Tag Archives | 3-tier tiffin

Litterless Lunch Solutions

I’ve been asked for my opinion on what is the best litterless lunch solution for back-to-school and with so many great options it comes down to each lunch solution being compatible with different foods a family enjoys packing. I have several lunch containers from reviews over the years so I thought I’d photograph different combos and share with pictures rather than descriptions – sometimes a visual is more helpful. I do have a few rules I stick to with packing any food for my children (and self) so I’ll list these before the pictures:

– I don’t use plastic. I don’t care if it’s BPA-free, phthalate free, recycled, etc, etc. At the end of the day, I don’t trust plastic or want it near my children’s food.

– Ditto on the plastic for water bottles. I also don’t use aluminum water bottles that have liners. I trust 18/8, stainless steel bottles and these are what I use for myself and children. On hot days, I include a couple of ice cubes (made from stainless steel ice trays) into their bottles to keep water icy cold. This is a great trick for back-to-school and keeping water delicious.

– Stainless steel is my favorite reusable material for back-to-school lunches. I like using single walled stainless steel systems for most days – I find it keeps food at just the right temperature. Ice packs, etc. normally aren’t required. To keep food hot however, double walled stainless steel is needed. All thermos systems I’ve seen that keep food hot, have a bit of plastic around the top. I tried out the Laptop Lunches system from Organically Hatched and like the size for when I pack soup or leftovers for the kids.

– With lunch bags I’m sticking with organic cotton. I wrote an article months ago about non-stick diaper bag liners and discovered some brands contain teflon. It’s really turned me off of lunch bags – no knowing what they are insulated with. I love the Graze bags…I used them all last year when sending kids with a hot lunch and needing somewhere to put a stainless steel utensil.

– I love tiffins. They are my #1 system because I’m very rushed in the morning and don’t have time to work within the set confines or spaces that other systems offer. They are air-tight, fun for the kids to use and we’ve never lost a piece because kids can’t close the system unless the containers, lid, and latch are ready to be secured. I’m also making more items from scratch for lunches so these foods tend to be larger in size and won’t fit into traditional systems. Also note that tiffin is the name for a style of system – it’s not the brand name. There are many different suppliers making tiffins, I can only vouch for and recommend the tiffins sold via Green Planet Parties.

– Encourage your school to only be using reusable products for food, snacks, and lunches. If you’ve been asked to provide plastic sandwich bags with your back-to-school supplies, supply a few cloth bags as an alternative.

Now here are some pictures!  First up, you know it’s going to be tiffins. Here are two pictures so you see how a full apple (or larger whole fruit) can go in the top container because the lid is domed. This picture also shows how you can easily partition a container to separate fruit, veggies, etc. – I use parchment paper.

This sized tiffin is recommended for preschool to all elementary school aged children for back-to-school. A light-weight system that gives plenty of options with three roomy containers.

The next most common question I get asked with back-to-school is how to transport hot food (soup, left-overs, stir-fry, etc.) with back-to-school. In order for food to stay hot you need to have a double walled system. I picked up a Laptop Lunches thermos from Organically Hatched and it’s very roomy, stainless steel, and will grow with your child because it’s not marked with commercialized characters. It’s great to have a lunch bag to accompany a thermos because normally you need a side container of fruit, cutlery, and a cloth napkin to include. I used my Graze organic cotton lunch bags for this all last year when bringing left over Shepard’s Pie for my kids or soup. I love knowing they can be composted when they are tattered and torn. Here is a picture of this system:

My last visual is for parents that love to pack multiple smaller, separate containers for back-to-school. You’ll definitely need a lunch bag to keep them all together. I know parents love the lunchbots. I’ve had them leak on me before, so I tend to gravitate to a container that has clips and a silicone ring; this usually means that it’s airtight. You can find lunchbots here and greentainers (with clips) here:


For tips on navigating through greener back-to-school shopping, check out these articles:

Limit Your Food Packaging: Make Your Own Granola Bars


Save Money & Green Back-to-School Supplies!

How To Bring Green & Healthy Values Back-to-School

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Back-To-School With Stainless Steel

This year, shopping for back-to-school lunchtime items includes a much larger selection of stainless steel products. It’s no wonder with reports of plastic bottles that are branded ‘BPA-free” being tested and the results finding BPA still leaching and now the company SIGG announcing (in a very confusing bulletin from their CEO) bottles produced prior to August 2008 may leach BPA from the lining of their aluminum bottles. **  For parents and consumers, stainless steel options just keep looking better and better. Not only do stainless steel water bottles and lunch containers not require epoxy lining because it’s safe to have stainless steel directly touch your food and water, but they are easy to maintain, dishwasher safe, and if your purchase products in the 201 and 304 grades, they will last a very long time.

Sourcing and testing back-to-school lunch box products is very exciting for me at Mommy Footprint. Sometimes a product comes along that I can’t live without as a parent and they are a great fit with practical items at Green Planet Parties. Both my business partner Suzanne and I have a strong focus on products that not only are helpful to improve the conditions of our environment, but are safe for children. This September, Green Planet Parties has you covered with greener birthday parties and a greener start back-to-school.  We are proud to now carry 2 and 3 tiered stainless steel tiffin lunchboxes. These have been used in Asia and India for years and are gaining in popularity in North America. There is a shortage of these lunch systems in North America with this particular stainless steel grade (304) and the design cannot be beat.  Check out this product shot and read more…

My oldest son has loved using the 2-tier tiffin for over a year and and I’m excited to send him back-to-school using a 3-tier tiffin since he’s at school all day.  The boxes easily stack on top of each other and a very large bonus for me is only worrying about 1 lid for the top. There is a side latch with buckle to attach but it’s easy for kids and it’s very reminiscent of camping equipment we used as kids. All children love the latch because it’s fun to use. Moms can also be sneaky by strategically placing whatever item they want eaten first in the top container as it’s the first thing kids see after removing the lid.  I wonder if my kids have caught on that I’m doing this as their fruit and veggies are always in the top box.  Although the boxes are round, you can easily fit a child’s sandwich inside a single container. My GPP partner and I are thrilled to offer these to parents looking for safe and litterless lunch solutions with kids going back to school this September. Teachers, schools and children appreciate alternatives that help reduce waste and promote healthier eating.  

Green Planet Parties also loves stainless steel water bottles, but knows that children often loose or misplace these bottles. If your little angel is misplacing or hard on their water bottles, you might not want to pay top dollar for expensive bottles, so we added Water Geeks to our site to compliment the 304 stainless steel BILT bottles. Our Water Geek water bottles hold 12 oz and the BILT bottles hold 16 oz which is perfect for full day school aged children.

Like all parents, myself and the other ‘Suzanne’ of Green Planet Parties are concerned with finding safe solutions. It’s very rewarding to find products that work so well with our 6 kids (or should I call them guinea pigs) and share these products with other parents looking for practical, non-toxic and effective litterless lunchtime solutions.

** If you are worried about the SIGG water bottle you are using, check this picture on the SIGG website that diplays the old lining they were using on the inside of water bottles (that may leach BPA) and the new lining that is safe. Apparently SIGG’s customer service turn around time with emails is quick and they will replace old bottles. I personally would ask for a refund and not continue to support a company that made lots of money from concerned parents when BPA leaching from plastic water bottles first became public. The whole thing is very deceptive and company integrity is important to me as a consumer and parent.

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