School days are here again

Tiny crop of tiny beetroot, ready for roasting.

We’ve had a warm and dry summer, which has played havoc with the garden. We did start growing some bits and pieces in a couple of raised beds though. Lots of learning for everyone, and while we’ve had some good successes (rhubarb and sunflowers!) and some failures (all the brassicas!)

Overall though, it’s been really fun and very worthwhile. We’re going to start planning for some winter crops, and fight hard to temper our enthusiasm so that we don’t end up with too many things in the space we have.

My eldest has started primary school, and is settling in really well. I went slightly bonkers on the lunchboxes and accessories for him, as he’ll have to take a packed lunch every day. While I don’t have the bandwidth to be aiming at zero waste right now, I try to avoid as much packaging as possible in lunchboxes and snacks.

Our school also has a healthy eating policy, so crisps, sweets, chocolate bars, gummies and all that are not allowed at all. Fridays, they can have a treat like a small cupcake or biscuit. It’s also a completely nut free school.

First lunchbox!

It’s teeny, but he was only in for 2 hours on day 1, and the whole thing got scoffed. Babybel, parmesan goldfish crackers and a little silicone cup of raisins. Result!

Kiddo is what I would have called a bit of a picky eater (he’s sworn vengeance against all vegetables other than potato) but after a few experiences involving other kids over the summer, I realise that he’s actually doing really well. He’s been much more willing to try new foods lately, which is amazing, so I’m hoping to keep that rolling.

We’ve been using these lunchboxes quite a bit.

This chunky blue one from sistema is a little boring, but great. Really solid BPA free plastic, clever inners with removable bits, and dishwasher friendly. Very easy for kiddo to use as well – 5/5 on that side. It’s shocking how many things aimed at kids are not actually kid friendly at all.

We love our snacksize Yumbox. I bought this a couple of years ago for a holiday, and it gets used on just about every day out as my kiddos are grazers. This is a little small now for a full day at school, but in a lunchbag with a banana it still works great. 4.5/5 for kid friendliness, as can be a little tricky to open, but it’s actually leakproof and the compartments are super for variety and minimal packaging. Dishwasher friendly, but the inner does need a good rinse after as the shape of it means it’s destined to gather puddles of dishwater. I’ve also bought a larger sized one that I’ll review once we’ve used it.

Sass & Belle dino snack boxes. 5/5 on kid friendliness. Cute designs, nice and robust, and we’ve used these a lot as they’re just such handy sizes. They’re not dishwasher friendly – this is the biggest negative about them though. I’ve also learned not to chance it as the last set I did that with completely warped and had to be recycled. Oops!

Lunchbag was chosen based on 1. dinosaurs, 2. insulated, 3. fits all our lunchbox types, 4. pockets!, and 5. straightforward for kiddo to use. So far, it gets 5/5 from me and from kiddo.

We’re a camelbak house for waterbottles. They wear really well, are dishwasher friendly, 5/5 kid friendly, come in a lot of sizes and colours and one of the best bits is that replacement lids and pieces are really simple to buy.

I’ve had two 750ml ones for about 5 years, and I upgraded the lids this summer. Thanks to a well-timed 20% off voucher, I picked up two new insulated ones for kiddo as well. First one is out of the wrapper and going down well, and the second is squirrelled away for later.

Now all I’ve to do is keep coming up with inventive combinations that are balanced, will get eaten, and won’t break the bank!

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