My children aren't yet school-aged, but we pack food nearly every day to eat at the park or on other outings, and my husband often packs a lunch. We've sampled quite a lot of reusable food gear in the last year. Here is a rundown of our favorites. All recommended products have enjoyed heavy use by my family for 6 months or more!
Update (August 2013): Sadly, these inexpensive bags are not currently available, but something very similar is sold by Etsy store wee essentials.
Honestly, I mostly grab a few of our regular metal utensils when we are headed to the park. If I were packing a child's lunch for school, I would probably send him with stainless steel utensils I'd picked up at a thrift store with his name written on them with a Sharpie. I've also tried bamboo utensils, and those seem like a great option too (the fork is surprisingly sharp!).
We rarely use paper napkins anymore. I usually stash a few cloth napkins in my back pack when we are headed on an outing. I don't love my cloth napkins though, because they are "nice" cloth napkins that I registered for when I was getting married (to match the tablecloths I no longer have). I found them in the garage one day and started using them. You can find very cute cloth napkins on Etsy. You could also search for cloth napkins at thrift stores. My only advice: get 100% cotton ones. My cotton/poly ones do not absorb liquid well, which I find very annoying.
- Back-to-School Shopping at the Thrift Store (Eco-novice)
- Green Moms Carnival 2011 Back-to-School Guide
- Green Moms Carnival 2010 Back-to-School Guide
- Green Moms Carnival 2009 Back-to-School Guide
- 2011 Back-to-School Guide for PVC-free School Supplies, including wallet guide (Center for Environmental Justice)
- EWG's Green Back-to-School Guide for K-12 (Environmental Working Group)
- How To Save Money On Green & Healthy School Supplies (Healthy Child Healthy World)
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