How Do You Do Lunch?

I am often asked how Zoe does lunch at school. It goes without saying that, given her dietary restrictions, Zoe can’t just walk up to the lunch lady and grab a tray of what everyone else is having. We’ve been bagging school lunches for six years now; and as the daily routine of packing lunches developed I started to think more about waste-free (or reduced-waste) lunches. Think about it: all those years of zip-top bags and other assorted packaging really adds up.

And then I found out about Laptop Lunches. They are inspired by the Japanese Bento lunchboxes commonly used in Asia (and gaining in popularity here in the US). The company was founded in California by two moms who were looking for ways to help parents provide low-waste, nutritious lunches to their kids. Great idea, right?

There are lots of things I like about this product. First of all, everything is in its own compartment. Like many kids, Zoe HATES when different foods that don’t belong together mingle with each other on a plate. Since everything is stored separately, that is not an issue. Second, organizing food this way goes a long way in teaching my kids about nutrition. When Zoe sits down to lunch every day she looks at a well-balanced meal with proper servings of fruit, vegetables, protein, etc. As someone who came from a home where good nutrition wasn’t promoted, I want to reinforce the concepts of healthy eating. Next, this product goes a long way in reducing the amount of trash we generate each day. Again I go back to all those zip-top bags and single-serving products (like juice containers) that we used to use. The lunch system comes home with Zoe every day, I wash it, and we’re good to go the next day. Finally, how cute is this thing? The photo above is from the company’s website, but Zoe’s is an adorable pink one that has a carrying case in…you guessed it, PINK!

I’m buying one for myself to take lunch with me to school; Zoe refuses to share hers with me, even over the summer. I’ll be in school full time starting in August, so I need my own anyway. Of course I can’t do pink, but perhaps periwinkle blue, or multi-color.


7 thoughts on “How Do You Do Lunch?

  1. Tamara

    Yes, we LOVE our Laptop Lunches! We actually have six of them so everyone can have their own. I am so in love with these lunchboxes, they really made this past school year so much easier in regards to the diet, and more fun for the kiddos. These really became a necessity for us since going gf/cf, otherwise I would go through a gazillion plastic baggies and containers. I just can’t say enough about LL’s, they are awesome!

  2. GFCF Mommy

    Well, I am asking for advice here. I really am. I love the idea of this company but we tried these a year ago when my son was 5 and it was not too successful for us.

    Like many ASD kids, my son has fine motor trouble. He had a hard time opening all the little boxes which are made of hard plastic (he does not have a 1:1 aide at school). Then after six months, the lid on the large outside box ripped off. I am not sure how. It was at school. Boys will be boys. Especially ASD boys. No way to fix it. So I have all the little containers and the nice outside case but nothing to put them in.

    Considering the price, I thought it would last longer.

    Maybe when my son is older I will order a replacement piece and try again. I love the eco-friendliness of this company and still get their e-letter that has lots of good info, but it was not very practicle for my little guy, at least not yet.

    But I am open to suggestions.


  3. Flamenco Mom

    Thanks for the comments! I do appreciate them. Tamara, I hope you got a discount on buying 6 of them, LOL!

    Lynn, I think the website has a lot of great lunch ideas…even for those who don’t use the system. We tend to eat the same foods over and over again; it’s nice to see what other folks are making–a good place to find some inspiration.

    Katherine, I’m sorry it didn’t work out as well for the Prince. I can see why it may have been tough for him. I think Zoe would have had similar issues with the box at 5–it wasn’t until later that her motor skills developed to the point that she could successfully open those kinds of containers. And those rambunctious boys in your son’s class sound quite a bit like the crew in Zoe’s class (she was the only girl in a sea of boys for a LONG time). If you are interested in trying again, you might want to wait until your son has a easier time of opening these types of containers. Also, you may be able to find bento-style boxes that might be a bit easier to open.

  4. cateepoo

    Isn’t it cool how becoming GF/CF has led to other interests, like the environment? I love how something seemingly bad sparks so many new interests. I love the idea of the Laptop Lunches. My two children and I pack our lunches everywhere we go and try to be environmentally conscious at the same time.
    You blog is full of energy!

  5. Flamenco Mom

    Thanks, cateepoo, for stopping by; and thanks for your comments. My kids love the laptop lunches. I’m ordering another for my son, and one for myself to take to school.

  6. pegola

    My 10 and 7 yr old children have the Laptop Lunches…bought them last year. Only issue I had: one of the water bottles cracked open in the corner after the first use.

    I love that I can create wondrful healthy lunches for each of them and they wash out their own boxes and containers. Add a fabric napkin and no waste at all!

    One gal said she gives her kids fabric napkins for each holiday theme too….cute idea!

    Now my kids pick out what they want in their lunches, since I typed up a variety for them to always include 1 fruit and 1 veggie at least. They love it!


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