Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 7: It's All About Lunch

{photos via here and here}

Okay, seven more days, and today my to-do item is to think about lunch. I get tired just thinking about it. Honestly, I don't know what to do--my daughter is only in 1st grade and I'm already burnt out on this front. I mean, I happen to think it's really important to pack a healthy lunch. But, that doesn't change the fact that it gets, I'm going to try to get a new attitude by getting organized and taking another step towards a greener lifestyle.

To Do.
  • Inspect lunch box. If it isn't acceptable (they really get nasty, don't they?), I'm going to need to buy a new one. I'm hoping I don't have to. But, I do love this and this. This website, cleverly called Reusit, also has lots of great options.
  • Organize my storage containers. I have a huge number of bottoms that don't appear to have tops. In fact, I'm wondering if I have any complete containers. (Doesn't help that the cupboard that contains these is "free range" for my toddler.)
  • Purchase new containers. I just KNOW I don't have enough (and I do this crazy thing of making individual containers of things like applesauce, grapes, crackers, yogurt, etc. at the beginning of the week for the entire week -- it takes no time and saves a lot of money to buy in bigger containers. But, you've got to have lots of containers!). Since I'm trying to replace icky plastic with other alternatives, I think I will invest in a couple of cool containers from here. And, maybe one or two LunchBots. And, I'm definitely going to get some cloth sandwich and snack sacks -- there a lots of great sources, but I especially love the cool prints at LunchSkins (remember, I'm trying to add spice into my lunchmaking life - so while some of this may be about her - it is a lot about me!). I also really love the idea of these cloth sandwich wraps which doubles as a placemat.
  • Switch to cloth. I'm sure you think I've gone off the deep end now. But, I really hate the idea of paper napkins...and we use cloth exclusively at home. So, why not at school? As a fun mother-daughter bonding thing (and in hopes of inspiring my daughter to take ownership of these and not discard them!) I'm going to attempt to sew napkins with her. So, we'll start by picking out some fabric and dusting off my sewing machine. In case you like the idea, but don't want to sew 'em yourself, check out these lunchbox napkins. (I'm bookmarking, just in case this mother-daughter project doesn't go as planned.)
  • Getting a Grip on the Water Bottle Crisis. Okay, I'm working on this. Two years ago I did away with plastic water bottles. Good move, I know. But, I get infuriated when those awesome stainless steel water bottles go a-missing. So, I'm working on finding a way to increase the likelihood of these bottles staying with us. I'm thinking a more colorful label like those from Mabels Labels or a neoprene sleeve or possibly some kind of customizable sticker/sleeve (I love the design-your-own SiggSkins but we don't have Sigg bottles.). Stay tuned on this one...
  • Find flatware. I'm not sure what I was thinking sending a child to school with some of my flatware. Suffice it to say, I lost some. Lesson learned. Now I have a collection of "random" spoons and forks I've picked up at yard sales and such. This year I'm going to purchase one set of bamboo flatware and either purchase or sew a little storage pouch like this that attaches to the lunchbox.
  • Brainstorm. I'm scheduling a brainstorming session with my daughter. We're going to come up with a list of lunch and snack ideas. Then, I'm going to make this into a pretty laminated list that she (yes, you read that right!) can use when putting together her lunches.
What's your kid's lunch- and how do you stay motivated to pack lunch everyday? 

Have fun.
  • Dad and daughter outing to see Alice in Wonderland at Maine State Music Theatre.


  1. Ooh... Michelle, I'm thinking I'm going to have to purchase some of those Lunchskins!

    We do pretty well with various (small) glad or whatever brand leftover containers, although I suppose if I read more about plastics going into the dishwasher, I might change my mind on those. But in the past, my kids have used ziplock baggies, and then bring them home to be washed. And I'm sure those plastics are breaking down on us, and eventually they do go in the trash.

    My kids, 8 and 11, make their own lunches. When they were younger, I had them pack 5 things, and then I supplemented with two others to round out the nutrition value. And I make sure they bring home what they don't eat, to maybe take again another day, or at least so I can see what they are not eating. Sometimes the carrots go back on forth for three days. :-(

    We do a lot of yogurt, cheese and crackers, apple slices (love my slicer/corer thing), orange slices, carrot and cucumber sticks, miscellaneous crunchy things like goldfish and pirate booty when they're on sale, and occassionally sandwiches.

    Our school now composts food waste. If yours doesn't, you should push it. Each classroom has a compost bucket and out back, there are one or two home compost bins. Pretty straightforward.

    Counting down the days! We start the 1st, so it's rapidly approaching. :-)

  2. Now that I think about it, I know someone who knows how to get the special vinyl-backed fabric from Europe. It wasn't cheap, but if a bunch of us crafty-types wanted to go in on an order, it might be kind of cool to make our own bags and sandwich mats! Let me know if you or any of your readers are interested and I'll find out more.