Welcome to my final Summer 2018 Collaboration post with the fabulous Nurtured! Over the past three months I've been fortunate to test out three different lunch gear systems, all donated by Nurtured. What fun it's been to compare and contrast and see how whole ingredients pack up in the different containers.
Since we're now down to the final days before the start of the new school year, it's a perfect time to remind you that Nurtured carries a beautiful and extensive selection of waste-free lunch gear . They also stock 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.
During the month of August, I tried out the very popular YumBox lunch system. It's a bento-style lunchbox, similar in style to the one I tried in July. YumBox has a clear insert tray with cute pictures on it; they have several designs to choose from. There are 5 different styles of YumBox bento (Nurtured carries them all!); we tested the YumBox Original, with 5 compartments (plus the tiny round one in the middle). There are many beautiful colours available, too! YumBox just released their latest style, the MiniSnack, which would be fun to try.
The YumBox Original fits perfectly into the SoYoung Lunchbag. We even tucked the snack bag and small container you see in the other pic above into the bag along with the YumBox; you could easily fit a small freezer pack, too.
I found this YumBox a sturdy, sleek, and all-round appealing lunchbox. I like the fact that the entire inside lid is silicone, making sure that it is leakproof. The insert pops out easily (but not so easily that a kid could spill their lunch). I like that the insert is clear - it's easier to see the food you pack and also it's easier to see when it's really clean! Plus, the pictures are such a cute touch - it would be fun for your child to choose their favourite design. See above for the one we tested. It was a nice reminder to have the words (grain, veggie, fuit, protein...).
Just like last month's bento-style box, I like this style of lunchbox because with just one piece, I think it would be easier for small kids not to lose it. And it's compact and not heavy, two more plusses.
I thought I might find the bento-style small compartments limiting, but it was the opposite. I loved the variety I could pack for the kids, and the small sizes inspire easy creativity when trying to use up bits of veggies and fruits in the fridge. It's great to be able to offer so many different choices, but a small amount of each, so it's manageable for kids to finish and there's no wasted food. That said, I think I'd enjoy using the Panino style YumBox as well, which includes one larger compartment.
Along with help from my kids, my mom helped out with this month's installment of my Waste-Free Lunch Gear series, too. She took the kids on a day trip to the beautiful coastal town of Lunenburg, where the YumBox enjoyed an outdoor adventure on the waterfront. She reported (in an email adorably titled YumBox Goes to Lunenburg) that it traveled very well!
It has been such a joy to try out these lunchbox systems this summer. I am so grateful for the generosity of Nurtured Products for Parenting, who made this series possible. To see all the options for durable, versatile, and beautiful lunch gear, please do visit their Halifax shop in person.
During this series I did not get a chance to touch on one important component of deciding which lunch containers to buy: price. To summarize, the YumBox Original is $41.99, the Bentgo Kids from last month's post is $37.95, and the set of UKonserve nesting containers I wrote about in June is $34.95. I like to remind myself that these containers will be used daily for many many years to come, so the investment makes so much sense. Nurtured sells such a variety of options at many prices, and it's possible to mix and match, too, with items such as this Onyx box and these Colibri snack bags, both of which I own, and use often for my kids and myself. (You can spot Colibri bags throughout this post, and the Onyx tiffin in my other lunchbox posts.) I find Abeego reusable wraps to be a great companion to lunchboxes, too.
Have a look at my two previous posts in this series, if you like, and here are a couple of my past posts about lunchboxes. And for more inspiration, check out this inspiring post, about why it makes sense to aim high when talking about lunches for kids: to include a great variety of ingredients and dishes, setting the stage for confident eating for years to come.
Bread and Jam for Frances, published in 1964: one of my favourite examples of school lunch in kid lit. And check out her doily and vase!