Mostly Cloudy   75.0F  |  Forecast »

The Waste-Free Lunch Checklist For Parents

Get tips on packing your child a Zero Waste Lunch to take to school. Use this checklist to make sure you're on track – and get a recipe for homemade granola bars!

It's time to ditch the Ziplocs! This school year, keep it green and try packing your child a waste-free lunch. The key is to cut down on the stuff your little one throws away as they leave the cafeteria.

But if you're only used to packing juice boxes, pre-packaged snacks and plastic baggies, where do you begin? It may seem tricky at first, but it is easier than you think! Try using this handy checklist to help you pack your kids a lunch that will fill their tummies, not the lunchroom trash cans.

Tools to get started

  • Durable lunchbox
  • Thermos or reusable drink bottle
  • Reusable snack packs and sandwich bags
  • Stainless steel utensils
  • Cloth napkin

Food ideas

  • Try cubed cheese instead of string cheese.
  • Make your own granola bars.
  • Pack boiled eggs and compost shells.
  • Cut up apples and squeeze on lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Get creative with leftovers and send pastas or stews.
  • Purchase yogurt and applesauce in large containers and portion into reusable containers.
  • Bring your own bags and buy snacks from bulk sections of stores.

Get the kids involved

  • Go grocery shopping with your child. Let her make her own healthy choices and listen to her likes and dislikes. School lunch is not the time to try out new foods.
  • Encourage your child to bring home everything she didn't eat. Then, adjust portion size and food choices accordingly.
  • Add lunch duties to the chore chart. Kids can help pack their own lunches and, when they get home from school, rinse and ready their reusable containers for the next day.
  • Let your child personalize her reusable containers with her name and stickers. This also helps ensure the containers won't get lost.

Easy granola bar recipe

Not every granola bar has a wrapper. Here's an easy, waste-free recipe to try at home. Source: My Kitchen, My Vice blog by Keri Middaugh of The Eventual Farmer.

  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats (oatmeal)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup ground nuts (I use peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or oil
  • 5 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped
  • Optional: 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, or 1/4 cup Grape-Nuts cereal for crunch

Instructions

  1. Mix all this in a medium bowl.
  2. Add more honey to moisten or more oats to dry, if necessary.
  3. Press into an 8-by-8-inch glass pan or pie plate.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 F.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Easy Lunch Wraps for School Lunches

Easy Lunch Wraps for School Lunches

Skip the bread and use tortillas to make one of these recipes for your kid's lunchbox.

Egg-Freezing Parties for Career Women Not Ready to be Moms

Egg-Freezing Parties for Career Women Not Ready to be Moms

Company EggBanxx just took fertility awareness to a new level, complete with cocktails and swank. Will the trend help? Will it stick? Or is this all a bit much?

AHA Arts Clear-Cling Stamps Are Fun for Paper Crafts

AHA Arts Clear-Cling Stamps Are Fun for Paper Crafts

For a creative, offbeat alternative to woodblock stamping, try these cool tools that add a great look to your DIY projects. Buy them here in southeast Michigan.

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Craft Roundup: Small Projects to Make with Washi Tape, Confetti, More

Tiny stuff is terrific! This roundup of DIY fun from various blogs shows you how to make matchbook notebooks, gift bags, stickers and bitty butterflies.

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

Frustrated Mom Creates App to Stop Teens from Ignoring Calls

One mother got sick of her kids blowing off her phone calls, so she created an app to make it impossible. Stroke of genius – or an overstep of parental bounds?

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

Combine ice cream with cookies and you've got the perfect dessert combination. Whip up one of these cool treats with the kids!

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

Vintage Summer Pins Made from Old Belt Buckles

A perfect summer craft, this DIY project is centered around used plastic accessories, which are cheap finds at garage sales and thrift stores.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement