Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My new favorite eco friendly lunch box

***Read below for discount information***

I love this lunch: a little bit of everything and Crunchfuls for dessert!

It's funny all of the things that social media can do for us. I have met some amazing people that would not have crossed my path otherwise. Such is the case for Easy Lunchboxes, my newest find. These are a great eco-friendly lunch box system that makes snack and lunch prep a snap.

The Story
One day, while checking out twitter, I found a link to a new lunch box system that I hadn't seen before, Easy Lunch Boxes. Something about it (especially since it was labeled as a green lunch box) made me interested in learning more. I am trying to get away from what I view as "bad" plastics in my quest to be a somewhat green mom. I've tried stainless steel products but some are heavy or don't fit everything that's needed for lunch. I usually end up with a combination of stainless steel and plastic containers. Besides the worry of the plastic leaching into the food, just trying to keep all of those containers organized is a chore. The last consideration is where the lunch will be sitting. Some of the systems looked good on paper but I realized that a rectangular shape that can sit upright would be best to fit on the classroom shelves. It also needs to fit in a back pack. Who knew there would be all of these things to think about just to make lunch for a 5 year old?!

Why I like the Easy Lunch Box System
Well, I liked the idea of a safe plastic (these are FDA approved, contain no BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC and are safe for dishwasher and microwave) for many reasons; besides the aforementioned, I find the plastic easy to clean and lightweight. The little compartments are great so that I can put all of the different parts of my children's lunch in one place. The lunch system comes with 4 containers and 4 lids so searching for parts doesn't take any more time. If you have access to a microwave (maybe not for the kids), these containers can be used for reheating food as well.

I did learn that if you want to send a yogurt snack, that compartment should be covered with either wax or plastic wrap. The containers fit but are not tight. This is good for little hands to be able to open but not good if you have something liquidy and the lunch bag moves from side to side or is placed on it's side. Still, I'm fine with a work around.

All in all, I've been very happy with this new lunch box system. The owner of the company is a mother of three so she really gets it. She designed these with her family in mind. Kelly has also been very responsive with any of my questions or concerns. I truly appreciate that.

How to Buy and Discount
So whether you are going back to school like an old pro or starting with your first day in August or September, check out the Easy Lunch Box system as an option. If you plan on buying one, use FamilyChef (case sensitive) for a 10% discount good until 9/6/10!

The bags come in all sorts of colors as well. I'll have to get purple for my daughter when she starts kindergarten. The bags fit two plastic containers or one container and room for a water bottle. When I send two containers, I attached the water bottle to the outside with a carabiner (the rock climbing hook which pushes open on one side).

Healthy Lunch Ideas
If you are looking for some ideas for lunches and snacks, check this article. I try to make sure that my kids get protein, carbs, fruit and a veggie. I may not do this everyday but it's a goal. Check the ingredients of what you serve and be careful not to include too many sugary or processed foods. Their teacher will appreciate that!

My gluten-free snack box. There aren't many options when I'm out.
Check out this article about the Inspired Cookie here.

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