In today’s world, most of us know that for the environment’s sake it’s time to say good-bye to plastic baggies and disposable packaging when packing our kids’ lunch boxes, but what are we using in their place? From a quick glance across the lunch room, we can see that oftentimes we’re resorting to using reusable plastic food containers. Are those really safe for our kids? Even when choosing BPA-free plastic containers, it’s hard to tell which plastics are leaching other dangerous chemicals such as phthalates, and we know that plastics do a real number on the planet so before we go putting them in our kids’ lunch boxes every day, here are some much better alternatives for both your family’s health and the planet’s well-being.
1. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a great food container option because it’s antibacterial and doesn't leach chemicals. More and more companies are making easy to pack and tote lunch box storage containers so you can find it in just about configuration you need whether you prefer to pack sandwiches or a wide variety of nibbles.
• LunchBots makes a divided stainless steel container that’s available in one, two, three, and four compartment options as well as condiment cups. Just be sure to look for the all stainless versions instead of those with the plastic lids.
• The ECOlunchbox is a three in one stainless steel lunch box kit that nests into a compact stack that locks together. It’s great for packing a sandwich and two sides.
• PlanetBox is the ultimate in stainless steel lunch boxes. These bent box style lunch boxes contain many compartments so that you can pack a wide variety of foods and come with a hinged lid for easy containment. Fun magnets are available to decorate the boxes with make kids happy, and a recycled polyester bag is available to make toting this box a breeze.
• Stainless steel is also the best option to use for your child’s drink. The Sigg kids bottles come in pared down sizes and with a huge variety of themes that are great for everyone from toddlers to teens.
2. Tempered Glass
Tempered Glass is sturdy and doesn’t break into dangerous shards if it’s damaged unlike other glass containers. Wean Green makes a great variety of sizes of tempered glass containers; however, they do have plastic snapping lids so if you want to be completely free of plastics, they aren’t an option. Brinware offers a tempered glass sandwich container that has a decorative silicone cover to help extend its life as well as a silicone lid.
3. Organic Cotton
Because in most cases, you’ll still need a bag to carry your new healthy lunch containers in, organic cotton bags are the best option because the fabric has been grown without the use of harmful pesticides, and the cotton hasn’t been bleached. You can find plain organic cotton lunch totes or more decorative ones from a variety of online retailers.
Organic cotton sandwich wraps are also a great way to package your food, and can be used for much more than sandwiches. Wrap up your fruit, crackers, and other dry goods in them as well.
These might not be the classic items you’ve used to pack lunches in the past, but they’re the best options to make sure that the healthy lunch you are packing for your family isn’t being tainted by harmful chemicals.
READ MORE: 5 Places Plastic is Hiding in Your Home