Thursday, 14 June 2012

Packing a lunch - Part 1, Packaging and Containers

Pretty sure I'll come back to this topic at a later date, so today's entry is titled Part 1.  There's so much to say about packing lunches for the people in your life who spend the day away from the house or for yourself.

One of my biggest concerns about all my wees going to school in a couple of years is having to pack ALL those lunches every day for four people.  4!  That's going to take up a whole shelf in my fridge.  But, I can do it!  And I want to do it!  And I'm going help you breathe your way through it too.  Maybe you're doing it now.  I'm currently packing two lunches a day and still find it a tiny bit challenging.  I want to send a bit of love in the yummy foods in the bag.  I want to send enough calories to keep them going until they get home for some more energy.  I want to send tiny treats and a note so they'll remember me all day.  I want it to stay fresh.  I want it to look attractive when it's finally time for them to eat it.  I want lunches to be creative and not just a re-run of supper the night before.  I want everyone else to want to trade with them.  Yeah, baby.

Let's start with packaging.  I'm big on a litterless lunch though not achieving it every day, but almost.

My friend has a Goodbyn that she swears keeps the crackers dry even with strawberries in the next compartment.  Fewer covers and containers means a greater chance they'll come home for another meal.  Every September, I buy a new set of Lock 'n Lock plastic containers.  As much as I'd like to go with glass that's not an option with the school kids (have you seen how they treat their bookbags?!).  A good container to keep warm foods warm is paramount for the Big Kid, he loves warm food in his lunch.  I have a set of these I have no complaints about for a bit of dip, or the granola to go on top of yogurt.  There are lots of neato containers and ideas for containing and carrying your lunches.  I find having a plethora of choices of containers helps me to create a lunch that is appreciated.  I don't have hundreds of plastic containers, just a few of several different shapes and sizes.  It is important to invest in good quality containers though, not the place to go to the local dollar store.  I love The Container Store, there are containers for everything, not just lunches, there.

Sandwiches are not a big hit with me, I have a thing against soggy bread so shy away from packing them in lunches.  I refuse to put butter in a cold sandwich (another textural issue with me) but it is a good idea so please do this if you like it.  I make a bread that is sturdy and with little spread (mayo, mustard) and does very well in a lunch box.  If you do lean toward sandwiches, consider one of these reusable sandwich bags.

The Big Kid has not had luck with juices not pre-packaged in a tetra box.  There was a lot of spillage and mess and he decided he was better off without any juice at all if it wasn't in a box.  I buy them once in a while but mostly he goes without.  Here is a great idea, even once the straw is lost you can replace it with your own cut off or go without and have the kid tip it up to drink.  You can pour a third or half full and freeze it, then add a bit of juice in the morning so it'll be cold at school.  This causes condensation issues, beware.

Love the idea of stackable metal tins, but that's more for me.  Maybe one day I'll need to pack a lunch, hopefully not though.

Must sign out for now. 

Next step: what to pack in the lunches. 

Do you have any ideas for containers and packaging you'd like to share with me?  I'd love to hear from you.

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