Lemond Nutrition Articles

Food Containers: The New Brown Bag

By Angela Lemond, RDN, CSP, LD // Aug 11, 2011

As summer ends and temperatures (hopefully) cool down, it’s time to think about school supplies, new school outfits, and what to pack for lunch.   Are your kids apathetic towards a home-packed lunch? You can change this by inspiring you to pack different foods and inspire your child with a more interesting container.   Swap out the boring brown bags and use food containers to rejuvenate lunchtime. These containers are cost effective, reusable for years, and easy to clean. As parents, you can make nutrition a priority by preparing fun and nourishing lunches for your kids. Have them help you, too!  Among our favorites are included in this post and all pictures are linked to sites for purchase.
 

Laptop Lunch's Bento Boxes!

 

Some food containers provide compartments to keep different foods organized.   Our favorite is Laptop Lunch's Bento Box.  Now they have even more colorful styles to choose from!  This type of lunch container encourages  to serve more than just a peanut butter sandwich. How about whole wheat spaghetti, fresh peach slices, snap peas and a savory dipping sauce? Bust out the cookie cutters and cut sandwiches, fruits, or cheese into fascinating shapes.   This is a great occasion to make simple, creative and assorted meals.  Laptop Lunch's has a great set of menus categorized by seasons on their website.  (Our favorite recipe is the red lentil and sweet pepper hummus!)

We all “eat with your eyes” first, and this is absolutely no different with children. Using different colors and shapes will draw their interest and they can be excited about opening their lunch box every day.  Bring the fun back to lunching!

The Slimline Quaddie by Klip It provides drink container and many compartments!.

Some containers also have a place to store drinks.   You can fill a bottle like this with low fat milk, water, or 100% juice.  Go green and ecomical by investing in BPA-free containers.

Fit & Fresh brand has a great variety of containers to choose from.

These containers have an added cold pack built into the lid.   It’s great for keeping cold items like fruits or salads cool for lunchtime.  Add another ice pack or additonal resusable ice cubes to keep your lunches nice and cool.

 

The "Salad Blaster Bowl" can be purchased at The Container Store.

Speaking of salads, this is another great container to make lunch fun!   Simply fill the container with your salad and put the green lid on.   Then, fill the central container on the lid with your salad dressing.   This keeps the contents from mixing.   By mealtime, press the center container down, and shake!   It releases the dressing with ease.   Tell me this isn’t a great way to get kids interested in salad!
Purchased at The Container Store.
We can’t leave out breakfast- this is a fabulous option for cereal and milk.   Just pour your milk into the bottom container that is insulated to keep it cold longer.   Then screw on the top container and pour in your perfect portion of cereal.   Pop the lid on (folding spoon included) and go!
Hot Foods
Expand that lunch menu by providing a hot lunch for your child.  Heat soups, leftovers and other hot foods to 200 degrees before putting them in the hot food containers so they can still be above the temperature danger zone of 140 degrees by lunchtime.

Purchase Laptop Lunch's food jar and it fits nicely in the Bento system.

Thermos brand makes food jars in your child's favorite character design.

Other ways to make your child's lunch special:
Bento to Lunch - Collection of really cool food decoration ideas to try.
Kids Lunch Box Cards - spice up your child's cards with stories, riddles, gross science facts with these creative cards that you can sign.
Your kids are not the only ones that can enjoy food containers. These are also very practical for the working person.   You can put your lunch together at the same time as your kids and you’re set for the day.   These are also a time saver when traveling or even picnicking.   Trying out new food containers will make the boring “brown bag lunch” a thing of the past.  
Special thanks once again to Gina Tran, TWU Dietetic Intern, that co-authored this blog post!

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