2011-2012 School Year Lunchbox Thread... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're entering our third year as Laptop Lunchboxers. I still have ds' bento box parts from Kindergarten, though I'm getting rid of the case for this year as he was really hard on his things in K. Now that dd is going to school, we have four sets of the bento parts. Liquids don't seem to work well (if the lid is on tight it can be hard to get off), but otherwise we're happy with it. The box parts can also go in the dishwasher.

 

http://www.laptoplunches.com/bento-lunch-boxes/school/


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#2 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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I don't like to admit how much time I've spent looking at lunch boxes and bento containers and lunch box blogs in the past few weeks.  My daughter starts kindy in less than a month and I'm SO nervous, I guess this is one thing I can control.  I've also had a look at some of the school cafeteria menus and it's like fast food every day (fish sticks, corn dogs, fries, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets) and I KNOW my daughter is going to want that.  I have a lot to compete with to make her lunch seem as appealing.  

 

I think the Goodbyn lunchboxes are super cute but I haven't actually been able to HOLD one, so I can't quite commit.

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#3 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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It's that time of year again!  joy.gif

 

We got laptop lunch boxes 2 (which I'm not even seeing on the website now) the year before last, and they did great for 2 full school years. They are still OK, but starting to show some age and I'm thinking about getting new things this year.

 

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 09:10 AM
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We are also Laptop Lunchbox-ers, and I love them. They have held up beautifully for more than three years. But I also use stainless steel tiffins, and more traditional bento boxes, including many made of wood. This is especially true if I am packing any hot foods, as I do not like to keep warm items in plastic. (I know the Laptop Lunch parts are BPA-free, but plastic still leaches other chemicals. I'd rather not risk putting hot foods in anything plastic.)

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#5 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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Those look pretty cool.  I've never seen them before.  So far, I've gotten small bento boxes and rice containers from the Japanese food store.  My kids love seaweed and rice, so I'm planning to pack that for them pretty often.  There's no hot lunches at the school my daughter is going to attend, so I've been reasearching a lot of lunch ideas! 



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#6 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

I've also had a look at some of the school cafeteria menus and it's like fast food every day (fish sticks, corn dogs, fries, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets) and I KNOW my daughter is going to want that.  I have a lot to compete with to make her lunch seem as appealing. 

 

We ended up allowing school lunch one day a week (Fridays); ds has been fine with that.

 


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#7 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 01:42 PM
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We only pack healthful, unprocessed vegan lunches...and my kids have never taken issue with them as compared to hot lunches. In fact, my kids would rather have a chilled blueberry soup and vegetable panini as compared to a processed, soggy hotdog and limp fries!

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#8 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 02:45 PM
 
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We're vegetarians and there are very few veggie options at the kid's schools. There is always the salad bar but I'm not going to pay for them to just eat salad for lunch. Honestly, my kids were always happy to bring lunch because it meant they didn't have to spend most of their lunch period IN LINE!

 

My kids prefer their school meals to be very simple and typical... sandwiches, yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit, crackers, ect. They've been making their own lunches since kindergarten.

 

The kids each had an LL Bean lunchbox that matched their backpacks when they were in elementary. In middle, DD wanted a simple one from Target. For high school she got herself a Beatles tin lunchbox like the ones we had in school lol. We'll see what DS wants when we go shopping for a middle school replacement. For us, the best lunch box was the one no one was stressed about loosing or embarrassed about carrying.


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#9 of 85 Old 07-19-2011, 03:20 PM
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whatsnext, you are so right on the line! My kids get about twenty minutes to eat. If they spent ten of it waiting for food, they would never be able to enjoy lunch!

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#10 of 85 Old 07-20-2011, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatureMom2Two View Post

We only pack healthful, unprocessed vegan lunches...and my kids have never taken issue with them as compared to hot lunches. In fact, my kids would rather have a chilled blueberry soup and vegetable panini as compared to a processed, soggy hotdog and limp fries!


It took 2yrs for ds to come to that conclusion; the school lunch is usually soggy, defrosted starchiness; iceburg lettuce; processed soup; and the worst canned vegetables ever. I tried it once just to see disappointed.gif. Also, ds wanted lunch on "icecream Fridays" (WHY would a school do that shrug.gif) so he would eat this horrible combination of foods plus icecream which usually disagreed with his tummy in a rather obvious way horrors.gif, but he just has to figure it out himself.


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#11 of 85 Old 07-20-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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I have a couple bento boxes, but what I use the most for my DS is rubbermaid containers.  You know the clear ones w/red lids?   There are 2 sections.   The bigger side holds a sandwich and a couple silicone cups of "stuff" the other is good for 2 more cups and some items on the side.   And I use sandwich containers to pack snacks.  

My son will be entering 2nd grade (OMG, where did the time go?!)  When he first started kindy, he was kinda pumped about being able to get a hot lunch.   And he did a couple times a month.  Usually when it was pizza day or pancake day.   Then last year I started making more bentos for him and he doesn't want school lunch.   He says the pizza is nasty.  And for my son to say pizza is bad, it must be bad!!  lol   Our school doesn't have a kitchen to cook large quantities in....so the lunches are prepared at another school (about 5 mins away) and brought to his school.   I was there once and I don't know what it was that was on the menu, but it really looked like throw up.   Turkey and gravy I think.   Plus he only gets 20 mins to eat and he's kinda social and ADD so he "forgets" what he is doing.   So I want those few minutes of eating to be as nutrional as possible.   One day he decided to get a "brown bag" lunch A PB&J, pretzels and carrots.   Which wouldn't be sooo bad.   but the PB&J was an uncrustable and I made him one for lunch (w/organic PB & jelly and a sprinkle of flax seed).   I gave him black bean chips and he said he ate 1/2 the pretzels b/c they made him thirsty?!?!   and trashed the carrots.   I had given him a homemade granola bar.    Needless to say his afternoon snack was his lunch he was that hungry!!!


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#12 of 85 Old 07-20-2011, 10:27 AM
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My daughter's school is serviced through Revolution Foods, which uses only non-processed, fresh ingredients and whole foods. Their suppliers must meet Whole Foods (the company's) food standards to qualify, and all the dairy is organic. Nothing is prepared in a microwave. The food quality is quite good. In addition, they have an on-site organic garden, are served by a local organic farm and raise their own chickens. Still, she prefers a packed lunch. It's nice, however, to be able to allow her to eat a hot lunch (those nights where I get in late from the office and have no time to make a lunch) and know the nutrition and food quality is something with which we would be comfortable. My son's lunch program is terrible...though they, too, are switching to Revolution in 2012.

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#13 of 85 Old 07-23-2011, 07:49 AM
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My 3rd grader will be using his Goodbyn again but I need to order a replacement water bottle. It's a great lunch box and holds a ton of food. He usually takes leftovers or salad as his main dish with fruits and veggies on the side. I throw in a little treat if we have brownies or cookies around. He eats school lunch on occasion if he spends the night at his dad's (or forgets his lunch box on the bus...)

My 1st grader goes to private school and they have really amazing lunches. I've never seen anyone bring a lunch from home. 

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#14 of 85 Old 07-23-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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What a great idea! I never even thought of doing bentos for my son. I'll definitely have to give this a shot. Thanks <3


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#15 of 85 Old 07-23-2011, 11:09 PM
 
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We've had http://www.easylunchboxes.com/ for a year, maybe longer. I really like this system, it's fairly inexpensive, the containers are sturdy, the bag is washable and after many runs in the dishwasher the containers still look good! We have used these for travel, parks, beach, mother's day out, husband lunches, long days out. We end up being away from home many days and eating on the go, it's nice having an easy way to pack healthy foods for all of us!  They are not leak proof, but the bag leaves plenty of room to add another container if you are sending plain yogurt or something else that may leak. 

We currently using a 12 ounce safe sporter by kidbasix. http://www.kid-basix.com/thesafesporter.php

We also have some stainless options lunchbots for days when I am packing something warm.http://www.lunchbots.com/  

I think I'm more anxious/excited about school starting than my 5 year old! :)

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#16 of 85 Old 07-24-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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This is a great and timely thread! I just posted last week on my blog about my search for a lunchbox and what I'm going to pack for E each week. She's gluten free, and (except for the month of August - when we are going to be eating grains due to budget issues and to clear out the pantry!) mostly grain free. I have used a laptop lunchbox for a year myself and love it. She's going into preschool and most kids brown bag it there. Due to food allergies, we won't ever have to fight the "I want a hot lunch" fight though she does have a thermos we use for hot meals on trips that she can take if she wants a hot lunch!

'


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#17 of 85 Old 07-24-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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I used the stainless steel lunchbox from http://www.planetbox.com/ last year and LOVED it.  My favorite thing was that I only had one thing to wash at the end of the day.  At first I thought it might be too small and not contain enough food for my 7 yo, but with the 25 minute lunch time and his love of socializing, many days food still came home. 

 

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#18 of 85 Old 07-24-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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I love the planetbox lunch boxes but with the way we eat, I needed to have an insulated lunchbox for my DS to keep his food warm so we're settling for this

 

http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-Classic-Bento-Vacuum-Lunch/dp/B0016S11VC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1311556004&sr=8-4

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#19 of 85 Old 07-25-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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Oh, I am so happy to see this very timely thread. My DS will be in first grade this year and it is the first time I will have to pack lunches. I have so many questions for the BTDT Mamas.  I have no idea where to start.  The PlanetBox stainless steel lunch box looks awesome, but is a bit pricey. Is it worth it?

 

Can anyone suggest good resources or blogs for lunch ideas? Or just some things that your kids like? What type of container do I need for hot food? Thanks in advance for the help:)


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#20 of 85 Old 07-25-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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#21 of 85 Old 07-25-2011, 09:32 PM
 
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http://www.anotherlunch.com/ She hasn't posted since May, previously her blog was really active, many cute ideas! (and she uses a variety of lunch supplies, it's nice to see real life pictures!

 http://www.laptoplunches.com/bento-menus-season/Summer/  Seasonal Menus, in TX it just seems to always be Summer, so I selected that one! 

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#22 of 85 Old 07-26-2011, 07:49 AM
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My son takes leftovers, salad, or a sandwich as his main dish, with at least 1 fruit and a side of veggies (most often baby carrots or red pepper slices). I like that the Goodbyn can fit a whole banana in the top section. Also, if I want to keep it all cold, I freeze the water bottle, and it fits in the middle bento section. When he takes a hot lunch he puts it in a food jar, and uses little tupperware containers or reusable sandwich bags for any sides, in a cloth lunch bag (which is insulated and was like $2 at Whole Foods). 

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#23 of 85 Old 07-29-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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Our charter elementary school has an awesome Edible Schoolyard and farmer's market lunch program, supplied by one of the local farmer's market cooperatives. Yeah!  Kids are required to join it and it isn't cheap but the food is great.

 

But I still pack a lunch a few times a week for preschool. DS doesn't like sandwiches much and will eat a pb&j if really hungry. (Shocking that it is allowed, no serious peanut allergies at the school) We have a foogo hot lunch container that works pretty well. I always add some type of fruit and usually another source of protein (small container or beans or a cheese) because he is a big lunch eater. No sweets or things like yogurt in a tube allowed.

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#24 of 85 Old 07-29-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jessaries View Post

We've had http://www.easylunchboxes.com/ for a year, maybe longer. 

 

 

We also have some stainless options lunchbots for days when I am packing something warm.http://www.lunchbots.com/  

 

2 questions......

 

1.Are the Easy Lunchboxes a thicker material/better than the ziploc reusable containers that you might would send leftovers home in?

 

2. Do you find your Lunchbots leak?? Why do you not use those everyday?

Sorry to be nosy.....but these are two of the options I'm looking at.


 

 

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#25 of 85 Old 07-30-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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2 questions......

 

1.Are the Easy Lunchboxes a thicker material/better than the ziploc reusable containers that you might would send leftovers home in?

 

2. Do you find your Lunchbots leak?? Why do you not use those everyday?

Sorry to be nosy.....but these are two of the options I'm looking at.


 

 

1. Yes, they are much thicker. I only wash in the dishwasher and they still look great, none of the discolorations I've seen on ziploc containers. 

2. I honestly don't know, I've never put anything leakable in the Lunchbots. The ones we have are simply too big to put yogurt or anything else runny in. The company does have a leakproof round option that I've heard are great. 

Honestly, to get enough food for my son I'd use several containers, more to clean up later! (and my husband likes them and snags one for his lunch) :) It's kinda perfect to pack one Easy tray and an extra lunchbots uno with lots of grapes or clementines or something warm like hot dogs or a breakfast taco. 

I think they are both great and can work well with one another. I honestly couldn't pick one I like over the other. I use the Easy more because the tray is *so* convenient, I like the stainless a lot too. 

I'm no help. sorry. 

 
 

 

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#26 of 85 Old 08-01-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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We had a Laptop Lunchbox, a Goodbyn and a few reusbale sandwich/snack bags last year. I bought the Goodbyn when my son complained that he had trouble opening the laptop lunchbox on his own, and didn't like having to raise his hand and ask for help.

I liked having both for a couple reasons:
1. Occasionally, his lunchbox didn't get washed out after school, so it was nice to have something clean to pack in the next morning. innocent.gif
2. Even though I think you * can* pack runny stuff (yogurt, et cetera) in the Goodbyn, my son (he was 5, by the way) had a hard time closing it completely after lunch (he wouldn't get all the compartments sealed), and then he would stick it (vertically) in his backpack. So if I wanted to pack something like that, I would just use the laptop lunchbox--even if he didn't get the lid back on the yogurt completely, it was on, and inside the case, which went inside a thermal lunchbox...so it was pretty sure not to get all over the rest of his backpack.
3. Oh. We also had a stainless steel food canister that we used for hot stuff like soup, pasta, or other leftovers. If I heated them up to a-little-too-hot in the morning, they seemed to be just right by lunch time.

As for school lunches, my son asked a few times about it and I told him he could buy lunch once in a great while--just like we eat fast food once in a while--but that it wasn't going to happen often. He had school lunch three time last year--once when he forgot his lunch (on a day when I was working 45 minutes away--and two other times. He didn't ask for it often (after the first week or two).

We've since moved, and the kids are starting (K and 1) at a local charter school this fall that doesn't serve school lunches. I plan to pick up another Goodbyn (we have two laptop lunch boxes because my husband used to carry one to work) and do more-or-less the same this year.
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#27 of 85 Old 08-01-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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My oldest is entering kindergarten this fall and I will be packing his lunch each day. (Unfortunately the school lunches are awful.  He is a picky eater anyway so he wants a lunch from home.)  I just ordered him this soft lunch box:  http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/boys-mackenzie-retro-lunch-bag-bts2011/?cm_src=rel

 

I also ordered the stainless steel water bottle and hot/cold container for soups.  I'm just not sure what containers to use for the lunch box yet.  As far as lunch ideas go we have a few basic ideas like:

 

-soups (I makes big batches of homemade and freeze them, I plan to thaw them the night before and just warm them before pouring them into our insulated stainless steel containers)

 

-sandwiches (organic peanut butter and jelly, leftover chicken from the previous night's dinner, cheese)

 

-leftover whole wheat pizza (cold)

 

-pasta with basil pesto

 

-organic deli meats rolled up with cheese

 

-rice, beans and cheese

 

Looking forward to hearing everyone else's ideas! 


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#28 of 85 Old 08-02-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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I just ordered the retro bag and thermos for DS also!!

He's very excited.

 

He loves mac and cheese (with or without sliced hot dogs in there!) and soups.  Especially Tomato soup! 

 

I've also made mini "pizza puffs" for lunch.   I bought a can of ready made biscuits, tore in half, smooshed one half in a mini muffin pan, topped w/tom. sauce, cheese and a meat (lunchmeat, hot dog...etc) and pushed the other half to make a top.  And bake according to package directions.   I have a kids lunch blog, you can check the link in my profile.   I need to get back to it!  


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#29 of 85 Old 08-02-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Anyone who uses the easy lunch boxes, do the coolers fit ok in the kids backpacks? 

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#30 of 85 Old 08-04-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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Do those of you who use easylunches or lunchbots use an additional "lunch box" or do you just put those straight into the backpack?

 

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