A big thank-you to super mom, blogger and guest contributor this month Christine Bruckmann from Just Another Edmonton Mommy for partnering with us and for sharing her top tips for keeping your child’s lunch fun and sustainable this back to school season.
I’ve always viewed September as my New Year's. The start of a new season, the start of a new school year, and the perfect time to commit to making some changes. This means that we are actively working to reduce our food waste and are embracing more litterless lunches.
If this idea overwhelms you just thinking about it, don’t worry I’m going through it all too. The time commitment, buying potentially expensive lunch boxes when my kids can’t even bring home a metal spoon, and the loss of convenience…. But the reducing and reusing that we commit to today can help to make for a better tomorrow.
Get your Kids Involved
In the summer we started spending about an hour every Sunday to wash, pre-cut, and prepare food for the week. I find that getting our kids involved with helping to prep and even cooking, increases the chances that they will eat the food. It’s also a great way to introduce using eco-friendly items such as containers and reusable bags to them too.
Find What Works for You
I recently read an article on foodnetwork.com about how using several smaller portioned options and foods that make the lunch colourful can help to encourage kids to eat more. This doesn’t mean that you have to produce elaborate art-work meals but changing it up can make it fun.
Even better, there are several eco-friendly options for different budgets to help you with this which include:
· Cookie cutters to make foods like sandwiches and fruit into fun shapes
· Reusable snack, sandwich bags, straws, and containers
· Beeswax wraps that can be used as an alternative to plastic wrap
· Silicone baking cups to separate foods like crackers, cut up fruit and more
· Bento style boxes such as Yumbox, Cool Gear Ez -Freeze Collapsible Bento Box, and Little Lunch Box Co. which have small compartments for food and even some leakproof options so you can add dips, yogurt, apple sauce and more right into the lunch box
· Reusable kid-friendly skewer food combinations such as fruit & marshmallows, meat & cheese, and more
Pack A Reusable Water Bottle
Last year we stopped buying juice boxes and bottled water and started to send the kids to school with a reusable water bottle. It goes to school with them at the beginning of the school week and comes home at the end of the week to be washed. My kids love their Contigo water bottles but there are many other great reusable water bottles available depending on your preferences.
Find Some Inspiration
With Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Google, finding inspiration for your kid’s lunches is limitless and easy. This is where getting your kids involved can also help too. Create a pin board, make an Instagram account of all your lunch-time creations, or make a school-lunch menu for the week.
The key to making this a success is commitment. Even if you start small and go from there – you never know, this may be the easiest change that you’ve made!
What are some of the ways that you and your family have committed to eco-friendly lunches?
Christine Bruckmann is the blogger behind Just Another Edmonton Mommy, one of Edmonton's most trusted resources for families. Born and raised in Edmonton she loves to explore and write about local events, playgrounds, travel and other family-friendly activities. You can follow her blog at www.JustAnotherEdmontonMommy.com