This is Day 319 of the Green in 365 series!
My daughter started full-day Kindergarten this year, so she eats lunch at school everyday now. Ugh! While I’m sure you’d love to hear me rant about school lunches and how awesomely terrible they are, it kinda hurts my brain, and stomach, just thinking about it.
And let’s not even discuss how a rice-krispie treat is counted as a “grain” on the school lunch menu. You think I’m joking, right?!
Because we are not perfect eaters at home all the time either, we have compromised that she can eat lunch at school one day a week. She is my pickiest eater – although she loves junk food, which is why she wants to eat at school so badly – so on the days she brings her lunch from home, I want to pack her the healthiest lunch that I can.
Variety is the spice of life!
Three months in though, and I still don’t quite feel like I have the healthy lunch thing figured out. It’s been PB&J, a fruit, a veggie and sometimes a small snack like natural fruit bars or crackers. So I’m not doing so well with the whole variety thing.
Honestly, I’m a little worried about packing things that she doesn’t like, so then she won’t eat it and she’ll be hungry all day. Maybe that actually wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for her.
It includes over 45 lunch-box friendly recipes (with a whole section of bread alternatives). But it’s so much more than a cookbook! It’s a complete guide for packing healthy lunches! Even if you never made any of the recipes from the book, the first section with tips and tricks for easier lunch box packing is insanely helpful! It’s full of inspiration, ideas, and just practical stuff to take the stress out of the morning rush to pack lunches.
And I guess that’s mainly my issue with struggling to provide variety; I just don’t have a lot of creativity or time when I leave lunch packing until the morning. Katie has some great ideas for ways to sneak lunch packing in throughout the day using time that you are already in the kitchen, so that lunch is already packed before you go to bed at night. Which makes for much easier and less-stressful mornings!
But wait, this post was supposed to be about packing a no-waste lunch! I got a little side-tracked there! Anywho… if you need some healthy lunch box inspiration – definitely go grab a copy of The Healthy Lunchbox!
How to Pack a No Waste Lunch
So, even though my daughter’s lunch box might not be known for it’s variety, I’m pretty proud of the way I’ve been able to pack her completely no-waste lunches. I invested in a few basic reusable pieces that make no-waste lunch packing super easy.
8 Tools for packing a no-waste lunch:
- Kid-Friendly, PVC, BPA, and phthalate-free lunch box
- Stainless-steel food container
- Reusable sandwich and snack bags (I found mine at Target, but these are the ones we have)
- Stainless steel water bottle
- A set of Little Green Pouches
- Silicone ice pop molds
- small Tupperware bowl with lid
- And a cloth napkin and regular silverware when needed
I use the lunch box, food container, reusable bags, water bottle, and cloth napkin every day for her lunch. Because she’s always had reusable containers, I’ve never worried about her throwing the stuff away. She just knows to bring everything home with her.
This is also really helpful, because, as Katie talks about in The Healthy Lunchbox, she also brings home the food that she doesn’t eat, so I know whether she just ate one of her carrots or all of them on any given day.
The Little Green Pouches are perfect for sending applesauce, and the ice pop molds for smoothies – although those aren’t included in her lunch as often as I would like. But we’re working on the variety thing, remember!
The most important part of packing a no waste lunch is having the right tools on hand. If you invest in a few reusable pieces up front, it will save you money in the long run. You won’t have to continually buy disposable snack baggies, individual portion sized foods (which are more expensive than larger bulk sizes), and individual drink packages.
With The Healthy Lunchbox and reusable lunch packing tools you will be on your way to packing a healthy, no-waste lunch box!
Do you struggle with packing variety in your kid’s, or your own, lunches? What are your favorite reusable lunch packing tools?
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