Wednesday, November 14, 2007

(Mostly) Local Lunches - Waste Free Too!

I get so many comments on my kids' school lunches that I thought I'd post about it. One teacher said my eldest's meals were the healthiest she'd see in her 7 years of teaching. Nice. :) One parent called my youngest's lunch "interesting." Hmmmm. I was surprised by the first comment but not by the second. I don't consider my kids' meals out of this world healthy but they sure are a far cry from the colorful bags of goldfish, "fruit" snacks and other processed corn that litters most childrens' lunch boxes.

They are usually mostly local and almost always waste free. I tend to pack leftovers from dinner, fresh food from the local farmer's market or our backyard garden and the occasional non-local cookie (yup! I'm guilty).

Below is the lunch my big guy is getting tomorrow. Cauliflowers (his request!), candy roaster soup (local farmers: candy roaster winter squash, white beans, onion and olive oil, homemade vegetable stock from veggie scraps, non-local spices and salt and sugar, milk from nearly local dairy, thyme from our backyard - best soup I've eaten in a long long time!), strawberries (local farmer - yup, strawberries in November), nuts (pistachios and almonds are local and cashews are bulk) and honey stick (local beekeeper).

Below is my little one's lunch for tomorrow. It has a local egg (hardboiled with a turkey drawn on it), same local strawberries, local English peas (farmer's market), local cheese (farmer's market - really yummy!), non local cookies, small rice cakes (local company but don't know about rice) and local persimmon (farmer's market). Also bonus in that his lunch box is a hand-me-down from a friends' son and we've been using it for 2 years now - even though it has the previous owner's name written all over it.

Here is the drawer I previously used from plastic wrap, plastic zip locks and aluminum foil. Now it is the station for my kids' (and hubby's) no waste lunch. It is just as easy as using all the disposable stuff and so much better for the planet. :)


Burbanmom said...

Go Green Bean! I have also given up ziplocks in favor of the reusable tupperware items. The plus side is that the snacks don't get squished! Now I need to follow your lead and start putting healthier snacks inside of them!

Beth in the Fake Plastic Fish Tank said...

I think it's okay to reuse these plastic containers as long as you don't put anything hot into them. I'm learning more and more in my plastics class about the properties of plastics and what can happen when they are heated. Also, I've been told it's not great to put fatty foods into them since plastic is lipophyllic. I'll try to find out more about that.

Wondering if they made tiny Pyrex containers for holding small amounts of kids' foods.

Green Bean said...

Beth, I know that plastics aren't the greatest things to pack kids lunches in and I try to send anything that needs to be heated in glass but, even though they do make small glass/pyrex containers, most schools do not want you to send glass. It breaks! :( The other option are stainless steel containers but the only ones I've found stack together and are more appropriate for grown ups. Plus, you obviously can't heat anything up in those.

Plastics are really scary but I feel like they are my best overall option right now for the kids' food. If you find any alternative containers ever, please please post them. :)



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