Friday, August 31, 2012
9:00 AM Nacia Walsh 1 comment
School is back in session!!! For this mother of 3 a little “woohoo!” is in order. To get my head back in the game of getting everyone ready and out the door in time each day, I have to start thinking about school lunches again.
Did you know that the average kid will produce about 67lbs of trash each school year from their lunch? That’s more than my 8 year old weighs! Not only that, but some of that trash will still be sitting in a landfill when their children go to school. As a mom I want to make sure I do my small part to keep this planet beautiful for my children and my grandchildren. As one of my small steps I've given my kid’s school lunches an eco-friendly makeover.
Lets start with the basics.
You need something to hold the lunch. Do away with the brown paper or plastic grocery bag. An insulated lunch box is the way to go. Two things to keep in mind are size and function. Some of these character lunchboxes come in weird shapes or are way too small, making packing lunch a pain. Also look for extras like a pouch for an icepack or cup holder.
Next we need a drink right? My personal favorite is a Thermos---which are BPA free and come in a variety of designs and fun characters. They really do keep the drink cold for quite a long time, but there are plenty of choices though when it comes to a reusable drink containers. Another option would be the lightweight Vapor anti-bottle that Vanessa reviewed earlier this summer.
The last basic piece you need is the container to actually hold the food. When shopping for containers make sure they’re easy to open and close for your child. Make sure they’ll be easy to wash (aka 'dishwasher safe', if you hate doing dishes like me). If plastic, make sure they are BPA free. Measure your child’s lunchbox before shopping for containers to be sure that they’ll fit in there. A few of my personal favorites are Easy Lunchboxes, Sistema and Wean Green, be sure to check out all your options in stores and online.
Now come the extras. These are the bonuses that make the lunches just that much more “green”.
Cloth/Reusable snack bags- They are usually cloth on the outside and some kind of water-resistant/wipe-able material on the inside. They replace the plastic sandwich bag.
Soup/Hot foods container- Again Thermos is my favorite. Any kind of container that you can pack some hot/warm food in can be a nice treat on a cold day for your kiddo.
Fork/spoon- Something a little more reusable and durable than what you’d use at a picnic. Many Thermos' come with one build right into the top!
Cloth napkins- Baby washcloths can also double as great reusable napkins.
What are some of your favorite eco-friendly lunch products?
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for ideas on kid-approved tasty and healthy lunch alternatives.
Greening it up in Granolaville,
Jennifer Knapp is the mom to 2 smart grade-schoolers and an energetic preschooler. She loves spending time with her 3 kiddos, hard working husband and 2 crazy dogs. She is also the owner/knitter of Knapp Sacks and the doula behind Swaddled in Love Doula Services.