I was being frugal by not purchasing ready-made snacks and drinks, but our typical school lunch consisted of the following:
- a sandwich in a zip-top bag
- carrots or other crunchy veggie in a zip-top bag
- fruit (in its own wrapper most times)
- a snack - muffin, cookie, bar - in a zip-top bag
- juice or milk in a thermos
- paper napkin
I'm converted. I believe in waste-free school lunches. So I've spent the past two months researching various companies, trying to decide which lunch system would work best for us. I had them narrowed down to a few companies.
Then, I won an Easy Lunchbox System, courtesy of Kelly at Easy Lunchbox, at a giveaway held by Keli of Feeding Four.
I'm glad I had the chance to try it out! I'd like to share with you my thoughts on the system. Here are the pros and cons as I see them:
- They cost less than most of the other lunch systems I'm considering. A set of 4 containers with lids runs $13.95. The cooler that fits the containers perfectly costs $7.95.
- They're just the right size for lunch. There are three compartments of varying size. The cooler comfortably holds the container, a thermos, a piece of fruit, a napkin, utensils, and an ice pack.
- They are free of BPA, PVC, lead, phthalates, and vinyl.
- They're dishwasher safe.
- The lids are colorful, which my girls loved. They enjoyed choosing which color to take to school with them the past two days.
- The lids are easy for tiny hands to open and close easily.
- the containers are NOT flimsy at all. I was expecting the tray those Lunchables by Oscar Meyer come in, but they are harder plastic and feel much more substantial and durable.
- This is a big one for me: The containers are manufactured in China. I really am trying to buy USA-made as much as possible.
- The lids don't fit completely securely. I would not suggest this as a lunch kit for a rough and tumble child who is likely to flip his lunchbox upside-down. If they're kept in the cooler, straight in like intended, they won't spill. But kids don't always follow those rules, do they?
- The container is not leak-proof. See last point. Today, I sent the girls with pudding, but I put a small piece of waxed paper over the pudding to secure it. It's advised that you use a small piece of plastic wrap over any semi-liquid foods and you're not supposed to put liquids in the compartments.
Here are a couple of the lunches I made this week: