Tuesday, January 25, 2011


My first job of the day, before I get to shower or eat, is to make lunches for the girls.

I must say that I've always hated this job, but it does get a bit easier with time. I've got a bit of a formula. A sandwich (usually cheese and a meat if I've got one that they like), fruit, and something sweet or dessert-ish. It's that "dessert-ish" thing that tends to stump me. Because Yvon and I are wheat-free these days, I haven't been baking as much. The incentive of keeping the whining down isn't as strong as my own desire for something sweet. I'll have to adjust that because it's not their fault I break out in a rash with wheat!

These are today's lunches, always in order of youngest to oldest so that I don't accidentally give Beth bologna (ooo, ick!) or give Alice non-vanilla yogurt. Laura's lunches always seem the easiest. Anyway, I've put some effort into giving litterless lunches with as little processing as possible. This annoys the kids. We regularly have this conversation when I start needing ideas.

"What do other kids have in their lunches?"
"Do you mean non-processed, non-packaged and non-branded things?"
"Well, yes, of course that's what I mean."

It's always so helpful to have those chats.

Notice the little Mason jars in the photo? I bought most of my Tupperware in a nesting phase of my life around when Beth was born, almost 12 years ago. I know that Tupperware has a life warranty, but I also know that I'll never go to the trouble of replacing the warped lids that no longer seal. I'd probably have to lie about my microwaving practices to some nice lady.

So, Mason jars always seal. It seemed a bit weird at first, but I started using the smallest jars for yoghurt and canned fruits and raisins and just about everything. Even smoothies in the next size up (1 cup). They always work, so I bought two dozen just recently.

Last year I made some sandwich bags from something likely not food-friendly and they've started to look ratty anyway after one year. With a tip from a friend, I made new ones with cotton and lined with recycled food-friendly plastics. My favourites are lined with cereal bag plastic (I don't buy it anymore, but Yvon regularly does - he isn't a fan of my oatmeal or granola).

This one is lined with Chipits bag, complete with ziplock opening. I like that. I never throw good ziplock bags away.

I really wanted this one to work. It's a Cheetos bag (there are some processed foods I will never be without!), but chip bags of all kinds tear when you sew them. Cereal bags don't.

I'm happy with my lunch packaging, but if you've got food ideas, I'd love to hear them. Next year the school is becoming an APPLE school (Alberta Project Promoting Active Living and healthy Eating). Being the only parent representative on the committee, it would be nice if my lunches set some sort of example.
Later editorial note: I was wrong - that's a Hickory Sticks foil bag. However, the Cheetos bags ripped too. Bummer.


Tamara Jansen said...

Wow! You made your own sandwich bags! That is very cool! How well do they wash out?

Coralee said...

great sandwich and lunch bags! I am not a good person to give ideas for lunch... I never liked packed lunches as a child and I still don't have a great liking for them.

Evelyn in Canada said...

Tamara: All but the Cheeto bags wash really well. Generally I just wash them in the dishwater every night, and once every few weeks with the laundry. Good luck since September.

Coralee: I didn't make the lunch bags, but I did make two today that I'll blog about soon. One day you'll probably have to pack lunches for Malachi and Abby. If only my kids would eat supper leftovers like Yvon and I do...

Carissa Halton said...

i love the little jars of yogurt! I still need to try my hand again at homemade- you inspired me with a comment on my blog a couple weeks ago. My girlfriend sells reusable sandwich bags on Etsy- she uses nylon that wipes down really easily. Have you not used nylon because of concerns that its not food safe?

Evelyn in Canada said...

I don't know if all nylon is food safe. Ripstop nylon is coated with teflon, so I wouldn't use that, and PUL and PEVA are both said to be not safe by the manufacturers. Because I don't know and I have the cereal bags, I just use them. They won't last as long as nylon, but I'm not selling them so that's not a concern. They take approximately five minutes to make so I'll just remake them as needed.