Wow was I wrong.
A. I definitely had a real lunchbox with matching Thermos, but honestly don't remember what was on it. I DO remember bringing my lunch to school in a brown paper bag with my name in calligraphy letters in the sixth grade, though.
(I realize this post may jump the back-to-school hoopla. I did quite a bit of research that I don't want to get stale, and I know several other moms and dads of pre-kindergartners out there may be in a similar boat. So, onwards and upwards!)
"It's much easier to be for going green than it is to actually be green. Especially if you have kids." This is the argument I often hear, that it boils down to convenience over conscience. But frankly, I think that is a false dichotomy and having children is all the more reason to be green. Besides, my research into lunch boxes proves being eco-friendly is convenient for kids of all ages, too.
First place for creative ideas, inventive menu options and how-to's goes to Lunchinabox - hands down the most inspiring site I found. Other cool kids lunch gear:
- Lunchboxes (more soft lunch box options for girls AND boys than KooKoo)
- Kids Konserve has stainless steel lunch box kits
- Clickety Click bento-style BPA-free boxes and accessories
- Silicone baking cups (only if you are going the bento box route)
- The Wrap-n-Mat and snack bags at Reusablebags.com (note to Wrap-n-Mat: you need more cute/chic pattern options!)
- To-Go Ware (good options for grown-up kids)
- For background, tips and other goodies you might click over to The Daily Green, Good Housekeeping, or Center for American Progress.
Honorable mention goes to Lunch Box Cards (heart-warming idea but save your $$ and DIY) and Hoohobbers (like the design but has more girl-oriented color options). I wasn't all that impressed with Land's End or Pottery Barn Kids - though you don't have to question the quality/durability, not a wide enough selection and the PB options I suspect many boys will rather quickly grow out of.
After asking Big CL what kind of character he wanted on his lunch box (I presented a narrowed down list of three options), he of course picked D) none of the above. He wanted a Sponge Bob lunch box ($12.95 at Lunchboxes.com). I also bought a set of Wrap-n-mats, and he already has his own Sigg bottle. Because he loves Japanese food, I will probably get some boxes and a few extra sets of kid chopsticks (Bed Bath & Beyond) or make them, too.