I’m just going to apologize up front for a weepy week of “firsts” ahead. While last week marked Tiny G’s first day at preschool, it was only for an hour a day and either his mama or daddy was there with him. Today was the first day we left him there on his own, and the first day I sent my little guy to school with a packed lunch. And here it is, packed with love—quite literally, in the form of a heart-shaped sandwich of La Boulangerie whole grain bread and roasted red pepper hummus. (I got a heart-shaped cookie cutter for $1 at Sur La Table.) Organic blueberries loaded with antioxidants and all-natural Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles on the side.
And the gear?
I spent hours and hours and hours researching different lunchbox options, my goal being to have a totally waste-free lunch with eco-friendly, reusable containers and no plastic baggies. (For more info on the subject, check out Green My Lunch and Waste-Free Lunches.)
What I quickly found is that most of the eco-friendly stuff is a pain in the neck. You can’t microwave it or put it in the dishwasher. Like you don’t already have enough to do with a two year old but to hand-wash his dishes. Who needs it? I finally went with my own riff on the bento box. The container is the Lunchbots Duo (above)—a food-grade stainless steel box with a lead-free powder-coated orange top that is dishwasher safe. And if you order thru GreenMyLunchbox.com, there is a 10% discount. Granted, I can’t put this in the microwave so if I ever need to pack a warm main course, I also grabbed a Thermos Foogo Leak-Proof Stainless Steel Jar that’s BPA-free.
For the colorful little dividers inside the Lunchbots Duo, I found a set of Le Creuset pinch bowls that are about 2.5 inches in diameter and hold 2 fl oz. Perfect for keeping fruits and veggies separate! They are made from nontoxic, BPA-free silicone and are microwave and dishwasher safe (read: LOW maintenance).
And finally, I love the Kids Konserve company. I have a couple of their stainless steel snack containers, which get heavy use and are up to the challenge. I also picked up one of their nontoxic sweat-free ice packs to keep Tiny G’s lunch from spoiling, as well as some handmade cotton caterpillar napkins with plant-based dyes. A napkin fits snugly between his “bento box” and favorite Sigg bottle in an old-school LL Bean lunchbox made of sturdy packcloth with a BPA-free lining. Tiny G goes green!
Would love to hear your favorite lunch ideas for wee ones!