- On August 11, 2016
We’re into the school year already. It doesn’t seem possible, does it? In two weeks, it’s trick-or-treating time. As the title references, we want to discuss non-toxic lunch gear as the children return to school. Packing your child’s lunch has many benefits. You can ensure he or she is eating a nutritious, balanced meal rather than some of the unhealthy cafeteria offerings.
Studies have revealed that many unsavory ingredients like phthalates, PVC, melamine, and lead are hiding in children’s lunch gear. One of the chief offenders is BPA, which has been linked to hormonal disruption, behavioral issues, and the Big C—cancer. Children are particularly vulnerable. If you’ve decided to abandon the plastic containers that can leach harmful chemicals into the food, these suggestions will help with reusable lunch gear that is, in addition to being eco-friendly, a healthier choice. There are many brands on the market from which to choose.
And you’ll be helping the environment.
It has been shown that the average school student lunch produces 67 pounds of waste per year. That’s a hefty contribution to not only food waste but also to garbage disposal and disintegration.
Recommendations for non-toxic, reusable food containers mostly consist of glass or stainless steel.
Bento boxes are a great option that originated in Japan in the twelfth century. These lunch boxes have separate compartments to keep foods in their place and not encroach on other delightful dishes. If you wish to avoid plastics altogether, you might want to consider an all stainless steel Bento.
Another option is a Lunch Tiffin. What is a tiffin? It originated in India, has separate compartments, and can keep food hot or cold for several hours. Suggestion: Life without Plastic Stainless Steel Tiffin. Three tiers allow you to pack a nutritious lunch for older children as these containers are not leak proof, but they are dishwasher safe with a complete absence of plastic!
Thermos produces the Sipp Vacuum Insulated Food Jar with a leak-proof lid. This baby is lightweight, BPA-free, and made of unbreakable stainless steel. The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps food hot for 5 hours and cold for 9. What’s not to like? Soup anyone?
Which utensils should the health conscious parent pack for their child’s lunch? Consider bamboo or stainless steel sets with their carrying cases for nice, clean lunch boxes.
For snack and sandwich bags, try functional and attractive reusable canvas sandwich bags. Fastened with Velcro, these sandwich bags are US produced with low-impact dyes and 100% unbleached organic cotton. If you’re in a hurry (not environmentally correct), you can use paper bags made from unbleached, grease proof, and renewable resources.
Again, with water bottles choose glass or stainless steel. Many schools won’t allow glass containers, and you may have to ask about stainless steel.
For lunchboxes, there are many choices in environmental versions. The PackIt freezable lunch cooler’s liner removes the need for ice or gel packs. And it is eco-friendly! If the bag is put in the freezer until it is time to pack the lunch, this toxic-free bag will keep food cool for up to 10 hours. Also, take a look at Goodbyn boxes. They have room for a water bottle, and you can buy an insulated version to keep your child’s lunch fresh and yummy.
Pack a reusable napkin in your child’s lunch bag. Another small step for Mother Nature.
We thank you for your interest in the environment and individual health and will continue to post helpful blogs on these important subjects.