Packing lunches is always a struggle, especially towards the end of the year when you’ve lost inspiration. What can you feed them that is healthy, but that they will eat in the short amount of time they have for lunch? It always feels like we throw away too much food at the end of the day. Was it because the drink leaked on the food and made it soggy? Or just that they didn’t like what you packed? Plus, how do you pack their lunch without wasting a ton of plastic & packaging each day?
At our house, we use straw bottles from Green Sprouts and Skip Hop for water each day. The Green sprouts bottle we have had for at least 4-5 years. The straw comes out of the top pretty easily to be washed. They also sell extra straws with a little brush to clean them if need be. The Skip Hop water bottle is super cute, but the straw does not come apart easily, so I just wash it with the cap on in the dishwasher. We usually don’t have problems with the bottles leaking as long as the kids slide the cap back on, or keep it upright if they don’t. But like with anything kid related, there is potential for messes.
To eliminate having to use plastic bags, we use the Sugarbooger bento box which has 3 compartments to pack food in. The larger compartment is more than big enough to hold half a sandwich and can hold 2 halves stacked on top of each other. In the smaller two compartments, I usually pack a fruit and/or vegetable, and sometimes chips or crackers. The divider sections of the compartments on these bento boxes is raised to provide a seal so the food does not mix. I have never tried it, but it is probably not good enough of a seal to prevent yogurt from seeping through. We have had these bento boxes for a couple years, and they are still in great shape.
My boys are huge LEGO fans, as most 5-9 year old boys are. They picked out these LEGO lunch bags (with matching backpacks) by CarryGear, before the 2014/2015 school year. We are going on 2 years, and they are still in really good shape. They clean up easily. They also hold the bento boxes, straw bottle and a flat ice pack. It is a little tight to zip it up, but I do it every morning and my boys do it after lunch each day. Occasionally they stick their water bottle in the front pocket instead, but that is another alternative. The other nice thing about their size is they are not too big to fit in the boys backpacks, but they can also be attached to the outside of their backpack with the velcro strap on top. I have been really impressed with the quality of the CarryGear LEGO lunch bags & backpacks. How often can you find bags that survive 2 school years?