Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Containerization - the first in a series

I have to say, the response I've gotten since I started this blog is absolutely amazing, especially considering I've never officially launched it other than highlighting a few of the posts on Facebook.  My friend Caroline sent me photos of her sons' lunches (can you believe she packs 30 snacks and lunches per week and when her 4th son goes to school next year that number will be 35?!?!), my friend Jesse told me she made my pasta salad plus recipe for her whole family and people I haven't seen in years (but love!) have been telling me about the lunches they are making, the containers they are buying, and the foods their kids are eating.  Who knew so many of us had so much to say about lunch?  Thank you so much for reading and interacting with me.  Keep it coming!  And feel free to comment on the posts so others can see the great ideas you all have.

One question I keep getting is about what kinds of lunch bags, bowls, cutlery, and containers I use.  This is something I've been spending a lot of time thinking about lately and I'm happy to share what I use, what I don't use, and what's on my wish list.  I've seen a lot so I will likely break this topic up into a few posts.  I don't know if I'll ever find the perfect kid-friendly food storage options but I'm working on it.

Let's start with the basics, the lunchbox.  We have two in our house but so far we've only used one (the other just looks too clean to take to school).  The one we have been using is affectionately called "the snailbox" by Juju as it's in the shape of a snail and is quite possibly one of the cutest things I've ever seen.  I got it at the Gap but unfortunately it's no longer listed on their website.  The inside is completely insulated which makes keeping things cold easy and it holds a whole lot for a snail.

We have a Pottery Barn Kids Mackenzie Retro lunchbox sitting on a shelf that will probably see the lunch table some time next fall when I have to pack a lunch daily and may need to relieve the snail.  The Pottery Barn lunchbox was a gift and came with some snazzy green containers (alas they are plastic) and best of all a green and white cutlery set (stainless steel utensils - hooray) complete with a case to take them back home in a sanitary manner.  I had been sending Juju with loose utensils to school and it's a lot more pleasant to unpack her sack now.  Despite the plastic cutlery holder, I really endorse these.  The plastic isn't ever really touching the food so from what little I know about the dangers of plastic leaching into food, this seems to be ok.

My friend Jesse (the one who made the pasta salad!) introduced me to the world of reusable fabric snack bags about two years ago.  I have to say, I was really reluctant at first.  It seemed like a weird idea to hold food in fabric, and I wasn't really sure how I could possibly get them clean.  Plastic bags sounded way more sanitary.  But I tried the Snack Taxi (then called Happy Sacks) Jesse gave me and I actually really liked it.  It was easier for Juju to hold and open when she was younger and it certainly was prettier.  The inside is lined with nylon which is really easy to wipe out and you can also throw them in the wash.  I haven't put anything like a sandwich in mine yet (somehow that still feels weird) but it's great for holding pretzels, crackers, granola, etc.

I've tried a few other kinds because above all, I really like that they are reusable.  The few I bought on Etsy where homemade looking and I didn't realize when I was buying them that that were unlined (big mistake).   The sample sale site Zulily featured a company called ReSnackIt last week and I bought two bags from them.  I'll let you know what they're like when I get them.  I just noticed on their website that they also have some snack bags with double pouches which look really cool.  I also bought some more Snack Taxis yesterday (there are some on sale and it's hard for me to resist a sale!) because I am not yet the kind of blogger who gets free things sent to her to try out. . .though of course I am always open to such a scenario.

I feel the need to point out that I am really not the greenest person around.  I do plenty of things that probably waste a lot of energy and resources.  If you met me for the first time you would not mistake me for Al Gore.  I just feel good knowing that I am in some way working to cut down on waste and sparing my family some exposure to plastic in our food.  But if I am being totally, totally honest, I will admit that I am a sucker for cute accessories and lunch is no exception.  Fabric snack bags really are way cuter than ziplocs.  It's really a win-win.

This is pretty much all the fabric I pack with lunch.  Next time I'll focus on some more of the stainless steel I send to school.

1 comment:

  1. Kind of off topic, but your post reminded me of this. I know this is plastic, but this first time I saw this I loved it. If I were a kid (or say a 30-something year-old!) I think I would love to eat dinner off this.