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A brand new faculty yr is right here and a technique that we will be kinder to the earth and scale back waste is by packing our youngsters’ lunches. Packed lunches are typically more healthy and permit us to pack natural meals that almost all faculty lunches don’t present. Packing lunches additionally makes lunchtime much less anxious for these choosy eaters.
Packing a college lunch doesn’t must be filled with plastic baggies and individually wrapped gadgets tossed right into a brown paper bag. Packing a waste-free lunch will be enjoyable and permit your baby’s character (and yours) to shine! There are just a few important gadgets you’ll must pack a waste-free lunch.
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1. Lunch Bag or Box
Instead of utilizing the “brown bag,” choose a lunch bag or field that may be reused all faculty yr. In our family, we’ve a small assortment of lunch packing containers and luggage together with character lunch packing containers that coordinate with their backpacks, cotton lunch luggage, insulated lunch totes, chrome steel lunch tiffins, and bento-style lunch packing containers. Pick one (or two) which are straightforward to wash and accommodate your baby’s favourite meals. When selecting a plastic lunch field, choose one that’s unhazardous, PVC-free, and secure to your baby.
2. Food Containers
It’s time to ditch the baggies and swap to reusable meals containers. Some lunch packing containers (tiffins and bento-style packing containers) have compartments for the meals that can remove the necessity for particular person meals containers. You can use reusable sandwich bags, plastic containers, chrome steel containers, or small glass containers instead of baggies. Sandwich luggage can be found in fabric or FDA-approved, unhazardous plastic and are available in quite a lot of sizes. Stainless metal, plastic, and glass containers are available in quite a lot of sizes and shapes too.
3. Drink Containers
Individually packed drink packing containers and pouches create quite a lot of waste. Glass, plastic, or stainless steel thermoses and bottles will be full of their favourite drink and may maintain chilled all through the day. Again, choose bottles which are unhazardous, PVC-free, and that may be washed simply. Be certain to clean the bottles every single day and permit them to air dry to forestall mildew. Tip: Investing in a bottle brush may help maintain your bottles additional clear on the within.
No want for paper towels and paper napkins! Get some small cotton napkins only for the youngsters. They are available in a rainbow of colours and a few even have cute embroidered designs on them. If you’ve some leftover cloth, previous shirts, or dishtowels, you possibly can make your own little material napkins. Cut the material into squares and sew the sides to forestall fraying. Stock up so that you solely have to clean them on the finish of the week to avoid wasting your self additional work throughout the busy week.
I’m not an enormous fan of these flimsy plastic utensils that you simply use as soon as after which throw away. You can pack a set of normal utensils from the home or you should buy a set to make use of only for faculty lunches. If stainless kitchen utensils make your baby’s lunchbox too heavy, you should buy a set of light-weight utensils made from unhazardous plastic or bamboo which are excellent for packing. For the extra adventurous baby, think about reusable chopsticks!
Finally, we’ve talked rather a lot about what to place their meals in, however we haven’t talked concerning the precise meals! Don’t purchase individually wrapped snacks and ready meals. Pack homemade lunches with contemporary substances for a more healthy and waste-free possibility. Sandwiches, pasta, finger meals, crackers, contemporary vegatables and fruits, and even leftovers will be packed to your youngsters. If you intend forward, you would put together the complete week’s value of meals over the weekend so that you’re not stressing within the morning as they’re speeding out the door.
Originally printed on August 21, 2015, this text was up to date in September 2022.