Monday, March 14, 2011

9 Ways to Refresh your Waste-Free Lunch Box

It's six months into the school year and while we're generally pretty good at keeping track of our kids' footwear and clothing, what about the state of their lunch gear? It's March Break -- a great opportunity to take stock and freshen up that waste-free lunch.

Post by Louise

After daily use, water bottles, lunch bags and food storage containers can take a battering. Does the lunch bag need a good wash? Is that water bottle seriously dented from repeatedly being dropped? If you pack plastic food containers, are they scratched or have they gone cloudy? If so, they may be releasing carcinogenic toxins and now would be a good time to move them to the craft table or garage for storing items other than food. Safe options for replacements include glass food storage containers, various stainless steel containers or BPA-free plastic food containers.

To make things easy, we've singled out our top three picks for lunch bags, water bottles and food storage containers. That's nine ways to refresh your lunch box -- many of which are new for Spring 2011.

Reusable Lunch Bags
For older girls, we recommend the new Scattered Leaves Gourmet Getaway from Built NY. Made of lead safe neoprene (the wetsuit material), this stylish bag is machine washable, insulated, zippered and stretches to fit any number of containers and foods.

Our Freezable Packit Lunch Bag in black or blue is perfect for older boys. Simply put it in the freezer overnight, take it out and pack it and will keep his lunch and after school snacks cold for up to 10 hours.

For the younger set, our Coated Linen Lunch Boxes for Kids are a great option - especially the new pink Giraffe square lunch box for girls and the bright turquoise scooter lunch box for boys. PVC-free, phthalate-free and lead safe, these eco friendly lunch boxes for kids are fully zippered and insulated.

Water Bottles
New for us this spring are Lifefactory glass water bottles in the smaller, more child-appropriate 450ml size with colourful and funky silicone sleeves. You might think they're not ideal for children, but don't underestimate your wee ones or the protective nature of the silicone covers. Plus the colours are fantastic - graphite grey Lifefactory bottle, raspberry pink, royal purple and more.

Our leakproof Camelbak stainless steel bottles for kids remain popular. The bite valve with a straw means sipping is quiet -- a point we didn't realize was of vital importance in class until we heard it from kids! The two best selling designs continue to be Camelbak Kids Dinosaurs and Butterflies.

For older kids, there's a larger new Camelbak option that keeps their water fresh and cold - the Camelbak Stainless Steel Insulated Better Bottle. Choose from classic steely silver or pretty purple plum - yes, a purple stainless steel bottle!

Food Storage Containers
Our BPA-free, reusable Fruit Guard created by three Vancouver doctors remains one of our top-selling food storage containers for apples, grapes, pears, peaches and other soft fruits. Choose from six rainbow colours.

New for spring is our highly durable airtight glass and steel food container, featuring a stainless steel lid with a vacuum seal button. Just as great for storing then reheating leftovers, our smaller size airtight steel and glass container is particularly perfect for lunch on-the-go.

Also new are our leakproof stainless steel food containers with BPA-free plastic lids. Choose from pink magenta or mud brown easy-to-remove and replace lids.

Additional ways to spice up your child's lunch and help encourage eco-friendly, waste-free eating include our new Light My Fire Spork with 3-in-1 functionality, our Thermal Food Containers with funky characters and images designed to keep hot foods hot and for little ones, our BPA-free Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters, always useful in encouraging them to eat.

For more waste-free lunch ideas, visit our eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts about packing a litterless lunch or would like to share ideas about your favourite lunch gear items, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

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