Bento boxes, freezer bags, and teflon - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 04-14-2010, 02:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for a good, preferably non-plastic, bento box for DH to pack his lunch in for work. I've been looking through reviews and things but I'm still kinda lost. He needs to have enough room for an adult male's lunch and snacks for an 8-10 hour day.

Ziploc freezer bags: I reuse these after washing them (unless I use them for raw meat) but I'd like something more durable because I eventually have to throw them out. Anything I could use for snacks or food storage or freezing that's completely reusable? I keep looking at my diaper wet bags and wondering if that PUL material would work. If it's even food safe...

I currently have a set of pots and pans that are nonstick and I want to slowly replace them with safer ones--stainless steel or whatever is out there. I still have to do my research on that, but what should I do with the old pots and pans? I feel bad about giving away stuff that I'm getting rid of for health reasons. It doesn't seem right. Maybe use them for flower pots? I have to admit, it makes me cringe to think of using my $400 set of pots and pans for potting plants lol.

Any advice on any of these would be greatly appreciated, thanks so much!
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#2 of 14 Old 04-18-2010, 08:56 PM
 
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Hmmm no help on the bento box, I saw some nice SS ones on Amazon but they were way out of our price range.

They do sell reusable sandwich bags, I assume they are made from PUL? Lots of WAHM's sell them. But we just freeze everything in plastic containers (like Tupperware)... I've always wondered what people freeze things in! We don't buy Ziploc bags... I guess we just use the plastic containers for everything. We have a million shapes & sizes. I know lots of people (at least on here) are against plastics but I figure it can't be worse than using disposable plastic bags right?

I would give away/sell your old pots and pans. I know what you mean about feeling weird doing so but the people that are buying them would likely buy nonstick cookpans anyway, ya know? I need to get rid of my nonstick cookware but I just love it... I can't seem to part with it. I'm cutting down on other toxic stuff in our house so I can keep my cookware & not feel so bad about it. :-/

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#3 of 14 Old 04-19-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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I have a couple To-Go Ware sets for my husband's lunch, my ow outings with my daughter, and family picnics, and I LOVE it! He started using it last month, and now a bunch of his work-mates saw his, loved them, and went out and bought some.

I have the three-tier set: http://www.amazon.com/Ware-Tier-Stai...1708329&sr=8-6

The two tier pyramid set: http://www.amazon.com/Go-Ware-2-Tier...1708329&sr=8-3

And I also have this stainless container by New Wave: http://www.amazon.com/New-Wave-Envir...1708329&sr=8-9

The three tier set is great. The containers are a bit small, but I can fit a lot of food in it. For instance, I might have carrot sticks and a small container of nut butter or dressing on the top, apple slices and cheese in the middle, and then a casserole on the bottom. Or hard boiled eggs in the top, granola trail mix in the middle, and sausages in the bottom.

The two tier set is larger, and this is handy when I want to send fewer things but in larger quantities. I'll often put a big salad in the bottom and a meal of some sort in the top (leftover lasagna, chicken and potatoes, whatever.)

Bot of the above sets come with a small "side kick" container that is great for dressings, condiments, nut butters, or small loose things like nuts, dried fruit, and seeds.

The New Wave container is handy for when I just want to add something extra to the lunch, or as a trimmer container to fit in my backpack for a quick snack out of the house.

The one thing these containers are NOT good for is soup. Liquids just don't work, as the lids are not water tight. The small "sidekick" containers that come with the sets are fine to hold liquid dressing or yogurt, but soup just doesn't work in the main container. For that I just us wide-mouth pint mason jars with screw lids.
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#4 of 14 Old 04-24-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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My DD uses the Planet Box and we LOVE it!! http://www.planetbox.com/

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#5 of 14 Old 04-26-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BCFD View Post
My DD uses the Planet Box and we LOVE it!! http://www.planetbox.com/
Oh wow, that looks AMAZING! I've never seen anything like that before. I love how you can customize the look of it with the magnets, and how everything is separated out nicely. It's like an improved Laptop lunches without the plastic.

It is a little expensive, but the quality looks worth it. i am going to save my pennies and get one for when my daughter starts fell-time school this fall. Thanks for posting that!
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#6 of 14 Old 04-26-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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My DD uses the Planet Box and we LOVE it!! http://www.planetbox.com/
Those are so cool! I'm ordering one for my dd tonight.
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#7 of 14 Old 04-27-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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We too use ziploc freezer bags and wash them and all that. They are in fact recyclable so I don't feel too bad about it.

I'd donate your old pots & pans to the goodwill or similar... then buy cast iron & stainless steel to replace them
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#8 of 14 Old 04-29-2010, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm looking into everything to see what might work.

I didn't know I could recycle my ziploc bags after I'm done wearing them out! Can I just put that in regular recycling or is there something else I need to do?
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#9 of 14 Old 04-30-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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Instead of using ziploc bags you can use a wrap n mat. If you don't want to buy the wrap n mat, they are fairly simple to make. There are some instructions here, and another set on one of the mothering forums.
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#10 of 14 Old 05-03-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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There has been a lot of debate about whether PUL is food safe or not. Many people say that it is but just as many say that it is not. What I did when I was making sandwich wraps is to line them with hemp jersey. So the PUL layer was there to keep my food fresh. But there was a layer of hemp between my sandwich and the PUL. We have used them for years and they still look great. You really can not buy sandwich wraps from WAHM's any more. A company, that I will not name but was mentioned in a previous post, has sued all of us forcing us to quit selling our handmade sandwich wraps. My wraps were nothing like the other unnamed company's wraps and they were made by me in my home and not in China. But I can no longer sell them. There are directions online to help you make your own. I am willing to help anyone who wants to make their own as well.

I want to get Tiffins. I think they look pretty cool. We use glass bowls with plastic lids now when we take salads or casseroles out. But they are slowly getting broken. When I replace they I'm getting Tiffins. I really like the looks of the Planet Box. I may have to get one of those as well.

Kathi

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#11 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Just ordered a planetbox "rainbows" for my dd, so excited! And glad I took the time to do the research, they look like a great company that has really thought things through

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#12 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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This might be a stupid question, but for those of you who use the stainless still containers, how do you go about heating up the food? I pack my husband's lunch everyday, but he doesn't eat cold sandwiches so I always send leftovers from the night before, which has to be reheated. They only have a microwave at work, no toaster oven.
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#13 of 14 Old 06-14-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
We too use ziploc freezer bags and wash them and all that. They are in fact recyclable so I don't feel too bad about it.

I'd donate your old pots & pans to the goodwill or similar... then buy cast iron & stainless steel to replace them
Oooh do you know what # the ziploc bags are? I've been wanting to recyle these for a while but I want to make sure we can recycle them in our area.

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#14 of 14 Old 06-21-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amberc727 View Post
This might be a stupid question, but for those of you who use the stainless still containers, how do you go about heating up the food? I pack my husband's lunch everyday, but he doesn't eat cold sandwiches so I always send leftovers from the night before, which has to be reheated. They only have a microwave at work, no toaster oven.
My husband keeps a ceramic bowl, plate, and some utensils at work. On the days where I've packed something that is better warm he just takes the food from the stianless steel container, puts it in his own dishes, and heats things up in the microwave. He washes his dishes in the staff sink afterward, and they go back in his cubical until next time.
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