

Money Saving Tip: Available through Thrive Market!

Pros

Stainless steel container features one divider

Leak-resistant

Dishwasher safe

Easily stackable

Cons

BPA Free lid

Lid isn't durable

No microwaveable 

U Konserve Divided To-Go Large Container, Ocean

If you’re looking for the best non-toxic meal prep container, you can’t beat U Konserve’s Divided To-Go Container. With a stainless steel body, BPA- and phthalate-free plastic lid, and a removable internal divider, it can hold anything and everything imaginable. It measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 3 inches and measures 50 ounces. 

Pros

Stainless steel body

Removable internal divider

A nice large size container for lunch

Cons

BPA- and phthalate-free plastic lid

No microwaveable 

Thrive Market Stainless Steel Lunch Container

Thrive Market’s Stainless Steel Lunch Container is perfect for packing meals and snacks during travel. Made with high-grade aluminum steel and two interior compartments for easy storage, it makes a low-waste lifestyle easier than ever! The leak-proof, dishwasher-safe container measures 3 x 5.5 inches and holds 24 ounces. 

Pros

Completely plastic free and made with high-grade stainless steel

Dishwasher safe

Leak-proof

Two separate compartments

Cons

No microwaveable 

Light weight 

Graham Clean Lunch’N Stainless Steel Lunch Box

The Lunch’N Stainless Steel Lunch Box from Graham Clean is one of the best non-toxic meal prep containers for kids. The large bento-box style box is made from durable stainless steel that can survive drops, backpacks, dishwashers, and freezers. An adjustable and removable internal divider means you can pack snack time and lunchtime all in one. The space-saving container measures 6 x 4 x 2.25 inches and holds 25 ounces. 

Pros

Metal container is made of food-grade 18/8 stainless steel, which is non-toxic and BPA-free

Dishwasher and freezer friendly

Entirely plastic free

Large capacity 

Adjustable & Removable Divider

Leak-proof smart locking clamp

Cons

Not microwave friendly

LunchBots Large Stainless Steel Bento Box

LunchBot’s Large Stainless Steel Bento Box is one of the best meal prep lunch containers out there. With five internal compartments, it’s easy to keep food neat and portion-controlled. Made with high-quality stainless steel, it’s durable, lightweight, and dishwasher safe. The convenient meal prep container measures 6 x 8 x 1.75 inches and holds 32 ounces. 

Pros

5 Compartments: Great way to separate food

Made from the highest quality 18/8 stainless steel

Entirely plastic free

Dishwasher safe

Cons

Not microwave safe

Ello Stainless Steel Lunch Bowl

Ello’s Stainless Steel Lunch Bowl is a stylish, non-toxic take on traditional meal prep containers. Made from single wall stainless steel with a chip-resistant powder coat paint, it’s travel-friendly, durable, and dishwasher safe. Its leak-proof clear domed lid allows you to easily see inside, and its rounded corners make for easy cleanup. The low-waste meal prep container measures 3.9 x 8.15 inches and holds 40 ounces. 

Pros

Completely leak-proof

Stainless Steel body

Top rack dishwasher safe

Single wall stainless steel with durable powder coat paint will resist the chips that the dings usually bring

Cons

Not microwave and oven safe

Plastic lid

Recommend hand wash. 

Summary

Above are some of the best meal prep containers and set that are non-toxic so you can feel good and safe about prepping meals. Depends on your lifestyle and needs, some will fit better into your meal prepping lifestyle than the other. When possible, be sure to use a non-toxic meal container that is safe for you and good for the environment.

My number one pick is a set of glass meal prep containers. While they can be slightly heavy, they are super durable, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and leak-proof lid. If you purchase a set with multiple sizes, they are a great way to separate your food and snacks. The multiple sizes come in handy when it comes to prepping food that requires sauce or dressing.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. This means I make a few dollars if you purchase/sign up after clicking my link. This costs you nothing, but it helps keep this blog running!

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