8 November 2014
What my kids have in their lunchboxes
Over the past couple of months at Sustainababy we've focussed on promoting healthy kid's lunchboxes (Love Your Lunchbox) and reducing plastic consumption in your home (Turn it Loose).
I'm passionate about both these topics so I thought I'd share a little of how I tackle them in my own home.
But before I get started on the whole lunchbox thing. I want to set something straight.
I don't pack my kid's lunchboxes.
Most of the time, Mr Sustainababy does.
Generally this is because once the kids are tucked up for the night, that's when I take off my mum hat and replace it with my business owner hat. Hubby makes his lunch for work so it kind of makes sense that he packs the kid's lunchboxes (except on the no kindy days when I make it over breakfast). Anyway, I'm getting off track.....
So, my husband assembles the lunchboxes, generally from food I've made throughout the day. This generally includes homemade bread (sourdough rye) and yoghurt, made every couple of days in our Thermomix. Homemade pizza (bases also made in the TM) are included every week or so as a treat. Often he turns the natural yoghurt into a tzatziki dip and the boys love that with crackers or vegetable dippers too.
Homemade yoghurt, made every couple of days in our Thermomix.
The food is placed in the kids bentos lunchboxes and yoghurt is either in a container that fits inside the lunchbox or occasionally, a reusable food pouch. So no cling wrap or snap lock bags are used!
Even though our bread is homemade and free from preservatives and plastic packaging, so it's about as good a wheat-based bread you can eat, I'm hoping to increase the number of days where our kids have bread-free lunchboxes. It's all about breaking the habit and getting the kids to eat different things. Let's say we have some room for improvement here and I'm loving the ideas I'm getting from Jessica Donovan's Natural Super Kids ecourse and Lisa Corduff's Small Steps to Wholefoods Program.
Given we make our own bread, yoghurt and dips, this also significantly cuts down the amount of plastic waste generated from our household. We also shop with reusable shopping and produce bags so don't bring home any plastic shopping bags or those plastic freezer bags from the produce department.
I have to admit the trend of supermarkets to package fruit n veg up on trays with plastic wrap (especially the organic produce!!) really irks me.
We receive a fortnightly delivery of fruit, veg, dairy, meat and pantry staples from Affordable Organics in Adelaide and much of this is packed loose. However, on my "off week" I do need to top up some produce from the local supermarket and sadly, some of this is packaged.
(Note: we live approx 600kms north west of Adelaide and the nearest farmers market is about that same distance away. There is only one supermarket in town. The next closest substantial supermarket is 275kms away. You can see why I LIVE for my fortnightly organics delivery.....).
When it come to using plastics in the home, we use decent storage containers for our food in the pantry, fridge and freezer. I cannot remember the last time we purchased plastic wrap or snap-lock bags.
We just don't need them.
We use Wrap It Green Reusable Food Wraps instead. I've also been eyeing off the food covers and bread bags at 4MyEarth.
And when it comes to drinks. I drink loose herbal tea and tap water, because it's extraordinary. Every family member has an ecococoon stainless steel water bottle. These bottles have the added benefit of being insulated and keeping water cool throughout the day - even on a forty plus degree day that is all to common where I live!
So there you have it, simple measures my family does every day to ensure we pack a healthy lunchbox and reduce our plastic waste.
I'd LOVE to hear what you do! Feel free to share below.
About the Author: Laura Trotta is an environmental engineer, ecoceptional mum and founder of Sustainababy. She lives in Outback South Australia with her husband and two young sons.