My kids were in preschool when I started the daily battle of the lunch. What to pack? (Answer: healthy stuff they'll eat!) How to pack it? (Answer: containers they can open & close and that don't fill up the garbage can!).
Trouble was my kids couldn't open a lot of the little tight-lidded plastic containers I used for cut fruits, yogurts and other snacks. So I often resorted to plastic baggies because they were cheap, easy to open/close and contained things both wet and dry. But I wasn't happy with the waste we were creating. I tried using recyclable wax paper bags, but sandwiches dried out and wet stuff, like cut fruit, turned the wax paper to mush, creating a big mess.
My next experiment in lunchware was with the cute Japanese bento boxes I discovered in San Francisco's Japantown. My daughter especially loved the Hello Kitty designs! These bentos were really decorative and fun, but wouldn't fit sandwiches and the plastic hinges broke easily. And I wasn't interested in continuing to use plastic.
Bad news on plastic and its danger to people and the planet kept emerging as the years passed. At that time, hard plastics (like the Nalgene bottles) were believed to be generally safe. The squeezy plastics (like Ketchup and mayonnaise bottles) were to be avoided. Yet studies were showing that even the hard plastics could pose health hazards.
I yearned to avoid the throw-away plastic baggies, the plastic Tupperware food containers and the plastic/vinyl lunchboxes sold at the big-box retailers that are so ubiquitous. But as I searched high and low in sporting goods stores, big-box retailers and online, I was unable to put together a lunch kit that met my needs. I wondered, "What is the best way to pack a lunch?" That was when, about five years ago, I resolved to develop a lunch kit for kids ages 3 to 103... something healthy for people and the planet.
What I've come up with is a back-to-the-basics solution. The kit starts with a 100% cotton, machine washable bag with matching cloth napkins. Inside the bag, which can be converted from shoulder bag, to sling bag to backpack, are reusable bamboo utensils, and a two-level stainless steel ECOlunchbox sized to fit a sandwich. What have I left out? Plastics. Disposables. Vinyl. PVC. Lead. And, of course, the lunch. That part is up to you!
I hope you and your family enjoy using my ECOlunchbox Kit. After all, it's healthy for people and the planet. What could taste better than that?