A passion for food + fashion

A Greener Lunchbox

In Baby Love, Food, Media on October 9, 2010 at 8:56 am

Good morning! I’m so excited—today I have a story in the Home section of the Los Angeles Times about packing a greener lunch for kids. The story is focused mainly on gear and making smarter choices, ie saying “goodbye” to paper napkins, plastic baggies and disposable utensils. Check out one of Tiny G’s lunches from last week—Kids Konserve makes great mini food-grade stainless steel pots that are perfect for dips or hummus (or blueberries or any other small snacks). And then sliced strawberries and cooked organic carrots stay fresh in silicone pinch pots thanks to a resusable nontoxic ice pack. No baggies required!

Tiny G is still, well, Tiny, but for kindergarten and grade school lunches my friend Jill swears by these Lunchskins as alternatives to sandwich and snack bags and is always getting asked about them by other parents. They can go straight into the dishwasher and are lead-free and BPA-free. Love the designs:

But perhaps the biggest step you can take toward reducing waste in your kid’s lunchbox is to look for alternatives to “snack size” or individual portions of yogurt, applesauce, etc. In the end, buying in bulk is better for the environment and better for your wallet! String cheese seems to be the biggest offender, so I buy an 8-ounce block of organic mozzarella and cube up a few pieces for Tiny G’s lunch (see above). Or, think about buying a 27-ounce container of yogurt and scooping out an individual-sized portion into resusable Tupperware. When researching this story I was kind of blown away by the EPA stat that the average school-age kid (K-12) generates 67 lbs of lunchtime waste each year—that’s over 110 million pounds in LA County schools alone! For more info on packing waste-free, check out wastefreelunches.org and for eco-friendly gear visit greenmylunchbox.com.

Please feel free to email me (thefoodinista@gmail.com) with any gear-related questions because between myself and my neighbor, jewelry designer Dana Kellin McCrane, we have researched most of these brands and can provide pro/con feedback on a lot of these items!

  1. Great story in the Times. Another major plastic offender these days are those squeezable fruit purees. They drive me nuts. I understand the frustration parents must feel when their kids won’t eat actual fruit but I think it dissociates what the kid are actually eating by giving it to them in what is essentially a toy.

  2. Not to mention creating unnecessary waste, of course!

  3. I’m still planning on ordering the lunchbots, but for now I’m using the resuable plastic stuff we already have. I really want stuff that’s going to be dishwasher safe, but then I realized, unless I run the dishwasher at the exact right time every day, I will have to have two sets of the stainless steel stuff for each kid. With three kids, it starts to get expensive. Arg. It’s always something.

  4. Autumn—probably the greenest thing you can do is to use what you already have. I know – the stainless stuff is pretty expensive. So far the Lunchbots seems super durable and I suspect we’ll have it for some time to come. Then again, I just have the one bambino.

    Serendipitously after I wrote yesterday’s post, my friend Lizzie had a present for Tiny G—the exact tangerine/white polka dot Lunchskins snack bag I featured in this post! I love it! Can’t wait to try it out tomorrow. Am trying to totally rid ourselves of plastic baggies, and this should be a huge help. Also dishwasher safe.

  5. I have been meaning to be better about this with Caitlin’s lunch (and mine!)! Thanks for giving me the kick in the pants I needed. I have everything on order, but am wondering where you got the silicone pinch pots. Great post! Thanks!

  6. Hi Christie! Michelle shared pics of Caitlin on her last visit—she is soooo cute! I got the pinch pots at Sur la Table. They are Le Creuset. Here’s a link to an earlier post about gear, including the pinch pots. You can also use silicone muffin cups which I think your sis could hook you up with!


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