If you have children, the task of making healthy school lunches has reappeared in your daily chores. As parents, it is our job to ensure a balanced lunch of healthy carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fruit is sent to school each day. We also want to make lunches in zero time so a system needs to be in place.
To make our life easier, we are a Planetbox family. What is a Planetbox? It is a stainless-steel food-grade container that is compartmentalized for easy filling and easy eating! [And in case you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post! This is my opinion about how this lunch system works for us.]
Maybe your family uses plastic containers, a bento box, or plastic baggies for your lunch time needs. Perhaps you feel it is faster and cheaper to do it this way; and it could be in the short haul. However, as a long-term investment, I think the Planetbox is best and this is why:
ONE. I believe that this meal system makes it far easier to make lunch. There are four spots in their Rover model (seen in the title photo) which means one compartment for each type of food. There is also a tiny centre spot for a treat like chocolate chips! As you are packing the lunch, you visually see how you are meeting your child’s nutritional needs.
TWO. Your child sees everything they need to eat without opening multiple containers or bags. Many children rush their eating time so they can go play. Nutritionally speaking, isn’t it better for them to consume half the sandwich, three sticks of carrots and a few blueberries instead of just the sandwich?
THREE. It is a litterless lunch. My daughter’s school has a Platinum Eco Status, which means that we have a boomerang lunch. A green bin is provided for food waste but everything else will come home. Think of all the plastic baggies that would return to your home in the lunch bag, knapsack and coat pockets of your child. In mathematical terms, if you send your child to school with a sandwich, cut vegetables and blueberries, that would take three plastic baggies. That is 15 baggies a week and approximately 60 baggies a month. 600 baggies over the course of a school year! We haven’t even discussed snacks yet and we have created 600 bags for the landfill and spent approximately $25 on name-brand baggies.
FOUR. My five year old is sent to school with one container in a lunch bag and her water bottle. We don’t have to think at the end of the day if she went to school with five plastic containers or four. Or if all the lids were returned. All we need to stress about is one container in a bag and a water bottle. Much easier.
FIVE. Your children can make their own lunch with your guidance and oversight. I already have our five year old telling us what she wants in each section. It will be great to be able to have her assemble her own lunch in years to come. I also believe that when a child chooses their food, there is a greater chance it will be consumed.
One final comment: This isn’t first-week-of-use product lust. Our daughter’s Planetbox was used every single school day last year for Junior Kindergarten. [Ok, it wasn’t used on pizza lunch day, but its smaller sibling the Shuttle was used instead for snacks.] It has been used on weekends, camps and after-school programs. It has been worth the investment.
P.S. If you are in Canada, the only supplier is Ninety Ninth Monkey in Brooklin (Whitby), Ontario. We have bought all of our supplies from them. If you wish the latest styles or colours, you may need to order directly from the Planetbox site and pay in U.S. Dollars.
In the comments, please share your lunchtime ideas and systems that have helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – and Facebook!
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.