School's out for the summer! Still, many parents and caregivers have lots of summer lunches to pack, for day camps, trips and the like. And there are always the lunches we need for picnics, and trips to the beach. Plus, planning ahead for Fall school lunches isn't a bad idea. With all this in mind, I've partnered up with the wonderful Halifax children's store Nurtured to bring you the first of three summer reviews of waste-free lunch gear. Let's pack up lunch!
I'm excited to introduce you to the beautiful and extensive selection of waste-free lunch gear carried by Nurtured. Nurtured stocks excellent baby products (I started shopping there when I was pregnant with my first child, seven years ago), but as our family grows older, the store is a perfect go-to for everything you need for school lunch. I use their gear in work lunches, also; it's really for the whole family.
One of my central philosophies in the Bite-Sized Kitchen is to use whole ingredients and cook from scratch. With an excellent supply of portable lunch containers, the transfer from homemade meal to packed lunch becomes that much simpler. You'll see savoury leftovers and homemade baking throughout the photos in this post; items like fishcakes, muffins, pancakes, and cooked vegetables can make putting together a lunch for school or work a much quicker task.
There are so many (SO many!) options when it comes to lunch containers. A few points I keep in mind when looking for great lunch gear: made of a lightweight but durable and long-lasting material; easy to use and open; and beautiful to look at. For today's review, I want to talk about a lovely three-part set of stainless steel containers made by U-Konserve. It's a trio of nesting containers in different sizes, with silicone lids; you'll see the set in all the photos in this post. I bought this set of containers last August when I was preparing for my son's first year of school; I first tried them out during his week of day camp in the woods, and then we used them all year for his lunches. I chose this set because of its versatility of size and its packing flexibility; we already had a lunchbag for him, and a bento-style container, though tempting for visual appeal and practicality, wouldn't have fit in it. I knew the three sizes would come in very handy - and they really did.
The smallest container (red lid) is great for little leftover fishcakes (or meatballs), chopped fruit and veggies, a sliced egg, or yogurt. It even fits a filled wrap (e.g., cream cheese and salami or sunflower seed butter and honey), sliced up. The medium container (green lid) has a bit more space for veggies like cucumber or fruit like strawberries; in the shots above we also used it for olives and cheese, or boiled egg in its shell plus veg or cheese. It perfectly fits a homemade muffin. The large container (blue lid) works for a sandwich (sliced in half and stacked), a bagel, or bigger fruit such as cantaloupe.
The possibilities go on. For school lunch, I like to pack a combination of leftovers, sandwiches/wraps, fruit and veggies (whole or diced), nutritious baked goods like muffins, and hand-held proteins like egg, cheese or fishcakes. It's so important to make lunch look appealing to a young child, and for your kid to be able to easily open and eat the lunch. This three-part set was such a winner in these ways. One small note is that I'm not sure a child under age three could open the lids without a little assistance - but then again that may be true of most containers for kids under three!
For more about packing up lunch, see these two past posts about lunchboxes (including recipes!). This post is the first in a three-part series over Summer 2018, where I'll review waste-free lunchbox gear in collaboration with the awesome Halifax baby-kids-family shop, Nurtured. Nurtured has generously donated a set of the nesting trio reviewed in this post to be used as a giveaway, which will be announced on my Instagram June 29, 2018. (If you don't follow me already, this is a great time to do so!)
Thank you so much, Nurtured!