In a quest to find the best way to create fun and healthy school lunches, I came to the realization that this can be done in an environmentally friendly way. I was particularly impressed by the information available at both: mygreenlunchbox.com and wastefreelunches.org; it inspired me to package lunches that will not generate trash like meals and snacks brought from home typically do.
As previously noted, we are using a lunch box (instead of paper bags) and a reusable beverage container (rather than prepared juice boxes/bottles). Additionally, I am ditching plastic sandwich bags and plan to mimic the bento concept of packing food in reusable containers with compartments. It was great to find so many product options available on-line: from complete lunch kits, and stainless steel containers, to the more traditional Japanese bento products that come in many cute designs. Ultimately, I decided on an economical, convenient, BPA free option available at: easylunchboxes.com. Before ordering the containers, I checked the dimensions of the lunch box I had ordered, and was pleased to find that they should fit inside the box very nicely (with room for an ice pack and other small items as well). I also like that these are dishwasher safe, and come in a set of 4.
In an effort to give Ava something to look forward to, I have decided that I will use various cookie cutters and vegetable cutters to turn her healthy lunch into a fun surprise. I ordered cute reusable silicone cups and animal themed fork/picks to give her box an extra spark. I was blown away at the many blog sites of parents who have been creating these wonderfully artistic bento style lunches for their children. While, I might not always have the ability, patience, desire, or time to do something as intricate, my intention is that her lunch will never be boring.
So far, the easy lunch box containers are the only things that have arrived and they are exactly what I had hoped they would be–durable! The rest of the tools/supplies are slated to arrive by early next week; I can hardly wait to get them so I can do a trial run. I also need to put together a list of foods and make sure we have them on hand by August 18. Finally, I have one other preparatory project to complete. Instead of buying paper napkins, I have decided to make cloth napkins, since they can be washed and reused throughout the school year.
Note: With regard to the links above, please know that I have not received any form of payment or free products from these companies listed in exchange for referencing them in my blog entry.