Monday, December 3, 2012

5 Safer Alternatives to Dangerous Lunchboxes

Are lunchboxes dangerous? And we're not talking about what's in them, although sometimes that can be scary enough! But we're going to assume that you lovingly pack your child’s lunch for school-filling that adorable Hello Kitty or Snoopy lunchbox with healthy items, tasty treats and enough nutrition to get them through the day.  Unfortunately, that adorable lunch box may be poisoning them and actually hindering their learning experience – the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish.  Here are a few safe lunchbox alternatives, lead free and still completely adorable.

Lunch boxes
Lunch boxes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What makes some lunchboxes dangerous?

In short, recent studies have shown that a large percentage of lunchboxes leach lead.  This means your child may be eating their sandwich you lovingly made that morning and consuming dangerous levels of lead with their PB&J.  The culprits are usually vinyl lunchboxes made by major lunchbox manufacturers and sold at standard retail outlets.  Lead causes behavioral and learning problems and prolonged exposure can lead to cancer and death.  However, this article isn’t designed to scare you, rather to empower you to protect your beautiful children and keep them safe.

5 Safe Alternatives to Dangerous Lunchboxes

1. Reusable bags.  Many manufacturers are making really nice reusable bags designed specifically to carry lunches and smaller items.  Children can find them in their favorite colors and designs and spills are easily cleaned up by tossing them in the washing machine.

2. Recycled plastic.  Several businesses have popped up which produce lunch totes and containers made from recycled plastic bottles.  Not only are you providing your child a safe alternative, you’re being environmentally conscious – something many children are aware of and will be proud to be using an environmentally friendly lunch box.

3. Stainless steel.  Many children are image conscious or prefer to have notable characters on their lunchboxes.  Be it Spiderman, Dora the Explorer or Hello Kitty, they want the image on their lunchbox.  Stainless steel lunchboxes, think the old-fashioned flip top boxes you carried when you were young, are lead and PVC free. 

Two types of small paper bags
Small paper bags (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
4. Brown Bag it.  Paper bags are a great way to send your child to school with a personal message written or decorated on the outside.  And for the environmentally conscious, paper bags can be reused many times and you can purchase recycled paper bags or recycle them yourself.  Additionally, those plastic bags collecting in your cupboard from the local market can be reused as lunch bags several times over – they’re not pretty but it’s good to use them and give them a purpose.

5. Make your own.  A trip to the fabric store with your child where you can pick up the supplies can be a fun adventure with your child.  They can help you choose the items and even help make their lunchbox they're carrying with them something they’re proud of each and every day. 

There are many safe lunchbox alternatives.  Talk with your child to find a solution that keeps them safe and makes them happy. 

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