Packing waste-free kids lunches

Group Of Elementary Age School Children Eating Healthy Packed Lunch In ClassIt’s 7 p.m. on Sunday evening and my girls and I are in the process of packing their school lunches.

This year, I’m trying to get my girls more involved by having them participate in making their lunches.  I have one fussy eater, and one that will eat anything I put in her lunch bag.  On top of that, I’m trying to follow my girls’ school’s “waste-free lunch” rules.

Most schools ask children to pack waste-free lunches — or litterless lunches — every day.  Other schools have special days once a week, like “Tupperware Tuesday” or “Trashless Thursday.”

When packing a waste-free lunch, some of the items I include are:

  • Reusable plastic sandwich, snack and drink containers
  • Metal thermos
  • Washable cloth bags
  • Re-usable plastic spook (spoon and fork combo) for yogurt and pudding
  • Cloth napkins

Some schools allow acceptable recyclable materials as part of a waste-free lunch, while others ask that lunches contain nothing that needs to be thrown away.

I have found a few tricks to keeping homemade hot lunches hot.  I pack a metal thermos for hot foods.  Before you put the hot food in, fill the thermos with boiling water.  Pour out the water just before adding items like macaroni, soup or spaghetti. I find this ensures the metal insert is really hot, keeping food at the perfect temperature.  When I make homemade chicken nuggets, I wrap the hot nuggets in aluminum foil before inserting them into the hot thermos.  The aluminum foil can go in the school’s Blue Boxes for recycling.

Halton Region’s Health Department has some great ideas for healthy lunch ideas.  You can also check out Waste Mangement Services’ Waste-free Lunch flyer for additional tips.

Blogger Kelly Allen at Spark Change has a great post and video about the importance of waste-free lunches, along with some neat suggestions for possible reusable materials. 

What other tips do you have for packing a waste-free lunch?

About Stacey Gibbs

Hi, I’m Stacey, I'm a Waste Management Operations Assistant. I take care of the wide variety of calls that Halton Region receives daily involving collection issues, and other all waste related inquiries.
This entry was posted in Education, Green Living, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Schools and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Packing waste-free kids lunches

  1. Pingback: Think.Eat.Save – World Environment Day 2013 | HaltonRecycles

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