I packed my son’s lunch every day last year for his preschool. It wasn’t until the end of the year at the parent/teacher meeting that his teachers told me, “You know that Ike can’t open any of the lids to the containers you send in? Right? We have to open them. And next year the elementary school lunch teachers won’t have the time or availability to open them for him.” Well, ‘No’, ‘I didn’t know that!’. It turns out that all of my fancy stainless steel containers were kid-UNfriendly! Yikes. A whole year of Ike not being able to open any of his containers and he never told me! Now that I realize a lot of these stainless steel containers have tight-fitting lids (too tight for a 5-year-old), what is a green mom to do? Test the goods before purchasing! Let your kids maneuver the products and see if they can easily open and close them. It’s sometimes hard to test the containers because a lot of the greener ones are not available at a store near you and have to be purchased online.
Stainless steel water bottles and reusable sandwich bags are an easy and safe bet no matter where you buy them. For containers that hold fruit or other wet ingredients (or easily smushed foods), I am on the lookout for an easy-to-open lid. Typically, I try to avoid plastics at all costs, but if it seems to be the easiest to open, I may be going with going with a BPA & PVC-free plastic container. I’ll keep you posted!
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