Pack lunch boxes for meals and snacks all summer long

 

School’s Out!

I’m DONE with packing lunches until Fall! Isn’t that exciting? I can put those EasyLunchboxes away at the back of the cupboard for a few months. A break from tripping over silicone muffin cups! No more bento picks down the garbage disposal! Give my cookie and sandwich cutters a much-needed vacation!

Well, but what about Summer camp? I’ll still want her to have easy-open waste-free snack or lunch options… Plus I may need something to eat if I don’t want to drive home for lunch while she’s there each day…

And we’re going to a few lunchtime concerts in the park… And we might need the occasional lunch in the car in between a camp or class and another fun activity too… Darn it! Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean I won’t still need healthy, affordable, eco-friendly lunches. No matter which re-usable bento-style lunchboxes you choose, there are tons of uses for them beyond just those school lunches.

Snacks!

What a great way to pack healthy snacks for a day on the go. You can save money by buying the larger package sizes and then putting individual serving sizes into reusable containers when you’re out and about, rather than having a small individual-sized package of each snack. Plus many healthier (and thus more expensive) options are only available in the larger sizes. Would you rather spend $5 on a bag of 24 individual pouches of salt, empty carbs, and trans fats assorted popular brand-name chips? Or a large bag of all-natural vegetable root chips? I know where I’d rather have MY $5 go.

Pre-popped olive oil popcorn, home-made kale chips, and grapes.

Using a compartmentalized box like the EasyLunchboxes, if you put a serving of a bulky item, like chips or popcorn, in the larger section, you can sneak in some fruits and/or veggies in the smaller compartments. If it’s in front of them, they’re more likely to eat it. Same goes for you!

Picnics and Travel!

Who goes a whole summer without a picnic at a park or beach? Or maybe a long trip in the car or even a plane to visit relatives? Packing lunches is much healthier (and cheaper!) than getting something from a drive-through or airport food court while you’re travelling. And packing in a bento-style box is more eco-friendly than purchasing  individually-bagged items. It’s also nice not having to worry about garbage flying off with every stray breeze. (Unless you like chasing a plastic baggie halfway across the park and out into the lake?)

Leftovers!

Another year-round use for a lunch box container like EasyLunchboxes is for eco-friendly restaurant leftovers. Take a clean box and lid (or two!) with you to a restaurant. Pack up your leftovers in it instead of throwing away styrofoam or coated paper containers. And now your lunch or dinner for another day is already packed up and ready to be reheated. Good thing they’re microwave safe too! (Unlike many of the disposable take-away containers!)

Leftover teriyaki chicken and fried rice. Sauces & condiments in the little containers. I even tried my hand at a bunny rice mold.

Still On the Fence?

For those of you thinking about trying this re-usable lunch box thing, waiting until back-to-school season might be a big mistake. You’d only be wasting money on plastic baggies and individual-serving-sized snack foods for trips and activities you’ll be enjoying this summer.

And come late August, early September, you’ll have a ton of other back-to-school expenses. Like a 3-page list of specific school supplies. You know. Those lists that want only certain brands and sizes, so everyone can be equal. And not whichever version is on super sale for $.19 either. The $1.99 one.

And don’t forget that second round of back-to-school clothes. Since you know they’ll outgrow their new wardrobe, oh, about five seconds after you cut the tags off!

Seriously. Make your summertime on-the-go meals that much easier and buy your re-usable lunch containers now. If you get a system that you really like, you might even start looking for excuses to use them. Just beware of uninvited guests who’ll want what you’re packing.

Hey! Go get your own lunch!

Kendra Peterson, AKA Ludicrous Mama, occasionally remembers to feed her kids, and can be found sharing about their fun lunches on her blog Biting the Hand That Feeds You.