School lunches are not what they used to be. I was born into an Italian family who owned a grocery store. You can only imagine what my lunches looked like. Paninis packed with provolone, eggplants, mortadella, mustard, salami, the list can go on.
My dad would pack my lunch daily at the store and would always throw in a couple of bocconcini, salametti slices, tomatoes, yogurt and pear nectar juice. First off the smell emanating from my plastic baggy wasn’t one a kid in grade 6 wanted to share. Children don’t particularly appreciate the pungent scents of roasted garlic, sauteed onions or cured smoked prosciutto. Secondly, there was a lot of garbage…plastics utensils, cellophane, aluminum…left over that ended up in the landfill and didn’t get recycled. Hey…it was the 80’s…
Today, our household tries to keep things as simple and zero waste as possible, and that includes the school and camp lunches. We have been using most of these products for just over 2 years and they still look pretty much brand new! How’s that for reusable! Today I’m sharing with you how you can make your children’s (and yours!) lunches equally environmentally friendly. Check out my list and links below.
Here are my top 5 ways that can make lunches sustainable, eco-friendly, healthy and fun for everyone in your home!
First of all, don’t be an Italian dad who owns a grocery store! Include your child in the lunch making decisions. It’s time spent together, talking about healthy choices and teaching your little one new skills! We love to use a bento-style lunch box at our home. Both my 6 and 10-year-old love being able to chop their veggies, cut their wrap sandwiches and pick out their snacks and fruit. We use the YUMBOX. There are so many bento style boxes on the market but I did the research for you! I wanted to get something that was leak proof (am I right moms?!) Something that would have more than two or three compartments, this one has 6! YUMBOX checked off all the right boxes (pun intended!) We got ours on the Cute Kid Stuff Website, Click here to see the YUMBOX BENTO STYLE BOXES.
picture from cute kid stuff website
Bambu Kids Fork and Spoon sets. When I was a kid my mom would literally put a brand new plastic spoon daily into my lunch bag for my yogurt. My kids love taking applesauce (which can go in the Yumbox and it will not spill over) They also enjoy taking yogurt as well. So we opted to get some certified organic, PVC and BPA free, no phthalates; bamboo spoons, and forks. My boys literally use the 18+ m spoons listed here. I love that they are a small, cute, compact, easy to pack and easy to wash! We got ours online at Earth Hero, BAMBU FORK AND SPOON SET.
S’ip by Swell, or any reusable water bottle. Gone are the days of juice boxes and glass pear nectar bottles (by noon, on a hot day, these were gross btw! thanks dad, haha) My boys like to have COLD COLD water! I love the S’ip by Swell, the prints are cute and the water is cold and ice sometimes doesn’t melt! Water stays cold all day long. There are a ton of great options on the market for water bottles. We picked ours up at Indigo in Canada, click here for the Rocket Power model! S’ip by Swell
S’ip by Swell, photo from Indigo Website
Beeswax wraps! I have been using Bee’s Wrap – available online at Earth Hero or Beeswrap.com. These reusable wraps will replace your plastic baggies, cellophane wraps or aluminum (oh yes my dad wrapped that smelly panini up in aluminum) These help store your food safely and sustainably. You can wrap a sandwich, cheese, produce…YES!
Photo from Earth Hero Website
Bumkins Snack Bags. These are the only snack bags we use. The kids can pack almost anything into these super cute pouches. These are a fun way to replace single-use plastic baggies. Eco-friendly, BPA, PVC, Vinyl free…These are super easy to clean with a great liner made from easy to wipe fabric. You can toss these in the dishwasher top rack to clean. They are easy to zip (because let’s be honest my boys never get the ziplock closed properly…and the snacks end up everywhere!) These are also from CUTE KID STUFF…check them out here, BUMKINS REUSABLE SNACK BAGS. There are different sizes and styles to choose from!
So many fun prints and options! photo from Cute Kid Stuff Website.
Easy Peasy, Eco-friendly, Reusable and Fun Lunches! We pack all these items into their lunch kits (the yumbox will fit perfectly into most lunch kit) and off they go!
I am a huge fan of the website, Earth Hero, they have done an amazing job of curating all the best products for a zero waste, eco-lifestyle. For those of you interested in a 10% discount on your next order at EARTHERO.COM use my code: MOVEPLAYMOM
Till the next post,