Why Does it Matter? 

If you have ever eaten lunch with your child at school, then you know a few things.  First, students have very little time to eat—by the time they get to the lunch room, wait in line to get their food and find the right seat, there’s little time left to enjoy a satisfying meal.  Second, school food can be bland and not all that nutritious.  Plus, students may not make the best choices between the items offered in the cafeteria.  Sending a prepared lunch allows you to keep tabs on what and how much your child is eating.Last but not least, school lunch rooms tend to generate a great deal of trash.  Everything from Styrofoam trays to prepackaged foods to plastic utensils to lots of wasted food.  And many times there is no recycling or composting available to boot.  Luckily, there is something you can do about it.  Choose a new lunchtime approach for your child this school year—send a nutritious waste free lunch.

What Should You Do? 

Start with your child’s lunchbox—it needs to be big to allow plenty of room for reusable containers and a thermos.  Plus, you want to make sure the lunchbox is insulated and easy to clean.  Laptop Lunches offers some great options to consider.  Next, find some reusable containers.  Stainless steel containers are best.  They are easy to clean, can take a beating, and will last forever.  Some good choices are available from Eco Lunchboxes and LunchbotsStainless steel containers can be a bit pricey, so if you are looking to go the reusable plastic route, make sure you buy containers that are BPA free.  An essential piece in any waste free lunch kit is a thermos.  Nothing says “lovin” like warm food from home.  Look for an easy open top that won’t leak.  Don’t forget a reusable bottle for your child’s drink!

Dig Deeper. 

Need waste free lunch inspiration and ideas?  Check out Chef Ann Cooper’s website.  She’s got delicious and nutritious suggestions! The Avon Outdoor Learning Center sells some really cool sandwich/snack bags that are cloth, washable and reusable.  Proceeds benefit the Outdoor Lab.  Email olc@avon-schools.org for more information.If you would like to get recycling started in your student’s lunchroom, we can help!  The District provides grants to schools for up to $500 worth of equipment to help new or expanded recycling programs.  Visit our website for more information.         

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