The best gifts are the ones you never thought you needed. They’re equal parts thoughtful, unexpected, and practical. It helps when they look good too. One idea? Meal-prep containers, aka the adult euphemism for lunch box.
Totally fair if insulated food containers don’t get your heart racing (also fair if they remind you of fluorescent mess halls and soggy sandwiches), but what they lack in showmanship they make up for in undeniable utility. Still, finding one you love enough to gift or use every day of the week can be hard: It has to feel special but also be useful and look pretty without just being decorative—all while not costing too much. Well, take it from someone whose job it is to find you the things that are actually worth your time and money: The S’well Eats Meal Prep Container in Teakwood is your new lunchtime MVP—and it doubles as one of the best gifts you can give this year.
Before you start furrowing your brow, hear me out. I’m not the diligent meal prepper I always want to be, but I do bring my lunch to work every day. And before I came across the S’well Eats bowl, it just so happens I was due for a new Tupperware-but-cuter food storage container. (I may have dropped my old glass one in the office kitchen and watched it shatter into a million little pieces before not one but four people came to my rescue. Yes, I’m still cringing.)
So I took a chance on the S’well Eats Meal Prep Container. It’s part of a collection of insulated food containers that everyone’s favorite water bottle brand launched over the summer, and it was the answer to my meal prep prayers.
I’m a big believer in multi-hyphenate kitchen products, and as a daily food storage container, it delivers. The bowl is leakproof, break proof, and dishwasher friendly. Which basically means it’s perfect for anyone who likes to eat liquidy things like soups or saucy pasta (me), is known to drop a lot of things (also me), and likes to get their dishes done quickly (me again!). My favorite part is the actual construction: It has a stainless steel outer shell for insulation, and a plastic (read “Will. Not. Break.”) removable inner bowl that makes it so easy to prep food.
Sure, it might be a little big for anyone who just carries a cross-body or clutch on their daily commute, but it’ll fit great in a canvas tote or large shopper. And you’ll feel better squeezing it between your laptop and wallet knowing that bringing your lunch to work is more environmentally friendly than buying food from the cafeteria or your favorite takeout spot.
And since we’re coming up to the holidays and you’re probably already panicking about gifting, it’s also an unexpected under-$50 option that anyone on your shopping list will enjoy: your work wife, your teenage nephew, even your best friend who’s made the same New Year’s resolution for the past three years to get more into meal prepping.
Originally Appeared on Glamour