Tag Archives | back-to-school

EnviroKidz Back-to-School Snacks $100 Giveaway

 wp enviro

Sponsored by: Nature’s Path Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

If you are travelling down the road to limiting GMOs (Genetically Modified Food), artificial dye, highly processed sugars, and for lack of better word ‘JUNK’ in your kid’s diet, you’ve probably already tried and fallen in love with Natures Path Organic and their EnviroKidz brand. Having moved my oldest child away from his favorite GMO (corn based) cereal this summer, I couldn’t have done it without Nature’s Path alternatives on hand. He has now transitioned away from these junky cereals and they won’t ever be making another appearance in our home. We keep Gorilla Munch on hand for occasional dry snacking and anyone wanting a quick bowl of cereal in the morning loves Koala Crisp.

Nature’s Path has earned the trust and respect of parents looking for Non-GMO Verified options, along with many gluten-free and organic products. We have also enjoyed Nature’s Path granola and bars for occasional convenient snacking so I’m excited for the lucky winner of this contest!

About EnviroKidz

EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars are made with simple, wholesome, certified gluten free ingredients, so you’ll be happy adding them to the lunchbox – and kids will be even happier come snack time. They’re gluten free, organic, and full of the great taste kids love.

Who would love a chance to try these yummy snack bars? Well, Nature’s Path is generously sponsoring one lucky reader a chance to receive a supply of EnviroKidz Crispy Rice Bars – enough for the entire Back-to-School season! So, let’s get on to the giveaway!


One lucky winner will win an

EnviroKidz Back-to-School Snacks Prize Pack ($100 value)!

Includes a variety of EnviroKidz and Nature’s Path bars plus free product vouchers!

Giveaway ends 8/13 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and Canada 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.



Skip Licensed Backpacks and Check Out Ecogear To Avoid PVC

After a rare trip to the mall today, I wanted to point out something that occurred to me about licensed school supplies. I am very confident that a Nick Jr., Hannah Montana, Spiderman backpack does not exists without containing PVC. With parents being overwhelmed with information on materials to shop for with back-to-school…the topic of backpacks is easy. Unless the backpack clearly says “No PVC” it has probably been made with PVC. If the backpack is $9.99 at a big box store, it has probably been made with PVC. Also, I hate to say it, but if you want to purchase a new PVC-free backpack for children returning to school, you’re not going to find it at most malls.  But don’t get disappointed because Ecogear is here and the options are amazing!

Two items that traditionally have been the hardest to avoid with PVC are backpacks and plastic binders, but it’s not all doom and gloom because there are some affordable PVC-free backpacks on sale right now at Ecogear.  The Ecogear lineup of backpacks are PVC-free, great quality, affordable and now 25% off. Starting with younger children looking for non-licensed characters there is the Ecozoo series – very fun and made with cotton fabric.

For older kids attending school all day – I’ve received my two backpacks from the Genus and Recycle series and I’m very happy with both backpacks for my boys. The design and quality is awesome and I was extremely happy to not get off-gassed with chemical smells when opening them from the box. The Snow Leopard backpack for my 8 year old son is a great size for him. Since he is on the tall side, I would recommend it for ages 10 and up. The pack comes with straps around the front to help balance weight distribution and lots of handy pockets for gadgets, etc. The straps are padded to offer more support once the backpacks get full from heavy books and materials. These backpacks are PVC-free, made from non-toxic dyes, and have many little organizer pockets in the front and one main compartment for books and lunch.

My 6 year old son received a Palila backpack and it’s perfect for younger kids attending school all day. It has a handy side pocket for a reusable water bottle, a built in wallet (my boys love this feature!), made PVC-free with non-toxic dyes and is made from recycled bottles. All the backpack for older kids on the Ecogear site have the swagger of very cool, outdoor/adventure styled backpacks – I love this. And Ecogear is currently having a 25% discount on their site so take advantage of the savings….these backpacks are just under $30 which is a great deal! If any Canadians are trying to order from the Ecogear site, you’ll notice it only accepts US zip codes. I spoke to Ecogear and the process for Canadians wanting to order a product is to contact Angie by calling 1-800-762-4533 or email sales@ecogear-products.com. Residents within the USA can order directly on-line.

Why should we be avoiding PVC again?  It’s not only to help the environment – it’s for your children’s health. PVC is called the poison plastic and releases dioxins into the air from the time it’s produced and continues to off-gass (the reason it smells when you purchase it) and there isn’t a way to effectively dispose of this material. If you burn it – more dioxins are released, it cannot be recycled, so it will continue to exist when discarded for a very long time.  Read more about PVC from Mommy Footprint here. Also, an always incredible resource is the Environmental Working Group and they’ve written a short guide for ‘Green Back-to-School Guide for K-12‘ and there is more information on PVC.

To read more articles with back-to-school recommendations for reducing chemical exposure to BPA, PVC, and phthalates, check out the category 2010 Litterless Lunch.



Litterless Lunch ~ Back To School With PlanetBox

PlanetBox is this year’s solution for packing healthier and litterless lunches for the family. It’s wonderful that planning your child’s lunch to include food without packaging actually promotes creativity and healthier food selections. We’ve had a blast testing our PlanetBox and here are the results from a picky mama and kids that are equally hard to please having seen many eco-alternatives for lunch time alternatives over the years.

Do I love the PlanetBox? Yes and so do my children. We are all convinced there is some magic at work because all the PlanetBox compartments don’t require lids to contain the different food items. My biggest pet peeve with stainless steel containers is when they aren’t airtight and food leaks into my kids backpack or into other food causing it to becomes inedible (strawberry juice on a sandwich for example). My school aged children love strawberries and grapes so I put the PlanetBox to the test by putting strawberries, grapes, granola bar and a sandwich all inside – just quickly plunking them all in the compartments and closing the lid. They I shook the Planetbox, twisted it upside down to simulate the movement inside a backpack, then shook it some more. We were all tickled that the water from the grapes hadn’t touched the sandwich and the strawberry juice didn’t leak onto the bread or granola bar. Also, I put chocolate chips in the small center area to make sure they didn’t move around in the box because they are so small. Everything stayed put and there were no leaks! This test was my biggie with this product and I’m very happy with the results. Here are some photos.

PlanetBox food

PlanetBox and magnets

For anyone that packs a lunch to work or school and you haven’t invested in a re-usable lunch solution – now is the time. It naturally encourages healthier meals and you’ll feel great about eliminating plastic baggies, plastic wrap, and food that comes pre-packaged in more plastic! Another very smart detail of the PlanetBox is the magnets that are included to ‘decorate’ the outside. Will the magnets eventually get lost? Of course. But if you have a child that doesn’t appreciate being one of the few in their class to have a different looking lunch system with only the stainless steel outside – the fun designs and characters that come on the PlanetBox magnets help kids feel comfortable with their peers and their traditional lunch boxes. By the time the magnets disappear at the bottom of the backpack or locker – your child will no longer care their system is different. From my son’s reaction to how cool he they thought the PlanetBox magnets are – I know he would have loved this option when he first started bringing ‘adult looking’ stainless steel lunch systems to school years ago. It’s a brilliant and inexpensive addition to the PlanetBox with several fun designs that kids love. The magnets allow your child to show their personality and there’s a spot to write their name to personalize. Here is my the other set of magnets that my boys love – sports themed!

PlanetBox litterless lunch

Another great aspect to the PlanetBox are the containers that can be purchased with the system if you’ve got kids that love yogurt, messy salads, or dips for veggies, etc. These additions can be stored within the lunchbox to keep all the pieces together – a great picture from the PlanetBox site below displays how it all fits together. My younger son would love yogurt in his lunch so I can use this system with the Big Dipper container – perfect for messy main dishes he loves – rather than a sandwich that he never eats. If you’ve purchased the carry bag with the PlanetBox there is also room in the outside pocket for the Big Dipper (and a reusable water bottle!!) and on the inside liner you can fit an icepack to keep these food items chilled throughout the day.

What I’m finding with my different ages and personalities of my four kids is that everyone needs a lunch system tailored to the food they’ll eat. For my easy to predict older son that takes fruit, veggies and a sandwich every day and enjoys every bite – I would order only the PlanetBox basic for $34.95 and be completely happy. He loved both the planet and sports themed magnets and thinks his PlanetBox is great! My younger son that likes variety with his food and would prefer salad or yogurt to a sandwich – I would need the PlanetBox Plus with the Big and Small Dipper containers for $49.95. The complete PlanetBox set includes a carry case and it’s super quality and answers the problem of parents wanting to keep their child’s lunch on ice so food doesn’t spoil in a hot backpack – so this system at $59.95 would be ideal. I like the different price points and options available from the PlanetBox and am excited to review such a well thought out product for this year’s back to school.

I’ll be writing my back-to-school series starting in July this summer because it’s helpful to order supplies early rather than waiting until September for information. For parents wanting a complete system for lunches this year, PlanetBox would be a great investment. This lunchbox has mom approval and is also kid tested and approved!



Back-To-School Again…

Again it’s time. Back to school really shouldn’t be this big deal but I get sad a week before school starts. I have everything ready ~ stainless steel tiffins, stainless steel water bottles, school supplies (as green as I can get them), and the same old backpack because I can’t find a cooler version that isn’t make with PVC. So what’s my problem? I’m ready, the kids are ready, only…I’m really not ready. How do you get ready for mornings that are filled stress, last minute running around, and more stress? I often tell people that I will never have a heart attack because if a morning of getting 4 kids fed, dressed, and organized to be out the door by 8:30 in the morning doesn’t do it – nothing will.

This Fall, my goal is to remember to breathe.  I had a magical moment with one of my sons early this summer when we visited a local ski mountain and rode the chair lift to the highest peak of the mountain. As we were riding up and feeling like we had wings, I looked over at Angelo who is starting Kindergarten this year and told him “when you miss me next year, just close your eyes and remember our chair lift ride”. Well thanks to an awesome summer, I have lots of truly magical memories that I can close my eyes and remember.   

I encourage all moms to try and remember to breathe this September with back to school.  I will be doing the same and thinking about my summer filled with beaches and swings. A day did not pass this summer without one of my children digging for crabs at the beach or asking for under-ducks on swings.  In fact, one of my kids pointed out that they love the swing so much because they get undivided, 1-1 time with the person pushing them.  So if your child asks you to push them on a swing, consider it a huge compliment. . . could be they want you to hear everything they say without any interruptions or distractions. 




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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