10 School Lunch Tips for Beginners

Around this time every year, I start to rummage through my disheveled Tupperware drawer in preparation for school lunches.

Yep, lazy summer snacking on the back patio is giving way to bagged lunches every weekday.

I attempt to match square sandwich containers with their respective lids, locate all the water bottles and take a sniff into each thermos to see if they’re still safe to carry soups.

After that comes an assessment of lunch boxes, a refresher of my daughter’s school regulations, and a chat with her on menu preferences. It’s important to listen, always. But I didn’t know that in the beginning.

I’ve learned a lot along the way. Today’s post is school lunch tips for beginners – or anyone who is looking for new inspiration.

[Read more…]

Tried ‘n True Gear for the Zero Waste Lunchbox

A simple guide for packing a zero waste lunch, with tips for reliable gear.

I‘m coming up on a decade of packing school lunches and it’s high time I shared my tried and true gear guide for the zero waste lunchbox.

Good containers for lunches on the go have to be easy to clean and hold up year after year. There are so many options out there and I’ve tried my fair share. I know what breaks and what lasts, what kids enjoy using and what is actually worth the price tag.

At its simplest, packing a lunch requires a few containers, a jar and a tote; at its maximum we’re using everything from beeswax wraps to banana guards.

Hit the jump and keep scrolling because I’m about to show you aaaaaalll our items for a zero waste lunchbox.

[Read more…]

Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini Puffed Cereal Treats

I‘ve been packing school lunches for eight years and lunchbox treats are one thing I have down to a science, thanks to plenty of practice and a whole lot of honest feedback.

Today I’m sharing two versions of puffed cereal treats that I regularly make with my kids: Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini. They are no-bake, one-bowl, vegan recipes, with just a handful of ingredients, perfect for a kitchen project with little ones.

Yes these are based on the popular Rice Crispy treats, but you find that my version is a little more nourishing. I love to play around with puffed ancient grains such as millet or quinoa, I use natural sweeteners, stir in seed butter for protein, and leave out the marshmallows entirely.

Read on for two new recipes and then stir up a treat for Valentine’s Day with the kids.

[Read more…]

The School Lunch Blindside

There are a few things that happen after a car accident that they don’t tell you about. Such as how the muscles in your ten fingers will ache and simple tasks – like wrapping your daughter’s ponytail with an elastic or shampooing your hair – become all awkward and send spasms up your wrists to your elbows.

But everything aches. It’s just that sore fingers are a new sensation after thirty seven years.

Before Sunday, I never knew what would happen nearly every time you close your eyes in the days following a car crash. I’ve discovered that as soon as they’re shut, your mind hits “Play” on a little memory it has called “The Moment of Impact”. The replay is startling every single time: from the sickening, heart-dropping slam of metal on metal to the thud of your head on the side window.

What people do tell you is that you will be sore, maybe even for weeks, and that you should rest as much as possible. Oh perfect. Not a problem. Just as soon as I get these three kids a hot breakfast, out the door for their first day of school, meet the teachers and lug a wailing and writhing Clara out of the school yard because she wants to go to ‘cool too.

[Read more…]

Lunchbox Renewal & All-Purpose Citrus Boost Dressing

You know you’re in trouble when your lunchbox board on Pinterest fails to spark any excitement.

All around us, a spring renewal of sorts is in progress. My Facebook friends are donating their entire closet of clothes in favour of something called a ‘capsule wardrobe’. My neighbour is filling half his driveway with junk every Wednesday for the garbage man to take. And in nature, florescent greens are overtaking the soft browns with each passing day.

One thing hasn’t changed: the doldrums of the bagged lunch. Danny and my boys take one every day, but the school year is long and we still have two months until summer vacation. Can we revive the lunchbox? I think so.

[Read more…]