Sunday, March 11, 2012

Drink bottles

This is where the 'freezing a plastic water bottle' debate comes up. I am not a fan of constantly freezing plastic bottles as the freezing and defrosting may break down the plastic which leeches into the water, which is then ingested, blah blah... Doesn't matter whether it is a Mt Franklin type bottle or a BPA free bottles, plastic - cheap every day type plastics - are not designed to be frequently refilled and reused or exposed to extreme temperature.

Stainless steel is a better option, in my opinion, for sustainability and longevity, BUT it has the disadvantage of not being able to be frozen. With the wide necked bottles like the ECOtanka you can add ice cubes. Lots and lots of ice-cubes!

Back to the lunch topic...

We are lucky at our school, all the children get a lunch provided each day in a dining hall. It is usually something hot, it is vegetarian and each serve has a serve of veges in it, even mac and cheese... The things the cook can do to sneak veges in is amazing! The children also have a plate of fruit, bread and spread condiments for sandwiches, a container of grated cheese, a jug of water and a container of sultana's. One of the most popular sandwich combo's with the kids is honey and sultana!

Keeping it all COOL and SAFE to EAT!

How can Belles Familles keep your little ones lunch safe to eat after being in the school bag for 5 hours (based on 7am lunch making and 12 noon lunch eating)

One of my favourite products for children of ANY age, starting solids, kindy right through to high school and even going to work are the Fridge 2 Go lunch bags. These have a frozen brick in them that really does keep the food cold for 8 hours! I had my doubts and was encouraged to try one a few years ago. Thankfully I was amazed, I love them and added them to the product range!
Most kids need lots of filling and healthy food snacks to keep learning focused. Good choices for morning tea will get them through till lunch time. Yogurt, cheese and crackers or a sandwich are a good choice and you can be assured that the Fridge-2-Go will keep the snacks cool enough to be enjoyed.

The lunch food containers

You need to ask yourself, can your child open their lunch box on their own???! If  the answer is no then they have the wrong lunch box. Now is the time to test those fancy schmacy food containers and see if your child can open the box on their own. If they can't then it is not the right lunch box to use this year. If you are a cling film user, same deal, your child needs to know how to unwrap the wrapped goodies! A teacher will help children with food, especially kindy kids but ultimately independence is the thing kids crave the most, why not help them acheive that in the playground in front of their peers?

Don't just give them the box the morning of the first day or school and say 'Becky, can you open this box for Mummy?'... panic will ensue if you do this! The holiday break is ideal for picnics (if we ever get summery weather) and park visits, bike rides and catching up with friends. It is also ideal for doing a dummy run or 10 of a school lunches. Pack what you would send for lunch in the fashion (container or cling wrap) they are intended to go to school with and get your child to open them now. We did this last year and it was an interesting exercise!

The same deal with drink bottles, your child needs to be able to twist the top or pop the sports top and access their drink.

Here are some lunch tips...

  • If you are sending packets of things up (chippies, biscuits, rice wheels etc...) start a tear on one side and show your child where you have torn the packet.
  • Same deal with muesli, fruit or popcorn bars - make a small tear on one side, not right at the edge so it will tear off, about a third of the way across the top works best we have worked out.
  • Make sandwiches with frozen bread in the morning and the bread will be fresh as a daisy at lunch time.
  • Yogurt tubes can also be frozen and make a refreshing cool treat.
  • Wobbly teeth and the first year of school sort of also go hand in hand... if you have wobbly teeth in your house hold cut up fruit or softer fruits are a better idea than an apple.
  • Add lots and lots of ice cubes to stainless steel drink bottles in the really hot months.

Starting School or Kindy

This started out as one really long post but I have broken it down a bit and spread it over a few blog entries.

Amelia ready for her first day at school 28 Jan 2010 and the welcome our teacher had on the blackboard.
The start of the year and the school term means a lot of you will be packing lunches each day, making sure school shoes are polished, drink bottles are full of water, uniforms are clean enough to get through the day and frantically ironing a shirt or dress if they aren't (or is that just me??!) and applying sunscreen before you walk out the door in the mornings. And a lot of my lovely customers will be doing this for the first time!

There is no better way to make you feel old or wonder where the years have gone than seeing your 'baby' in their school uniform and a way too big school bag on their back. I know it made me tear up last year!

Not only do you have to...

  •  make sure they have enough food for the day,
  •  it has to meet the schools food policy if it has one (you might want to check with the school office the week before school returns), 
  • not have nuts, 
  • be nutritious and be something you are reasonably confident will be eaten! 
 Where was this chapter in the parenting books?

 Lunch boxes and summer time, to me, don't mix. How do you

  •  keep yoghurt cool? 
  • Ham from going off? 
  • Cheese from going manky?
Stay tuned, I know how!

But there are a few other really important things about morning tea and lunch that are far more important than a lunch box coming home empty... you child has to be able to open, the containers that the food you have sent to school with them!

Settling in to do some work, all the kids were so good on this day. Gosh, she looks so little!
Me and my girl.

First day was a half day and we took AMelia to one of her favourite parks for a treat for a late lunch.
Pony tails were ripped out the second she got out of the classroom, the next days challenge was to keep them in till we had left school grounds!