Greener Living

Make Your School Lunch Litterless! #FunkinsBackToSchool

Almost there! We’ll be back to school in just under three weeks, and for the first time both my girls will be in school. That’s a lot of lunches to pack! I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a Pinterest mom. I don’t pore over Pinterest and food blogs looking for fancy bento box ideas that will fall apart before my kid shoves her lunch bag in her backpack and jogs out the door. Last year, Tee’s lunch was usually thrown together half an hour before running out of the house. But however I feel about making school lunches, the kids still have to eat!

Last week the girls had a couple of friends come over for an impromptu get together. With Tee in kindergarten this year and Kay starting preschool, this was a great opportunity to brainstorm lunch ideas with other moms while the kids hung out.

My wanna be chef kids love to help in the kitchen and were really excited about hosting their friends, so instead of making lunch for everyone, I showed them how to make their own. Well, I cut the veggies and made the homemade grain-free granola, but the girls chose the watermelon and veggies at the store, made the deviled egg salad, and put together their own sandwiches.

Instead of the same old watermelon slices, we used cookie cutters to make fun star-shaped watermelon pieces. Okay, maybe it’s a tiny bit fancy, but this is much more up my alley. Because no knife was required, even the little kids were able to do this themselves.

Use cookie cutters to cut watermelon into fun shapes.

Many schools around here, including Tee’s, have started asking parents to minimize the trash that accompanies traditional lunches. I love that my kid’s school is paying attention to this, and I totally agree! All those paper bags, disposable sandwich bags, plastic wrap, tinfoil, juice boxes – that stuff adds up! 

I want my kids to have a beautiful green planet when they grow up, so we’re doing our part. We use stainless steel and BPA-free plastic containers. While I normally prefer steel and glass over plastic, the girls find the plastic containers easiest to open. Snacks go in reusable containers or cloth snack bags, and we pack cloth napkins every day. Funkins to be exact. (Fun + napkins = Funkins!) They’re big enough for the messiest face (because who wants to walk around school with food on her face!), and they make awesome placemats too.

Here’s Tee’s choice for a healthy and litterless school lunch. I think she did a really good job! A deviled egg sandwich, snap peas and cauliflower, homemade granola, and watermelon stars, all with her fave Funkins whale print napkin.

Our litterless lunch - deviled egg sandwich, raw veggies, watermelon, and homemade granola.

I love our Funkins because they’re practical and environmentally friendly, and the kids love them because they’re so cute and colourful! Check out some of the prints we have. With two kids now in school though, I think we need to pick up a few more!

Funkins make napkins fun!

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Do you have a kid going back to school? How do you reduce waste and litter in your child’s school lunch?

Disclosure: I am taking part in the Funkins blog campaign. While I have received compensation as part of my affiliation with this program, the opinions shared are my own.

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  • So, I’m kind of obsessed with litter-free lunches. My son doesn’t go to school yet: I’m talking about my own lunches when I was teaching/substituting/tutoring! My students were always fascinated with my reusable “ziploc” baggies, my cloth napkins and the fact that I insisted on bringing my own cutlery to the cafeteria. In fact, I led a crusade at our school to banish all disposable utensils and plates from our school caf and staffroom. One thing that I find I am not avoiding well is plastic straws. While we have stainless steel straws at home, I try to remember to ask for no straw at restaurants but I tend to forget. I will definitely be using Funkins to introduce my son to litterless lunches when he’s old enough!

  • I don’t have a kid in school yet but it is fast approaching!! We do go on lots of adventures that I pack snacks for ai love love love our reusable lunch and snack bags!! Best investment ever!! And so cute!

  • These little changes can really add up and start making for a better enviro-friendly culture overall. Plastics are still a problem as recent research suggests that BPA free products may not be safer as the new ingredients haven’t been well tested and they may be as bad or worse.