I’ve gotten through the first year of packing school lunches and am ready for Grade 2! As I went through the year, I discovered things that did and didn’t work so well. Little hands are not the same as big hands, and my daughter definitely has different tastes than me. I’ve learned that light and easy to open containers are much more likely to be opened and the contents consumed with nothing lost! (After a few days of yogurt coming back in a thermos uneaten…)
These are my litterless lunch must haves for back to school!
ECOLunchbox stainless steel containers
I love that these are all stainless steel so there’s no plastic involved. I have now switched our family over to using glass or stainless steel for all food storage, because even BPA-free plastics can still be leaching toxins into your food (here’s my infographic on decoding plastic codes), especially if you are re-heating it in the container.
The EcoDipper size container is perfect for a serving of fruit or other snacks (not liquid proof) and is perfectly easy for my daughter to open. I never have to worry about her dropping it and breaking it like some of the glass containers I have sent her with.
There are also these awesome bento sets available!
I invested in a set of these and they are probably my most used containers for my daughter’s lunches. They are the perfect size for packing 5-6 Late July Classic Rich Crackers (a healthier alternative to Ritz crackers), or other small snacks. Again, these are all stainless steel (no plastic involved!) and so easy for my daughter to open. She has already declared that they are her favourite containers.
These are just a tiny bit smaller than the Kids Konserve containers above, but with a silicone ring in the lid. This makes them versatile enough to use for sauces and salad dressings too.
I love how versatile these snack bags are! I use them for packing all kinds of stuff, not just snacks. They’re also great for putting cutlery in, or items you are concerned might leak.
This cutlery set is perfect for putting in a smaller reusable snack bag, and I love that it’s all stainless steel. No plastic involved! My daughter’s set still looks brand new.
Since there’s no refrigerator for kids lunches at school, this ice pack has been really handy for keeping things cold.
LunchBots Stainless Steel Containers
This size of the medium container is great for packing bigger servings of snacks, like Neal Brothers pretzels or popcorn. I also love them for packing strawberries, and the Onyx ice pack above fits perfectly inside to keep them cold! Sandwiches also fit really well in them. You can also get bento style ones with dividers!
We have 2 of these that we rotate through, and they’ve really stood up to daily use and abuse. The silicone straw really works well so that it doesn’t leak. I found that my daughter wasn’t quite ready for a water bottle with a twist off cap, so these have really worked well.
I don’t send juice to school every day, but there are times that I want to – and as much as possible I want to avoid single use juiceboxes (especially those darn plastic straws that cause so much plastic pollution because they’re not recycled). So even though I try not to use plastic with food and drink storage, I did get this reusable drink box and make sure that I don’t put it in the dishwasher. It has held up to be leakproof so far, and I typically pack it in one of our zippered snack bags with a cold pack to keep the juice cold.
Of course, a litterless lunch would not be complete without some labels on the containers and bags! It’s definitely an investment to get some of these supplies, so I put Mabel’s Labels on everything – and so far nothing has gone missing! Hallelujah!
What are your litterless lunch must haves for Back to School?
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