Thursday, 21 January 2010

school lunches

Ari starts school next week. 
I'm quite freaked out. But putting on a very brave face, for him. For myself.
We weren't going to send him to school this year. Were planning on holding off for another year. But I realised that he would be a whole lot older than all the other kids in his class, if he waited another year. And, I know he's ready - intellectually, socially and (probably) emotionally. We'll have some tears, I know. But, we'll also both be okay. 
Really - one of the big things I'm a bit fearful of is sending him with the wrong lunch. I want to make sure he'll eat it, and be happy to eat it. And that there won't be any lunch box teasing happening. (Being a vegetarian, and coming from what one may perhaps call "hippi" parents meant that we could have been prone to lunch box teasing as kids. I was lucky to be amongst a group of kids with similar upbringings. I don't know what it's like in the playground now). 
Aside from the food I put into the box. I'm worried about the actual lunchbox itself. I've spent a fair bit of this afternoon doing as much web searching as I can manage. With a good bit of help my Ms Peppermint (who knows a whole lot about a whole lot).  I'm still not entirely sure which way we'll go. 

I really like these, from ECOlunchboxes. I would make my own fabric bag, but if you're not a sewer I think these prints are fantastic. So bright, and fun - as well as versatile. Unfortunately, it seems as if they don't ship to Australia. 

Other choices are the LunchBots, which I can get locally from Biome (they also have an online store). We may end up with these ones (due to convenience), but I read on one of the sites, that the lids may be a bit hard for younger kids. We'll see.

I did consider the little fold up sandwich wraps or snack wraps, from 4MyEarth. They do ultimately have plastic lining (even if it is PVC & phthalate free), and I'm trying to steer away from that. 

There are a few other choices at Life Without Plastic, that are of the Tiffin style. We're going to check out our local Army Disposal Store and see if they have anything similar (those places normally come with a much more realistic price tag - kids loose lunch boxes, after all!). 

There's a heaps of totally fun, kid friendly (adult approved) prints over at Kids Konserve. And a lot of ideas for different lunch packing. I'm going to explore this site a bit more. 

Also, some really cute Tiffin Tins here.
There's a pattern in Betz White's book for making your own lunch bag and sandwich wrap, which I'm going to look into. Problem is - it says to use PUL, which is polyurethane. I'm not entirely sure what this is, and can't seem to find much info about it at all. But it sounds a lot like plastic to me. Do you have answers? I'd love to make some of these sandwich wraps, but they'll be no good without the plastic lining. 

So - you see my dilemas? And I haven't even barely started to think about the food to put into the container I choose. 
They do say that ignorance is bliss, don't they?

EDITED 23/01/10 :: ECOLunchboxes wrote back to let me know that they have an online stockist who posts to Australia, called Naturally Sustainable.
Also, thank you Jacqui for sending me a link to another place, 3GreenMoms, who sells sandwich wraps. These one have really cute prints on them, which appeal to me more than any of the others.


  1. Ellie, with Master 15 about to head into year 10, we have the same problem. Not only do lunchboxes get lost but the also get stepped on (with lunch inside), they get "borrowed" and they sometimes get used as footballs. But the biggest issue by far is having some way to keep the food cool. There is nothing like a warm soggy sandwich at 1pm....
    oh and at 15 the lunchbox also has to be cool in the social status way as well....

    Goodluck ! I'll be back to see what you choose.

  2. Oh my the choices! I like the idea of incorporating your fabrics, very sweet!

  3. Some great choices there! Tupperware also do some good lunch boxes, but as always it depends on what kinds of foods you pack whether they suit.

    PUL is polyurethane laminated fabric, usually woven cotton. Widely used in the cloth nappy biz because it's waterproof on the inside but nice and fabricky on the outside. It's readily available online in great colours and patterns but as you point out, it's potentially got some non-food-friendly components. I saw a passing reference to that problem somewhere in the last couple days but can't think where - sorry! But obviously it's a problem that people are aware of so perhaps there's a solution as well.

  4. My son starts school on wednesday too. It's pretty hard, isn't it? You want them to go out and into the world but at the same time you want to protect their innocence. And you definatly want them to have the right lunchbox. Loving your blog. Thanks.


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