Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Greatest Lunch Box Ever

I made a note of this months ago, but thinking about the Alice Waters project I mentioned below has me thinking again how much I love the boys' lunch boxes. They're called the Laptop Lunchbox: 4 containers inside a bento box with a laptop style insulated case for the outside.

I love this lunch kit because, if you fill it with the proper food groups, it reminds your child how to put together a balanced meal. My standby is PBJ, baby carrots, yogurt, and fruit, but I do get creative and throw other foods in there from time to time. It even comes with a small dip container, which is great for Two: he doesn't believe fruit should be eaten without peanut butter on it.

It's also helped me with portion control. Each container only holds so much, and even though the food I pack is healthy, it keeps my urge to stuff them under control. One eats whatever you give him, so if I could overpack his lunch he could overeat. Two has the opposite problem: he gets overwhelmed by too much and shuts down entirely. This box lets him see clearly that there are 3 carrot sticks, 5 apple slices, etc, right from the start of the meal. He's more prepared that way and it calms his nervousness about too many different tastes and textures all at one time.

They're easy to clean, and after a year of use aren't showing any signs of wear. We did lose the silverware but I replaced it with a cute plastic-handled set from Target. The school loves it too because it cuts down on trash - they hate plastic baggies and strongly encourage parents to eschew them.

One way or the other, whatever container you use, consider packing lunch every day instead of letting young children buy at school. It's cheap, it's 100 times healthier, and you know what they're eating. There's not a better recommendation than that.

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