How to choose a lunch box for children?

As a working mother who struggles to prepare healthy meals for myself, I have to prepare a lunch box for Little Prince starting autumn 2017.

What containers are the best for children’s school meals?

  1. Plastic container [1]
    Pro: fall proof, light
    Con:

    1. may contain BPA
    2. absorb the odor of the food
  2. Metal tiffin [2]
    Con:

    1. can Little Prince open the metal lock and the lid without pouring his lunch?
    2. is it 100% stainless steel (I saw some rusty part while shopping on 20170812)?
  3. Glass container.
    Con:

    1. plastic lid
    2. heavy

An alternative is to allow him to buy his lunch at the school canteen and there will be no headache for what containers to use (I strive to ensure that I cook at least a meal for both of us or bring him out for our food adventure).

Con:

  1. picky eaters may eat only what s/he likes to eat
  2. the time required to queue may reduce the time for slow eater to eat

Pro:

  1. save time on preparation and washing the containers
  2. allow children to budget his meal fund
  3. give children freedom to choose what to eat

***

[1] On 20170901, I saw many usable (perhaps used only 1-2x) Avent plastic breast milk containers. What else could I use them for?

  1. for Little Princess to play with e.g. shaking the containers with raisins inside.

[2] I was happy that on 20170831, Honey Panda and I bought a new Zebra food carrier for Little Prince. I chose and decided to buy it, an action that frugal Honey Panda would not take, but in the end Honey Panda paid for the new lunchbox ($ 21.2 plus 20% off) together with our groceries.

It is not hard to open the lid (unlike the one I tested on 20170812) and comes with a small round container for fruits (e.g grapes). Little Prince could seek help of a grown-up (e.g. teachers, canteen staff) to open the lid at the beginnings, if necessary.

I would tell Little Prince that after he practiced using a metal container well (including finishing all his meals, opening and closing the lid by himself, not dropping the container), he could upgrade to using a glass container.

For the metal container, it’s good to remember:

  1. Do not use with microwave (I must inform Little Prince this note too!)
  2. Do not place on the gas stove.
  3. When Chromium in stainless steel reacts with O2 in the air, it will produce a thin film coat covering the surface of the stainless steel to protect it from rusting. The reflected chromium oxide will result in rainbow color, yet according to http://www.zebra-head.com, it is not harmful to the head and the rainbow color can be removed by rubbing with lemon.
  4. Do not use a metal container to store condensed acid, alkali, salt, fish sauce, lemonade, and vinegar.

***

 

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