August 18, 2014

Back-to-school week!: Ways to punch up the kids’ lunches

Nifty containers and accessories help perk up boring meals without sacrificing fun or safety

Rants, raves, reviews and resources for Dallas-Fort Worth parents

For many students going back to school, the subject they most look forward to is lunch. And although lunch isn’t a real subject, there is no denying the important role that it plays in your child’s day. To make sure that you send kiddos off with a meal packed with love and care, we rounded up our favorite lunch gear for a little inspiration.

Say no to plastic

Whether you’re eco-conscious or just worry about your kids’ food being contaminated with chemicals, reusable sandwich and snack bags (like the ones made by the brand LunchSkins) are a smart alternative to the traditional plastic sandwich bag. Available in kid-friendly prints, each bag is dishwasher safe and BPA free. $10.99, Target.

It takes two

Do your children enjoy eating food items like yogurt and Jell-O? Then you’ll want to make sure they have a pair of reusable utensils to get them through the school year. Made by Eatools, this combination eating utensil is designed to give kids the best of both worlds, so that they don’t have to choose between a fork or a spoon. $2.99, World Market.

Shape shifter

After a while, grilled cheese and peanut butter sandwiches can get pretty mundane. But you can help keep lunch exciting for your hungry pupil with the use of a crust cutter. Found in a variety of fun shapes (including Cars’ Lightning McQueen), crust cutters turn a regular old sandwich into an exciting lunchtime experience. $2.48, Wal-Mart.

Getting saucy

Just because kids are at school doesn’t mean that they have to do without their favorite condiments come lunchtime. Cute and compact, the dishwasher-safe Sauce Pod twists open for easy filling and features a nozzle designed to release just the right amount of sauce with each squeeze. $3.99, The Container Store.

Hydration nation

Finding the perfect water bottle for your child (or even yourself) can be hard. Not only does it have to be chemical free, dishwasher safe, sweat proof and spill proof, but preferably it should also look trendy. Enter bkr water bottles. The chemical-free glass bottles come in a rainbow of colors, have a mouth designed to reduce spillage and are covered in silicone sleeves to prevent sweat and breaking. $30, Neiman Marcus.

Packed to perfection

For parents who pack their children a daily lunch, there is often the dilemma of figuring out how to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Leave it to Thermos, the insulated container expert, to find a way to solve this problem with its FUNtainer Food Jars. Using vacuum-insulated technology for maximum temperature retention, the stainless-steel jars (which come in a wide selection of your child’s favorite characters) can keep food cold for seven hours and warm for up to five hours. $17.95, Barnes & Noble.

Split personality

Packing a lunch with food containers can be tricky, especially when space is limited. Luckily, Sistema’s Snacks To Go Container makes life a little easier. The BPA-free stackable container features a removable top section for dips or other foods, giving you twice the space you need without worrying about any food cross-contamination. $5.99, Target.

All in one

Parents wanting to score all their child’s lunch gear needs in one swoop should look no further than Pottery Barn Kids’ Mackenzie All In One Lunch Bag. Available in a variety of fun prints for both girls and boys, the lunch bag is made from eco-friendly materials and includes a stainless-steel food box and utensils that are BPA and lead free. For added personalization, opt for the monogramming service and have your child’s name stitched on. $59.50 (monogram not included), Pottery Barn Kids.

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