Deciding on the healthiest foods to pack for lunch can be difficult, but not as hard as it is to make sure the food stays edible once lunchtime hits. We have all experienced smooshed sandwiches or ranch dressing spilled all over our bananas! If your children are skeptical about healthy food, it’s hard to sell when everything is damaged or not visually appealing (see our picky eaters article). So, we thought we could help. Here are our top 5 eco-friendly, fun and easy-to-pack lunch boxes. These can be used for school lunches, work lunches, travel and more!
#5- Tennis Ball Canister Lunchbox
If you play tennis, or know someone who does, ask them for their leftover tennis ball containers. These plastic tubes can be recycled into fun, science fiction lunch and snack containers! You can make it into a spaceship or rocket by coloring on the outside, or keep it as a nondescript and compact snacking tube that can hold a small water bottle, juice, snack bags or a sub! Just pop on the lid and stick on the side of a bag where a water bottle would go.
#4- Silicone Cupcake Liners
If you have a picky eater on your hands, especially one that doesn’t like their food to touch, these silicone cupcake liners will make packing lunch a breeze. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be found in the baking aisle at most major retail stores. They can replace your plastic baggies, are dishwasher safe and fit perfectly into any reusable plastic lunch tray.
#3- Bento Boxes
These fun, inexpensive and easy-to-use containers are a perfect departure from the standard brown bag lunch. Bento Boxes, originally from Japan, are bright and colorful boxes decorated with animals or cartoons to make lunchtime more fun. These boxes are easy to stack and wash, and come in many different shapes and sizes.
#2- Plastic Egg Snacks
After Easter, plastic eggs have little purpose except to fill up toy boxes and attic spaces awaiting next years hunt. One mom decided she would use these colorful containers to pack fun, portion-controlled, diverse lunches for her daughter. Kara, blogger at Kailo Chic, uses these fun eggs for playdates, picnics in the park or for a special treat at home. We thought they would be a surprising and welcome addition to any lunch box. You can even add them to a egg carton for extra portable fun.
#1- Mason Canning Jars
People are getting more and more creative with packing “non-sandwich” lunches, and canning jars are a great and inexpensive way to start. These beauties can store anything from salad to pasta, veggie sticks to leftovers. They seal airtight, are dishwasher safe and chemical free. There are many fun recipes online for the perfect “jar” lunch, but we like this stacking salad jar as a start. Please note: These are suited for adult lunches.