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Home Lunch, public school, starting Kindergarten

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone!

 

   My daughter is starting kindergarten next week, and I am still stumped on the lunch situation.  Obviously she won't be eating the school lunch (yuck) and cold sandwiches and things like yogurt are easy enough, but I would like to provide her with some hot foods sometimes.   

  I am sure I will figure it out as we go, but I figured if anyone had any good suggestions I would find them here :-)

I haven't picked up any containers yet, and we don't use plastic for foods and drinks, BPA free regardless. I have a few glass airtight containers and she has stainless steel bottles, but I am trying to figure out a convenient way for her to take her raw veggies, drinks, yogurts cold while taking some hot foods.  Am I wanting the impossible? lol 

 

Either way, any comments, suggestions, stories would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 8

They make latching metal lunch boxes. If you've got an asian grocery store in your area, you may be able to find some, or try http://en.bentoandco.com/collections/non-plastic-bento-boxes or http://lifewithoutplastic.com/boutique/

 

I also use washed out jars (the type roasted red peppers come in) but I'm a clumsy grown up, and have broken a few of those.

post #3 of 8

If you want hot food several hours after you have packed it and you want it to be stored at a safe temperature you need to use a Thermos or similar. Nothing else will keep it both hot and at safe temp.. We like the thermos foogo brand but it does contain some plastic. Otherwise you get a bacteria fest.

 

You might check your school's policy but they probably forbid glass, even tempered. Almost every school does.

 

There are lots of stainless steel food containers on the market. And good lucky trying to find a reusuable snack bag that can guarantee plastic-free. No one will tell me what they use ( I am guessing polyethelene) and a good number of the homemade ones on etsy or whatever use oilcloth which is pvc.

 

So, although we use all glass storage at home we do use some plastic for school. We also use the occasional washcloth to wrap a sandwich with washi tape (baby washclothes from BRU get a 1,000 uses in our kitchen).

post #4 of 8
I believe the glass containers have silicone lids sometimes. They come in many sizes and can be used to pack fruits and veggies as well as a main course. You could experiment with metal coffee cups for soup or other hot food but I recommend doing that before the school year starts because they vary in usefulness. I think you also need to look into a system for keeping cold food cold so bacteria doesn't grow on it and you need to check with the school to make sure glass containers are acceptable. You might also find it useful to check out the school lunch menu to see if the food really is that bad nutritionally. Our district has chosen to go above and beyond the USDA guidelines and it has been a relief to let go of lunch worries (and the constant whining for the unhealthy food many of the other kids get in their packed lunch).
post #5 of 8

metal is the way to go for lunch meals. however make sure your K child knows how to open the steel ones. they are not all eaasy and its not worth it depending on the cafetaria lady helping you open your lunch box.

 

they come in various sizes. 

 

warm foods. i have wrapped the piping hot tiffin box in about 3 slightly thick kithchen towels and they stay fairly warm to not hurt/burn dd. about 4 1/2 hours. 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions :-)

 

She went to pre school for a while and she would take glass. The pre school provided a refrigerator and also warm up their meals if it was hot food, and she is very good with containers and such.  When I had to supplement BFing for a bit, I also used glass bottles and she never dropped or broke any. 

 

I live on Oahu, I can see maybe the neighbor islands having food that has been grown by the students or something, but I doubt any public school here would ever serve local/organic and grass fed beef. It would be AWESOME if they did, but I am just grateful they accept the vaccine exemption so hassle free :-) Making her lunch makes me feel a connection to her while she is in school, maybe silly but I just remember feeling like my mom packed a piece of her love in my lunch when I was going to school :-)

 

  I was thinking of testing out the hot foods at home, the towel idea sounds like one I will try. its about a 30 minute car ride to the school so about 4 hours should be good. 

Thanks for the links also Meg, I have seen some of the bentos here at Whole Foods and Executive Chef, but they had some nifty ones I hadn't seen before. 

post #7 of 8
If she is going to public school, I would not count on refrigeration or any help or access to the ability to rewarm foods. If the the school had to do it for everyone it would be a nightmare so they do it for no one. I normally pack dh's lunch in a tiffin but when I do pack hot it goes in a steel thermos bottle. I put boiling hot water in it while I make the rest of his lunch so that it's not taking the heat from the food.
post #8 of 8

this is what i have for my dd. http://www.vitaminlife.com/product-exec/product_id/64607/nm/2-Tier+Stainless+Steel+Tiffin+?utm_source=nextag&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=nextag

 

the top would have the hot food, the bottom salad and the little thingy would have a treat. it is GIGANTIC however. i never filled it. 

 

however with these http://www.thermos.com/product_catalog.aspx?CatCode=FOOD i dont like its just one layer. plus it seems like the lid is plastic. not sure. however since dd has lost her tiffin box i might get her a small one of this for her hot food and http://www.worldmarket.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12369852 this way i can pack with her something she can eat on the way back from school. she is just REALLY hungry when she gets out of school and i dont have to worry about carrying something. 

 

and yup its a strict rule. no glass anything allowed in school. 

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