Last week, we provided 10 helpful tips on how to go green this school year. One of the major points that we made involved school lunches. Your kids’ school lunches are a very important factor in their day so we want to discuss a bit further about how to make sure that their lunches are as green and healthy as possible.
First, you should look for foods that are organic or natural. There are many healthy snack options out there other than sugary or salty ones like candy or potato chips. Aside from the obvious ideas like whole fruit and cut up veggies, there are healthy dried fruit snacks, veggie chips, and organic granola bars. Even minor changes like using baked snacked foods instead of fried ones, like potato chips, will be better for them in terms of nutritional value. Baked snacks cut down on both calories and fat.
There are kitchen gadgets which can dry fruit out so you can make homemade fruit rolls. Send them to school with yogurt and some berries every day for breakfast, too. You can vary the fruit every day so that they don’t get bored with what they’re eating.
The second thing that you can do to ensure green lunches is to avoid using plastic bags of any kind. Use some organic plastic containers that are BPA free for their food so you can eliminate the extra waste. Use lunch boxes or lunch bags instead of sending them to school with plastic or paper bags every day. These reusable lunch bags come in a variety of designs and colors so your kids can find something that really appeals to them.
One other major thing that you can do is to encourage them to drink water. Try to avoid having them use plastic bottles. Instead, send them to school with a BPA-free plastic or metal water bottle. Even though plastic water bottles can be recycled, you have to be able to count on having recycling facilities available at the school and for your child to actually throw the bottle into the proper receptacle. With a plastic or metal water bottle, you don’t have to worry. Plus, in the long run, you will save money on the bottles. You can buy a water bottle for a few dollars that should last for years.
If your kids do use recyclable water bottles, make sure that they bring them home. Every hour, almost a quarter of a million bottles are thrown away. Have recycling pails set up at home with marks on them indicating target points. Each of those target points could be some kind of reward. This way, they see that there is a tangible reward for recycling and may get their friends and classmates into the “competition” as well.
If you follow these easy steps, you can ensure that your children’s lunches are green and healthy this coming school year.