After searching the web for the best stainless steel food containers to replace the hundreds of plastic sandwich bags and disposables that we use each year for school lunches, I am happy to report that it's going to be easier than I thought to pack waste-free, healthy meals for my daughters.
Finding an eco-friendly lunchbox that is sleek and stylish enough for my teenage daughter was the biggest challenge. It is her first year of high school and she wants to use her extra privileges to leave the school campus during lunchtime. Even more challenging is the fact that she attends a small school that does not have lockers and she refuses to carry a big, clunky lunchbox around all day, even for the sake of saving the planet from lunchtime litter.
Of course, I am not willing to pay for or let her eat unhealthy convenience foods wrapped in plastic packaging from the corner gas station for lunch, so she either needs to get a job or agree to pack a healthy lunch that she can bring along on her mid-day outings with friends.
The Rectangle ECOlunchbox Three-in-One was the perfect solution! First of all, it's totally adorable... err, I mean wicked cool! The compact size holds a nice amount of food, but is very portable and small enough to tuck inside her bag without consuming it. It's durable enough that it can withstand the beating that it will no doubt endure throughout the year. Plus, even if it gets lost under the pile of folders and notebooks in her backpack, the lunch will never get squished!
To prepare for the chaos of back-to-school, we gave the box a test run to see exactly how much food we could fit inside. When the 2 tiers are stacked together, it's only about 4 x 5 1/2 inches by 2 3/4 inches high, so I thought it might be a bit challenging to pack enough food to sustain her all day. I have to admit that I was happily surprised with how easy it was!
We are big fans of wraps at our house and when I noticed the Artisan FOLDit Flatbread in the bakery section at Target, I immediately thought they might be the perfect fit for our new rectangle ECOlunchbox and I was right on!
What's in the box? We loaded the 5 Grain Flax FOLDit with cheese and a crumbled up, leftover black bean burger. On top, we piled on an organic lettuce mix, green onions and sliced avocado spritzed with fresh lime juice (to prevent browning). Yum!
In the second container there was plenty of room for a side of Cilantro Lime Rice along with the broccoli, snow peas and berries that filled the other half. I used some of the lettuce mix as a divider between the side dishes and the berries fit nicely inside a silicone cupcake liner. In the smallest box (not pictured), I added some three cheese ranch dressing for the flatbread sandwich.
Voila! A quick and easy lunch that is not only healthy, but also completely waste-free and delicious enough to compete with any fast food offerings. :)
The Rectangle ECOlunchbox costs about $20 and is worth every penny!