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Easy Lunchboxes

A Clean Eating Dream

Easy LunchboxesLong before the term Clean Eating became a huge health industry, I was converted to healthy eating.

For almost 30 years I’ve eaten a diet consisting mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and all things high in nutrition, low on junk. (Too much of it, admittedly, but healthy nonetheless!)

Eating this way, however, isn’t easy if you’re often on the go. As a homeschooling mom, I don’t deal with a daily choice between lousy school lunch fare (pizza, hamburgers, chicken nuggets — rinse and repeat) and trying to reconfigure a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the lunch bag. But, as any homeschooler knows, homeschooling happens away from home more often than you probably think. And as an active stay-at-home mom, I don’t stay at home all that often.

Over the years I’ve tried various solutions to taking good food on the road. Last summer (as is my tradition) I spent a week living in a college dorm, attending adult education classes. Determined to eat clean all week long, I lugged a plug-in cooler to campus, filled with nutritious food. Each day I juggled to pack the food and cram it into already overloaded backpack. And each day I crossed my fingers that the layers of plastic bags wrapped over the storage containers wouldn’t leak all over my books.

A couple of weeks ago, I met Kelly Lester, creator of Easy Lunchboxes. No sales pitch needed. When you’ve been looking for something for a long time — and finally find it — it’s easy to recognize the solution to your problem. When I saw Easy Lunchboxes, I knew my food transportation problem was solved.

Our Easy Lunchboxes

Last week I got my giant box of Easy Lunchbox containers with enough coolers for all eight members of my family. OK, so maybe we’re too easily amused, but it was like Christmas for my kids. Everyone chose a cooler color and container and immediately the three youngest were ready to take them on a picnic. The snow that day was a bit of a deterrent, so I convinced them to wait until Monday, when the weather would be better.

Easy Lunchbox CoolerThe Easy Lunchbox includes a divided plastic container — like a modern bento box — that segments food into tidy areas. Each has a lid that keeps the food in it’s place. The container is then placed in a perfectly sized cooler, along with anything else you need for the meal.

The containers hold a lot of food and the coolers are roomy enough for a container, a piece of fruit, a drink, and a couple of small children. Alternately, you can pack two containers in a single cooler and still have room for a few more additions.

Late Monday morning, in spite of a chilly wind blowing through the 65 degree day, we prepared for our much anticipated picnic. We packed leftover Hawaiian Haystacks from Sunday dinner — storing the toppings separately to keep them cold and crisp — into our coolers along with an apple, a fork, and a napkin, and we were ready to go.

We took them to Thanksgiving Point and had a great — if chilly — lunch. Saved a bundle over eating at one of the restaurants there. And the only things that ended up in the trash were our napkins and apple cores.

Versatile, Portable Meals

There are so many uses for this convenient, new product. Of course, it’s a simple way to pack your child’s lunch, but it is equally useful for college students or adults in the workforce. (The packaging isn’t silly and childlike.) They are great for picnics, field trips, and family outings.

Going on a long car trip? Pack each child with their own, personalized snack bag. It’s easy to make it tasty—and healthy—with Easy Lunchboxes. Now that airlines charge you for food, why not pack up some yummy travel meals? That will save you enough for a great dinner out at your destination. (Just remember you can only have three ounces of liquid per container.)

Easy Lunchbox Wish List

There are two things I would change about my Easy Lunchboxes set:

More Matching Colors — The compartmentalized food containers come in four colors and the coolers come in five (three colors are shared between the two). I realize that most of you don’t have eight people in your families, but given that we do, I would love to have eight different cooler colors with eight different lid colors to match. That would make it easy to tell them apart—and to know who left theirs out on the counter!

Longer Shoulder Strap — The short cooler strap was perfect for my kids, but I wish it was longer and adjustable to use on a shoulder. With all the stuff I carry, it’s easier to be able to free up my hands. That would also help my college kids hang the cooler from their rolling backpacks.

Easy Lunchbox Add-Ons

When you get your Easy Lunchbox, packing up your meals will be made simpler with some additional items:

I’d love to hear your experience with Easy Lunchboxes!

Picnic with Easy Lunchboxes

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Gretchen April 1, 2010, 7:07 am

    Your Hawaiian Haystacks look delish!

    Great review!

  • Alison Moore Smith April 1, 2010, 10:47 am

    Thanks, Gretchen. Campy as they are, we love haystacks and eat them about once a month.

    These lunchboxes are really great. Having them handy makes me want to go somewhere, just so I can pack up some food. 🙂

  • Candice April 1, 2010, 12:07 pm

    These lunch kits are just what I’m looking for. Thanks for the careful review.

  • Anne -IsraeliMom April 4, 2010, 11:53 pm

    I love that picture of your kids squinting lol Reminds me of many pictures I take here. Such cute kids!

    My kids are so picky when it comes to food. It’s rarely anything more than sandwiches with chocolate spread and some snacks here for the kids. Surprisingly enough, they manage to grow and thrive on that 😉 Ok, so they get cooked food and veggies when we’re home, but on the go, there’s really no chance of them having anything else.

    I have to ask, how do you heat it up? Or do you eat the cooked food cold?
    .-= Anne -IsraeliMom hopes you’ll read How about an Alternative Passover tradition? =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 5, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Over the 22+ years of being a mom, I’ve found my kids will not starve themselves to death. 🙂 They eat what’s available — but they will hold out for junk if they know it’s coming eventually!

    The lunchbox containers are microwaveable. In the case of the haystacks, we just warmed them up before we left and put the in the insulated “cooler.” (We did not add an ice pack!) Since it wasn’t long until we ate, they were still warm. Generally, though, I’d put hot things in a thermos to transport so that they stay hot and safe to eat.

  • jasir javaz April 6, 2010, 9:54 am

    wow…my mouth is flooded… 🙂

  • Sherry April 6, 2010, 2:43 pm

    I’ve ordered some of these lunch kits and am really looking forward to their arrival. I’d like a longer strap, too, and I’m thinking about trying an adjustable camera bag-type strap attached on the current handles grommets.
    .-= Sherry hopes you’ll read Great Outdoor Challenge–Day 2 =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2010, 6:52 pm

    Great idea, Sherry! I’m so glad other people are more creative about things than I am. I could probably actually do that, too!

  • Victor April 7, 2010, 1:06 pm

    I don’t know much about the Easy Lunchbox system, but one thing I’ve been warned of is to avoid using plastic containers. Since, I have converted all my plastic Tupperware to glass ones. Given it does take more space than the stackable plastic containers, I don’t think its worth risking certain chemicals leaking from plastic, especially when microwaved.
    .-= Victor hopes you’ll read Morocco’s Restaurant in San Jose =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2010, 10:52 pm

    Hi, Victor, thanks for dropping by.

    Not sure which of the warnings you heard — but most were hoaxes. 🙂 Honestly, I don’t put much stock in all the fear that keeps running around. Of course, I’m also a “global warming denier,” so take that for what it’s worth.

    As Lord Monckton says, “When science is wrong, policy is wrong. And when policy is wrong, people die.” Just look at the DDT ban (and the 40 million some odd folks who died of malaria afterward) for one example. So, I’m using my Tupperware and my Easy Lunchboxes and ignoring unproven “science” rumors. Besides, think of all the people (and whales) that die when glass gets broken! 🙂

  • Kelly Lester April 8, 2010, 7:50 am

    Victor, hi –

    While glass is certainly practical at home, it’s not a safe container choice for kids’ lunch boxes and folks on the go.

    Product (food) safety is our number 1 concern. BPA (Bisphenol A, a hormone-disrupting chemical) is used in some “microwave safe” plastics. When heated, this has been shown to leach out.

    However, EasyLunchbox food containers do not contain BPA, and like some of the finest baby bottles on the market, our containers are safe to use in the microwave.

    Our containers (and lunch bags) have passed strict FDA quality testing – a non-required, higher standard that we choose to adhere to, in order to assure our customers of our commitment to safety.

    More about the plastic we use, as well as some terrific articles which go into greater depth on this topic can be found on our website here: http://bit.ly/aNchtZ – Kelly Lester, mom and CEO, EasyLunchboxes.com

  • Alison Moore Smith April 8, 2010, 9:27 am

    Thanks for giving us the final word, Kelly!

  • Alison Moore Smith February 25, 2011, 3:04 am

    I hope that’s a good thing!
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