Packing your children’s lunch box demands careful thinking. Not only the food has to be nutritious, but it also has to be tasty as well. Moreover, as a 21st-century parent who is aware of the environmental ramifications of our smallest actions, you also need to make sure your kid’s lunch does not generate trash to add to the waste management woes of our country. So what’s the solution? Waste-free lunch! Already a popular concept in the West, it means a lunch that keeps trash (both bio-degradable & non-biodegradable) out of garbage bins. If you are wondering how to go about it, here are a few tips to help you pack a waste-free lunch for your little one.
1. Say no to plastic
Many parents pack sandwiches and cut fruits in plastic bags. But very few are aware that plastic contains phthalate chemicals that make it soft but at the same time is harmful to health. Plastic also does not biodegrade and sits on landfills and harm the environment. So, it’s better to keep plastic at bay.
2. Let your kid pack her own lunch
Your kid will not eat what she doesn’t like and will throw her lunch in the trash can. So let her/him pack their own box. However, make sure they do not pack only junk food and includes fruits as well.
3. Use reusable utensils
Instead of disposable spoons and forks, give wooden or stainless steel cutlery to your kids. Also, opt for reusable lunch boxes to pack their food. Paper napkins are another trash accumulator. To limit waste, give a cloth handkerchief that they can use again and again.
4. Pack leftovers
What’s good for dinner is good enough for lunch as well. Instead of throwing leftovers in the garbage bin, pack them for lunch. Most schools have microwaves these days. You child can heat up their food and have a home cooked meal instead of canteen food.
5. Consider packing a hot lunch
Everybody likes piping hot food. It’s especially true in the case of soups. Use a thermos to pack a hot lunch that you kid would love to have.
6. Give cut up fruits & vegetables
Instead of giving them whole fruits, it’s better to pack cut up fruits and vegetables. In this way, they can have some pieces in the morning and the rest after lunch. It’s very difficult to put a half-eaten apple in the bag, and it’s not hygienic as well.
The bottom line is that packing a waste-free lunch is not a difficult task to achieve. It just needs some planning and the will to do your bit for the environment while making sure your child eats healthy.