Tuesday, August 31, 2010

lunch love

Something I am really loving right now is packing the boys' lunches so far this year. I'm getting used to their Planet Boxes now and it is getting so fun to see each lunch come together. The first few times I used these (still in summer and also right when school started), I was feeling pretty uninspired and I was wondering how it would all really go this year. After that, Dieter and I got a chance to go to Trader Joe's together and picked out a whole bunch of food for lunches. Ever since then I've been getting into the groove. I've found that I like to fill three of the compartments with fruits and veg, one compartment with meat/cheese, and the little "treat" compartment (in the middle) with dried fruit (and once so far I gave them Teddy Grahams in there). In the "big dipper" (the separate round container) I like to pack their crunchy treat (pretzels, chips, or crackers). In the lunch above they have dried cranberries as the center treat.
I was feeling so proud of this lunch: steak cubes, homemade wheat dinner role, dried apricots, strawberries and blueberries, plum slices, and popped chips on the side. Both boys refused to eat their roles for lunch! They liked them fine at dinner, but not for lunch . . .
This was Dieter's version of lunch that same day. His had homemade chicken nuggets (using this recipe), which were delicious at dinner the night before but which he didn't like cold for lunch. I thought it was such a good idea, but alas, the lunch like at the top is the most popular.

Basically what I am loving about this lunch system is that it makes it so easy to pack a healthy lunch with lots of little cut up fruit and veggie bites. My boys especially love fruit. I like that it doesn't all run together or touch each other. I love not having to hunt around for a lot of little containers. LOVE that. In the afternoon we eat whatever is left over in the kids' boxes (not much) and then run them through the dishwasher so they will be ready to pack up again in the evening. It is working really well. I kind of think every school child in the land should have one of these. Oh how much healthier the lunches would be, just for the pure ease of it. On the down side these are expensive and really heavy. I do expect my boys to use them all the way through 6th grade, so possibly they are economical in the long run. (Also maybe economical because I'm not tempted to buy a lot of little packaged products for the ease of just throwing them in a bag and being done with it.) I'm already sort of wondering/stressing out on what they will do in junior high and high school. I think it would be impractical for a teen to carry these around from class to class. I never did figure out a trash free lunch for the older kids and Ben still takes a waxed paper bag and a paper lunch sack to school every day.

14 comments:

Jessica said...

I wondered what the Planet Lunch boxes looked like. Thanks for sharing! I love not having to look for little containers, too!

nicole said...

how does the lunch stay cold/cool? just curious. we have the lunchbots this year and i still haven't figured it out.

Bec said...

Those lunches look delicious and I love all the little compartments, my kids love to have heaps of different bits and pieces to choose form.

Bending Birches said...

great blog....I love everything here!!

Mary Beth said...

Nicole--there is an outer insulated lunchbox that the metal box fits into, and it has a pocket for an ice pack (I had to seek out a thin one). I think it has been working out fine, or at least no complaints from the boys.

Bending Birches--thank you!

Little Ol' Liz said...

Perhaps in the tween/teen years you may have to convert to the plastic Bento boxes. At least something with a very cool anime character on it will survive any social stigma of bringing a home packed lunch.

Or maybe we will all evolve a little more by the time the Boys get to Jr. High!

Denise C. said...

Love the lunches! With the compartments being metal are they rusting at all when being run through the dishwasher? I love taking my kids on picnics & those would be prefect for their lunches! :)

kristen said...

I love all the different sections. My kids LOVE to have many different things to choose from for lunch, so this would be perfect. Your boys are such healthy eaters!

catie said...

i love seeing your boys' lunchboxes in action. it is always hard to forecast which foods will have "at school" appeal. they must be good cold, easy to eat, and tasty enough to hold their attention in a very distracting environment.

regarding trash-free lunches for older kids, i did a post a while back about reusing the plastic bags that are inside cereal & cracker boxes {copy & paste: http://five-ten-fifteen.blogspot.com/2010/06/plastic-bags-one-alternative-to-ziplocs.html }. these bags are what i use for packaging chips, sandwiches, grapes, etc for my daughter's lunch.

as always, i LOVE your blog, mary beth! ♥

Jodz said...

I love your lunch boxes. We can't get anything like that her in New Zealand. I use plastic Tupperware ones that have segments to cut down on food wrap but I would love to have stainless ones. How cool.

Sarah said...

I love lunch posts! We have the laptop lunchboxes and although I usually try to not use plastic, we adore these. They make it so much fun to pack lunches, and I hope eat them too! Your boys' lunches look delicious.

SpiderWomanKnits said...

i was just about to purchase one of these and honestly the price stopped me but i am still considering it. it seems like a product that will last a long time so i am really still on the fence. are they very heavy?

i am considering a tiffin box also which might be a good choice for your older babes.

thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! it looks like a dream to pack lunches in though.

Mary Beth said...

Spider Woman Knits--I agree--the price is a big drawback. I fully intend to use these for the boys from preschool/kindergarten all the way through elementary school (which is through 6th grade here). So in that way, I think they are a good value. Especially when you consider the number of regular lunchboxes and multiple little containers and ziplock bags you might otherwise have to buy. One huge factor for me in buying stainless steel is that I love the way it comes out of the dishwasher--so much nicer than dealing with a bunch of wet plastics that have to be dried by hand.

Yes, they are heavy. I feel certain that this might be an issue for some moms. I don't think it is an issue for most kids, though. As long as there are no actual issues of muscle weakness or anything like that. They are heavy, but I want my kids to be able to carry heavy things (and they're not _that_ heavy, of course).

Denise C.--no rust because they are stainless steel. I love that about them.

christine ~ ourdayourjourney said...

i wish i had seen these before i stocked up on lunchBots and kids konserve containers, the lunch boxes look great. i love stocking up at trader joes too