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Waste-free school lunch box
Discover how to make everyday healthier by packing and eating wrapper-free, litter-free foods. Children feel fresh and healthy when they eat a healthy lunch.
The ideas that follow were generated by Trudy Williams and readers of her e-newsletter. For bonus packaging tips, click the link-bar below. To read a transcript of the "Healthy Lunch Box" video click the other bar. Be sure to watch the video in HD and then add a comment and vote for it at our YouTube Channel.
Waste-free, litter-free food is usually healthier for you and the kids. It also helps to reduce land-fill which in turn may go a little way to help save the planet for our young ones. Target at least one day a month, if not more, to pack wrapper-free lunch boxes.
The idea with this is not to use throw-away wrapping like cling wrap and foil, and yet minimise the use of paper wrappers as well - essentially "nude food"
You will need re-useable plastic/metal containers or plastic-backed fabric lunch sacks to avoid squashed food or messy bags.
What to include in a litter-free lunch box?
Not in an edible wrap but worth adding to the school lunch box would be banana leaf parcels (google this to discover some great ideas).
Hunky vege – cooked jacket potato, washed raw baby carrot, cooked corn re-wrapped in the original leaves which can be tied on with string or secured with a toothpick or elastic band. The vegies can be cooked and cooled the night before ready for the morning lunch box rush.
Obvious fruits – apples, pears, mandarins, oranges, banana, grapes, cherries, berries, lychees, kiwi fruit.
Protein power-houses – eggs (pre-boiled and ready-to-go), cheese cubes, and prawns in their shell if keeping things cool is not an issue.
Peanuts in their shell – not an option if your child’s school is nut-free, but a great idea for the cinema or home DVD night (ticks all the boxes at the cinema for noisy, annoying crunchy messy snack food!)
Hard raw nuts such as walnuts, brazil, and almonds sent along with a nut cracker. This is an idea for adults and stronger older kids.
Now the following are not exactly ‘naked’ but are included because they are in the spirit of ‘rubbish-free’ leading to a little less land-fill.
- ‘Cute’ vegetables - cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers (grocers and supermarkets sometimes have early picked, mini-produce such as baby capsicum and baby cues), baby corn, raw green beans, snow peas, raw asparagus spears, mushrooms, and blanched broccoli and cauliflower tips.
- Edible wraps - dolmades, sushi, slaw and baby corn wrapped in a cabbage or lettuce leaf secured with string, or shredded vege tucked up inside a rice paper wrap.
a leak-proof refillable bottle. Fill with water. Freeze if possible to add extra chill to the lunch box.
- Instead of buying single serve packaged items, which come with their own disposable packaging, buy foods in bulk packs. Get the kids to repack the contents into mini-serves. You will need stacks of re-useable plastic/metal containers, so recycle and use the empty plastic food jars from peanut butter, preserved fruit, sauces bottles… Yoghurt, canned fruit, dried fruit, custard, air popped corn, pretzels, dry breakfast cereals, olives
- Avoid single serve juice packs and water bottles. Get
Finally ask, the consumers (kids and whoever takes a rubbish-free naked lunch) to bring home the scraps to fed to the chickens, worms or compost heap. You can keep an eagle eye out for uneaten/half eaten stuff. All in all, a litter-free lunch means there are fewer wrappers and less trash to throw in the rubbish bin.
National Nude Food DayÔ is trade marked by Nutrition Australia. For more information about the day, visit their site.