How can you make kids’ lunches more sustainable?
With the school holidays around the corner and the new term fast approaching, we take a look at how children's lunch boxes can be improved to be healthier, greener and more sustainable – better for their health and your pocket as well as the environment.
Sustainably sourced food
Soggy sandwiches and a packet of crisps aren't the only option when it comes to packing lunch for your children. It's easy and quick to fill their boxes and bodies with tasty, healthy food, especially if you buy local produce. You won't have to worry about hearing 'not that again' when the kids come home from school if you use the seasons and local growing trends to keep their lunches fresh and interesting with sustainable food choices.
According to Harvard University's School of Public Health program, Healthy and Sustainable Food, the benefits of making environmentally aware food purchases can help to promote "healthier people", "secure food supplies" and "thriving communities".
As well as this, the time spent in compulsory education is "unique and important", as it is during these years that "healthy growth and development" is determined, as stated in South Australia's Healthy Eating Guidelines. Help pave the way for "healthier futures" for your children by ensuring they eat high-quality, fresh produce for lunch and at other meal times, which is likely to not only improve their performance at school as well as improve your local community and environment too.
It's not only the contents of your children's lunch boxes that are important – the containers used to store the food all day long should be given consideration too. Reusable sandwich wraps are an ideal way to store part of your kid's lunch as they are easy to use, quick to clean and centrally, don't harm the planet, in comparison to plastic or other traditional lunchtime storage materials. The rPet material and PEVA lining ensure that your children's food will be kept fresh, safely.
Staying hydrated throughout the school day is also essential – stainless steel drinks bottles offer a convenient and eco-friendly way to store water, fresh fruit juices, smoothies or whatever your little one likes to drink. These are great for cutting costs and plastic consumption, meaning your children can quench their thirst and you don't have to worry about any negative side effects on the environment.
Information held by Clean Up Australia, a national non-profit environmental organisation, reveals the amount of plastic produced in the country each year is equivalent to 71kg per person! These figures show just how stark the plastic problem is and by taking the time to adopt sustainable alternatives, such as reducing the amount of plastic in your kids' lunch bags, can help to reduce these shocking numbers.
Other sustainable factors
It's also worth considering how sustainable practices can be extended to all aspects of your children's lunches. Reducing the number of paper napkins you place in their lunch box as well as being mindful of the amount of cardboard cartons and other containers used can all help to protect the planet. See if you can replace these with green alternatives as this is another way to save on your household budget as well as help to make your children healthier.
You may also want to think about other parts of the school day that can be replaced with sustainable options. Extend the ethos to consider the materials used in school uniforms and bags, as well as your children's route to school – consider attire and a journey which is a more eco-friendly to help make your children more active and healthy, as well as save the planet too.