Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making School Lunches Cuter

I hate making lunches. I should say I hate packing lunches. I am not sure why I have such an aversion to it. I guess my mom spoiled me by packing my lunches all the way through high school.

I should note that while she dutifully made sure I was fed, she got consistently less enthusiastic as I got older -- the stickers and notes and cookie-cutter-cut-out sandwiches of my elementary days were eventually replaced by sloppy PBJs, half-hearted bags of crumbled Doritos, and an opened and half-empty package of nutty bars or ho-hos -- the other half of the nutty bar or ho-ho pair went to my brother). I can remember a day in high school when I was shocked to withdraw from my brown paper bag a turkey and cheese sandwich on a croissant, a bag of sliced strawberries, a bag of carrots, and some pretzels. I was delighting in the fact that my mom had prepared strawberries for me (a personal favorite but my mom -- inexplicably -- does not like strawberries), when I quickly realized that this was not, in fact, my lunch. My brown bag had gotten mixed up with a friend's, and that friend was staring at my apple-dented PBJ and nutty bar with confusion and, I think, disdain. She quickly claimed the croissant as her own and I couldn't argue.

I am certainly not faulting my mom for a lack of enthusiasm when it came to packing school lunches. I cannot blame her. There is something so unappetizing about making a meal many hours in advance, particularly the night before. Or rushing to make it the morning of. It explains why so many people buy their lunches from restaurants, cafeterias, and vending machines. The bringing of one's own lunch is just not very fun.

Poor D takes his own lunch almost everyday and sometimes will ask me to make it for him the night before. It is a small chore that I loathe, even more than emptying the dishwasher. I would rather do the laundry, run the vaccuum, take out the trash, change the sheets, dust the living room, anything but make his lunch.

In an effort to make lunch a little more exciting -- and environmentally friendly! -- a few months ago, I ordered David these reusable sandwich wraps from reusablebags.com:

He puts his sandwiches in these and if he mushes them just a little bit, he can fit two sandwiches in the one wrap. It is cloth on the outside with a velcro fastener, and the inside is a slick, clear plastic that wipes clean. Brilliant! No need for plastic sandwich bags that just get thrown away!

Recently I came across a similar product made to hold those lunch-time favorites: Doritos et. al. I ordered two of them:

It is essentially the same idea -- fabric outside, plastic inside. Machine washable and also dishwasher safe. Perfect for holding snacks that would otherwise go in ziplock or sandwich bags, which would then go on to a landfill. Plus these are so freaking cute. I just might volunteer to make D's lunch once in a while if I can put his carrot sticks and Krunchers potato chips into a couple of these bags.


  1. A cute lunch bag helped me! Mom

  2. If one were to look, one might find these on my etsy favorites...aka wishlist:)