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Several new trends in packing lunch sacks appeared with the start of this year's back to school season.  In this economy, bringing a homemade sack lunch is no longer pass√© - in fact it is becoming an art!  From better bags to stainless steele containers to bento boxes to artful food presentation to higher quality foods - lunches are now quite a statement of families' creativity and lifestyle choices.  Read on for inspiration to jump in on this new, positive movement!

Bags

I made washable lunch sacks using old jammie pants and wool yarn (pictured above) for each of my family members.  This easy, cost effective project is fun and a great way to save on waste created by paper or plastic bags.  I got the inspiration from a field bag made by an 8-year old boy on this home schooling website. 

Containers

Next, our family decided to purchase a stackable metal container set to replace our worn-out Tupperware.  We like this model sold at Whole Foods and on Sono-Ma's A-store.  My husband says while the new set is heavier, he loves the idea of throwing his stainless steel pieces into the dishwasher rather than hand washing the potential toxic plastic. 

We've always carried SIGG water bottles - although we just learned we need to replace our current models. 




SIGG announced BPA may be contained in aluminum water bottles manufactured prior to August 2008.  If you are concerned about this new discovery and would like to exchange your bottle, SIGG will trade you for a new bottle through October 31, 2009.

Lisa, local North Bay mom and authoress of  Picnic writes a comical piece on some of the hysteria this is causing in parents committed to eco-living:

"a fellow parent at my daughter's school stopped me in the hall, demanded I open the bottle I was holding so she could look inside, and then warned me that the copper colored liner contained BPA and could be exchanged for a BPA-free version."  read more here
Marin Mommies also writes "SIGG - How Could You?" - including details for exchanging your bottle at local Whole Foods or REI stores.  Call Whole Foods Sonoma (938-8500), Santa Rosa (575-7915), and Sebastopol (829-9801) to confirm your potential exchange before 10/31/09.

For an in-depth explanation of BPA and health ramifications please read New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope's "Hard Plastic is Raising Hard Questions."

Nutritional & Artful Foods

Concerned about the food in your swinging sack?  Spice up your kids' lunches with two of my son's favorites:  home made fruit leather or grape juice.  Apples and grapes are in season, fellow locavores! 

Get on board with Slow Food's Time For Lunch Campaign.  Healdsburg and Santa Rosa just sponsored two "Eat-in's" to help raise awareness about the quality of school lunches.  Want ideas for recipes?  Artful presentation?  Check out:  the Nourish Network published by a young Sonoma County mom.  Or Mothering Magazine's recent article "School lunches that nourish the body and soul." Or try to recreate these lovely bento box lunches!  Have fun!

fave bentos


4 comments

  1. Sharon // September 24, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

    Hey! those are all my pajamas!! I'm getting to be wary of ever giving any clothes up at exchanges for fear I will have this on going though- "I SHOULD have thought of that!";)

  2. Crissi // September 25, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

    I've gotta say, I've never thought of that for lunch bags. What an ingenius and simple idea!

  3. Lisa // September 25, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

    Thanks Holly for the link love!

  4. C // September 26, 2009 at 9:26 PM  

    What a great and easy project to re-purpose that soft old fabric into simple lunch bags. Great!

    We've used those To-Go Ware containers for school lunches for the last two years, and they work perfectly for us. That's another vote for stainless tiffin style stacking lunch boxes. :)

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