Thursday, January 6, 2011

BACK TO SCHOOL - Thoughtful Thursday - Why didn't I think of that? Lunch Box Ideas


I am in mourning.  It appears, my worst fears have been confirmed.  I have officially witnessed, the death of the traditional school lunch.   A peanut butter sandwich, wrapped in cling wrap,  complimented with a packet of chips and a popper full of juice. (To be honest I have never liked peanut butter but anyhow..)  It was not a quick death but more a drawn out process of policies and protocols resulting in  a gradual alienation of the old favourites.  I am not sure where it started.  For the past few years, as a teacher, we have encouraged healthy lunches.    So I guess the "saturated fat in a bag" chips were the first to make their departure.  Then it was the allergies.  We became a "nut free" school.  At first this seemed like an impossible idea.  But now the reality is that 90% of childcare/kindergarten/schools are nut free.  So say goodbye to Peanut Butter (and nuttella, meusli bars and even tiny teddies!).  Now as our planet suffocates under a sea of discarded cling wrap and plastic straws even the humble cling wrapped sandwich has seen its last days. "Rubbish or Litter Free" lunch boxes are now the norm.

I have watched as this has happened, as a teacher, and been baffled by the ability of parents to continue to produce wonderful lunches under such limitations.  But now it's my turn and I am desperatley seeking a life raft!  Reading Master O's Kindy Handbook (again) I am pondering what on earth I am going to pack him for lunch.  It must be

"a healthy lunchbox"
"no youghrt, meusli bars, sweet biscuits, cakes, sweets"
"no packaged drinks"
"no peanut butter, nutella, mixed nuts, foods containing peanut oil"
and due to sustainable practices
"no packaging"!!!

So it is time for me to "keep calm and carry on"  bury my old ideas and resurrect a new style of lunch.
Of course armed with a cyberspace of information this process has not been as hard as I initially thought.
I started with a lunchbox, that would allow me to pack a "litter-free" lunch.
The best options I found are "Bento Style" lunch boxes.  A plastic lunch box that usually has three compartments inside.  As I am not the first Mother on this quest the suppliers were plenty.

Top to Bottom

The Sandwich Keeper Plus (5). Retails for $28.95.  
Has a large compartment for a sandwich and two smaller compartments. Dishwasher Safe. Life time Guarantee

Nude Food Movers. -
Lunchbox,  with cool skin and Bottle Pack. $27.26
Large 3 Compartment Lunch box with 2 extra round containers.


EcoEssentials -

Goodbyn Lunch Box $45 
Many compartments, including a space for a drink bottle. Dishwasher Safe. BPA Free, even comes with stickers to decorate/personalise the drink bottle!

Compartmentalized Lunch Boxes- 
 Retail for a pack of 4 for $13.95.
 Dishwasher safe.  Add International Postage to cost of about $16. Which still means 4 containers for around $30.
Check out her blog!  I just love the lunch box ideas and photo gallery!

Now for what to put in them!  Once again a simple google of lunch box ideas gave me more ideas than I could imagine including photos!
From Another Lunch

Left to Right
Lunchbox 1 - homemade pizza pocket, two pieces of butterfly-shaped havarti cheese slices, organic yogurt covered raisins,Garden of Eatin' organic multigrain Popped Tortillas, blackberries in silicone cup with litte kitty mini-fork,pickles and two cherry tomatoes

Lunchbox 2 - A deconstructed Pasta Salad and Yummy Fruit the cut out shapes 
definitely makes fruit and vegies fun! - Love the way she uses silicone muffin cups to contain ingredients!
This is one clever Mum!!!  Okat so she has a few "tools" you may not have but the ideas are awe inspiring!
Left Lunchbox - Turkey bites (leftovers) you could use mini meatballs, pasta salad, fruit
Right Lunchbox - Under the pirate face is a muffin!  The face is made of cheese and cucumber! add some fruit and carrot and celery slices and there you have it!

This one is for both Master O and Mummy!
Chicken Drumsticks (leftovers), Yoghurt dip, grapes and sliced cucumber and carrot!
Goes beautifully with my high protein, low carb diet and sooo easy to make using last nights leftover chicken!!!
Easy LunchBoxes

and one last one for the Mums of teenage boys who refuse to eat healthy food.....
That is incredible!!!!

The ideas are endless!  You truly have to visit these sites to appreciate the amazing talent of these mummies!
I am now truly motivated to make some "nut, packaging, sugar free" creative lunches that will leave that peanut butter sandwich for dead! Stay tuned......


  1. Love, love, love the lunch box idease! Thanks for sharing :)

    Brandi @ Tweedle Dee Designs

  2. Thanks Brandi! Stay tuned more to come.....

  3. great post - although I am a year late reading it (I've been googling healthy lunch ideas for teens as I have two language students arriving on the weekend and I have no idea how much a 14 year old actually eats!) thanks for the ideas :)

  4. I feel your pain! I'm an ECE teacher, and have two children who come to work with me, full time. I'm interested in why the no yoghurt though? For me, I've had to find a box that accomodates a full days food, INCLUDING the yoghurt and banana. We've always been rubbish free anyways so that bit was okay. I've tried them all though, insulated, bento, tupperware, nude food movers of various kinds, and still haven't found 'the' perfect box. I'm thinking I might have to splash out on laptop lunches :O!