Friday, March 29, 2013

Gear Review: Easy Lunchboxes

Welcome to the first in what will hopefully become a series of lunchbox product reviews! As a teacher, I see my students coming in with food packed in all sorts of contraptions, from grubby paper towel to fancy metal tins (the Lunchbots line, which I have been using, is quite popular!) I have found that for myself as a teacher, a good lunch system is key. Often, I have a lunchtime duty and therefore limited time to eat. I don't want to be spending that time dealing with fussy containers! We also have limited fridge space in the staff area, so I have to be mindful of co-workers.

One of my favourite lunch sets is the Easy Lunchbox. It comes in a pack of 4 with optional lunch coolers available. I like that it has three compartments, so I can pack multiple foods and only have two pieces to wash. I like that it is microwave-safe, although it does mean you have to remove any fruit side dishes first, which can be a bother. I like that they are inexpensive and easy to pack and use. I also like that for excursions, you can fit more than one box in the cooler bag.

There are a few annoyances, however. Firstly, unless you pack only dry foods, it must be carried upright---the compartments are not watertight. I have had no problems packing crackers and fruit in side by side compartments, but my less careful boyfriend asked me to stop packing canned fruit in his because his sandwich got wet a few times. As well, this makes it kind of bulky. I have trouble fitting the full cooler inside my backpack for easy carrying on the bus.

Also, I find myself growing increasingly wary of plastic these days. These boxes say they are BPA and pthalate-free, which is great. But I am trying to reduce my environment footprint and to reduce the potential toxins coming into my home, and I am really trying to minimize the plastic. I do seem to keep coming back to these because they are quite convenient, but I the plastic does make me a little bit nervous these days, especially for stuff I plan to eat warm or heated.

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