If there’s one thing I despise when September arrives, it’s making kids’ lunches. If you’re anything like me, I got my kids to make their own lunches by age ten. They make them the night before, and pack them into their lunch bags in the morning.
“School lunches are the bane of my existence. I’m usually over it by the second week of school and lunch making becomes about making a quick, easy lunch that my kids will actually eat without producing a metric tonne of garbage,” says Megan Murray, Manager of Jack and Maddy – A Kids’ Store in Orillia.
Have healthy food choices ready such as pre-cut and washed veggies sealed in eco-friendly containers in the fridge, so they can easily pick what they like. It’s also key to have reusable eco-friendly portion sized containers at hand.
Sarah Fournier, Owner & Maker at Sweet Green Studios says making eco lunches that are quick, tasty, and easy on parents and little ones is in the packing of the lunch. Use containers that are easy for kids to open, and organize them in a way that takes into account daily nutrients such as proteins, veggies, fruit, and treats.
Use beeswax food wraps and silicone bags, or muffin cups in a glass container to keep food separate. “It’s easy to visually see what you’re missing and makes the lunch much more colourful and appetizing for kids,” says Fournier.
Your kids gain responsibility and timeless lessons on healthy food choices and packing eco-friendly meals. “Our Oh Beehive Food Wraps are a natural alternative to plastic where kiddos can bring their reusable beeswax wrap home to rinse and reuse the next day on another snack or sandwich. By just using the warmth of your hands, you can seal edges of snacks tightly. The wraps will help prevent sandwiches and snacks from going stale,” informs Alison Oakes, Owner of Oh Beehive in Barrie.
“I love using the beeswax food wraps because they’re easy on little hands and lightweight for kids carrying around backpacks. And the best part, they can help clean up when they get home by wiping them down. Some of my favourite no-waste eco-lunch packing products are Sweet Green Studios Beeswax Food Wraps, Stasher Bags, and a larger metal tin with silicone muffin cups inside to help separate food,” says Fournier.
Murray agrees that organization is an important part of the lunch routine and says portion sized containers such as bento boxes allow kids to make their lunch with little supervision. “Some great products that have helped is the Boon Bento Lunch Box, which makes endless storage combos for “little bit” packing and is fully dishwasher safe. Our biggest waste saver is the DoddleBag, a reusable pouch with a screw top for your fruit sauces [that’s] totally dishwasher and microwave safe – our personal favourite, frozen smoothies thawed and ready to eat by lunch.”
Simply put, to make lunch boxes eco-friendly use washable, reusable, and biodegradable products, says Oakes.
Sweet Green Studios sweetgreenstudios.com Jack and Maddy – A Kids’ Store jackandmaddyorillia.ca Oh Beehive: Beeswax Food Wraps & Bumble Bags ohbeehive.ca