Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to go plastic-free with kids!

So I'm not a total paranoid freak, I promise. I just don't love plastic. I know that a few years ago, BPA came out as a culprit in plastic that is potentially linked to cancer. I know there are many BPA-free plastic options out there. But I just prefer to avoid it for several reasons: (1) who knows what else may be in there that we just don't know is harmful yet?; (2) it's not super durable when it comes to many dishwasher sessions; (3) it eventually begins to scratch and and stain, no matter what kind it is! Sooo . . . we have been slowly eliminating plastic over the past few years. I know it seems like a tough thing to do if you have kids, as most kid-marketed things are plastic, but we've found some products we love!

First, our LunchBots stainless steel bento boxes. I love them because they are durable, affordable, and they don't require little containers within containers, so there's only one thing to throw into the dishwasher at the end of the day! They fit easily into a standard-sized zipper lunch bag with a plenty of room left for a drink. I think they're superior to the planet box bentos for several reasons: (1) they are far more affordable; (2) they are deeper so you can put larger fruit like strawberries in there without having to cut them up; (3) they have a compartment large enough for a full-sized sandwich. 
 Klean Kanteen stainless steel sports bottles with a silicone top. They make big ones--enough to hold plenty of ice and water for outdoor sports and camps. They have a sling available so you can carry them over your shoulder. They come in all sorts of great colors! They are leak-proof (truly.) My only minor knocks: they haven't yet come out with an insulated bottle that works with the sports spout. They have an insulated bottle, but the sports spout doesn't fit with it, but they swear they are working on that (I called to ask!) Also, the paint will eventually begin to chip a bit in the dishwasher, but still well worth it to be able to not have to wash them by hand! :)
I also love the Zulu glass sports bottles with the flip-top lids. No straw--yay! They lock tightly so they won't accidentally spring open, and they don't leak. They are fairly shatter-proof (Zane actually did break one in his t-ball dugout, but it came into pretty fierce contact with the metal bench.) :)  Given the fact that we broke one, I prefer to use them for my husband and myself, but would be great for older kids as well. The Zulu bottles are available at Target!
As for day-to-day drinking and eating ware for the kids, we all drink out of glass jelly jars, which you can get in the canning section of your grocery store. In the three or so years that we have all been drinking out of them (starting when my daughter was four and my son was one), we have only broken one! :) Our kids just eat on our regular ceramic plates and eat with regular metal silverware. The reason for all of this is actually twofold: (1) no plastic; (2) it teaches them to be careful and responsible with their stuff!

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