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MoxieTopics

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Comments

Anon

Ziploc storage containers are type 5, the safest kind. (I just checked the bottom of mine). And they're CHEAP - AND they are leak-proof. I bring soup to work in one and I have never had a spill. And they're easily available; you don't have to order online. Not sure about the lids, though.

My $.02.

cat, galloping

I always bring my lunch to work, and I've been obsessed about the plastic thing, too, particularly when I need to heat the food. Plastic in the microwave. Bah. Do you think the bento box plastic is okay in the microwave? It says it's microwave safe but does that mean it won't leach chemicals when microwaved? I'm sure it's better than my tupperware.

Anon #2

Most of the Tupperware/Rubbermaid/Ziploc containers are the same type 5 plastic. I'm not saying don't limit plastic where you can, but don't spend $30 on something "safe" that is made of the exact same materials as something you can buy at your local grocery store.

You don't have to use Ziploc baggies, buy a handful of the inexpensive Ziploc-type containers that you can reuse every day. I wouldn't suggest using expensive containers in a child's lunch box, as these have a way of never making it home.

Shandra

Yeah I use the Ziploc type 5 myself at work - our daycare provides lunch there. I have a stoneware bowl at work to heat the food up in, and I just wash that out and leave it there.

Shandra

... Although I have to say I covet the laptop lunches for the coolness factor and may spring for one sometime. :)

vickie

My husband had just voiced his concern about the amount of plastic in our lives! Plus we've started giving our son fish oils, the smell of which sticks to his sippy cups. (I've decided to just give it to him in yogurt, which he's decided to start eating.)

Thanks for the recommendation about sigg cups! My question is, which one of them has straws? (Son can't quite drink from a cup yet.)

shirky

If you want to shop bricks and mortar, try an Indian grocery for tiffin. theyll have a latch, but a kid could open. Dishwasher safe but not microwave safe obviously.
Also check into the (non-dishwasher safe) corn plastic. My father runs a cafe and serves his to-go drinks in the corn plastic cups.
the biggest problem would be that it might not be cool to carry a stack of tiffin, I remember I was given a german schoolbag in second grade, and though it was very cool and superior in design to the standard fare, I was laughed out of town.

Amy

The best laid plans...
My daughter's not school-age yet, but when I started feeding her baby food (yes, I know...baby food, that's another issue though :-) ), I only bought E*rth's B*st and then Pl*m Org*nics-- expensive, organic, wholesome, etc. She tolerated them.

What did she scarf down with unrivaled enthusiasm? Anything made by Be*ch-N*t and most things made by G*rber. Sigh...

hedra

Yikes. We use the ziploc containers, I think. Will have to check, now. We reheat on stoneware at home (not in the plastic), as well. But at work... I need to bring in a bowl.

I really like the theme of the book. I can sorta-personally recommend the impact of parental actions on this, as our school system implemented what sounds like the same program for this school year. Everything from buying local produce as a priority to retraining the cooks...er, chefs. Total change from the 'industrial food service' approach to 'individual coordinated restaurants' approach, and from 'underestimating kids and not expecting them to eat anything worthwhile' to 'engaging kids in the process and trusting them to be able to deal with REAL food provided it is well made and tasty'. I have yet to hear a single complaint. :) So, a rah-rah from here.

Rachel

Don't forget the dishwasher. I don't know what the heat threshold is for plastics to leach, but the happy medium we have reached in our house is to use plastic when we can't avoid it--the baby's bottles (although does anyone know of a good non-plastic first sippy cup?), Ziploc bags, a few Tupperware-type containers--but to never microwave them and never put them in the dishwasher. Sure, it's a pain to wash all those bottles by hand, but it's worth it.

Erin

I had heard so many good things about the SIGG sippy cup, but I was disappointed when I bought one for my one year old and then realized that you had to twist open the spout each time they want a drink and then close it back up or else all the water can just be poured out by a curious or absentminded toddler. It's not really something you can hand them and then let them run with it. It's also a bit heavy for the little ones once it's filled with water.

I guess this is why they aren't recommended for children under 2. Wish I had understood that before I bought one. I'm sure it will be great once she's two (maybe even 2 1/2), but I've had to stick with #2 plastic sippy cups for now for times when she needs to be able to carry the cup around herself (the park, day care, etc.).

Melanie

The Kleen Kanteen sippy cuppy is mostly stainless steel - the spout is #5.

http://www.amazon.com/Klean-Kanteen-Stainless-Bottle-Apadtor/dp/B000JVTZOW/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/002-2330039-3032015?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1190989823&sr=8-3

anon#3

I am tired of the attacks on premanufactured baby food! In order for me to stay home with my son and simultaneously renovate our new home (NO help from "D"H -- different story altogether) I had to make some compromises in my perfect Earth Mother plan. I have actually been made to feel guilty for feeding my son the food that was manufactured for him!
Today is his first birthday, and he is bright as can be, has never been sick --yes, we do leave the house ;) -- and was an early everything-er. My point? The food he ate over the past six months (1st six mo exclusive bf) has nurtured his little body and brain and helped him grow into a healthy, happy, well adjusted little boy. Please, let's stop demonizing baby food. I am overly sensitive (waiting for positive hpt over the next few days!!!!!!), but I still feel like feeding my son food that I didn't hand prepare was not as negligent as it is being made out to be.
Sorry, done now.

AnonHere

I understand how you feel, anon#3. Ppl make choices that fit their lifestyle, and that's fine. But I think some ppl, rather than just supporting their choice, tend to bash others who choose not to or can't do the same. That's not cool.

I use the Ziploc containers for my child's lunch. Glass is not allowed in school for obvious reasons. There are so many other things to worry about, this isn't one I can take on myself.

Jen '96

Hey, anon#3, I fed my son mostly jarred baby food too! No big deal. :-) Cut yourself some slack. I think you might be feeling extra sensitive, because I don't see anything in the comments or Moxie's main text that is an attack on premanufactured baby food. I only see how one commenter said she fed a variety of brands of premade baby foods. My son is just past a year and he is super-fabulous and healthy and happy, just like your son, and he ate a ton of premanufactured food. (Now he doesn't put up with spoonfeeding so much anymore, which is great for me because I am lazy, so it's a lot of cheese cubes and such these days. String cheese is good because I only have to cut it up in one direction. :-)) Happy Birthday to your wonderful son! I hope you all have a fantastic day.

Amy

Anon #3:
I'm concerned that you perceived my comment above as an attack on premade baby food.

I should clarify that I only put the comment about baby food in parentheses in the text of my comment b/c as a long time Moxie reader, I know that Moxie and some of her readers are proponents of a very interesting technique called baby led feeding that I had not heard about until I started reading here.

I'm sorry you feel attacked about your choice to use premanufactured baby foods. I used them with abandon, ALL the time. As I WOHM, I didn't have time to cook my own.

What I was trying to convey was that my plan for feeding my daughter food that was in line with my views on good nutrition went entirely awry due to her personal preferences.

Also, as a mother who, with incredible sadness about the loss of the opportunity to have a breastfeeding relationship with my daughter, had to formula feed, I know all about how painful judgement from other moms about parenting choices can be.

Take care and good luck with the hpt,
Amy

Caroline

I'm in the process of tossing all or our polycarbonate tupperware (which was SO expensive) and switching all of our polycarbonate cups to crayon and marker holding duty.

No, there are no Sigg cups that use straws, but they are great once the kids get a bit older.

I found this nice review of BPA-free sippys:
http://zrecs.blogspot.com/2007/05/sippy-cup-showdown-safer-bpa-free-sippy.html

I love our Laptop Lunch box. It is plastic, but in my opinion, how you use the plastic makes a big difference. If you're packing a sandwich, some fruit and some crackers and cheese, I don't see a lot of opportunity for leaching, no matter what type of plastic. If you're microwaving an acidic pasta sauce in plastic, I think that's a different story.

But I love the Laptop lunch box for other reasons, too. It's so easy to open, and then once you've opened the outside lid, all the rest is open, visible and attractive. (There are inner lids, too, if you're packing something runny, those are obviously not as easy to open).

It also kind of forces you to pack a healthy lunch. When you have four compartments to fill, you're not going to be putting four different carbs in. So it helps me get a really good variety in, even if it's just a bit of leftover broccoli or cheese or a boiled egg.

And on laptoplunches.com they sell extra inner boxes, so even if one doesn't come home, you don't have to shell out another 30 bucks.

Jen in Redwood City, CA

Haven't read through the comments yet... I was actually looking up the plastics codes the other day and 7 is not used exclusively for polycarbonate, as the Laptop Lunch site seems to indicate - it's a catchall for "other". Here's a pdf chart from the American Chemistry Council:
http://www.americanchemistry.com/s_plastics/bin.asp?CID=1102&DID=4645&DOC=FILE.PDF

Moxie

Whoa, who's attacking anyone for using jarred baby food here? I did do the "baby led feeding" approach with #2 (wish I'd done it with #1 and will never shake the lingering suspicion that that's why #2 is a more adventurous eater) but didn't know it was a method when I did it. I was just too frazzled to do anything but hand #2 pieces of what everyone else was eating. Buying jarred food for him and spooning it into his mouth would have required way more work than I was able to give at the time.

If you're using all the ziplock little containers, how do you corral them? Don't they bump around together in the lunchbox?

Charisse

I haven't tried the laptop lunch, mainly because I thought it was a surprisingly clunky and unattractive design--there were so many cute Japanese bento boxes available for less. I do agree about the advocacy stuff in the Lunch Lessons book, but I was frustrated that in the product they seem to have taken the health principles of bento and stripped out the esthetic part--as if eating well has to be Serious and Rectangular (very American to think it can't be healthy if it's too much fun, of course). OK, soapbox off.

For good or ill, Mouse is more likely to eat a healthy lunch if it has a hello kitty lid, and the bento sizes are much more manageable for her to carry in her backpack. I mostly use silicone cupcake cups (safe to 500 degrees) to divide the food, and we use those ziploc containers for snacks & stuff all the time as well.

Love SS Biggie's blog at http://www.lunchinabox.net for inspiration on packing american bentos, though goodness knows I don't achieve anything approaching her level of beauty or variety!!

Charisse

Man, I sound cranky! Sorry. I do wish they were more fun, though.

And of course, El C is a couple years older than Mouse, so the Laptop Lunch size might be more reasonable for him to carry around.

Amy

Oops, I didn't mean to imply that, as a proponent of baby led feeding, Moxie or any of her regular readers were the type of parents who attack others' parenting choices, including the use of jarred baby food.

Cleary, I'm not writing well today (scary since I am editing a manuscript for publication right now).

I think I'll return to lurking now- It's what I do best.

Jen in Redwood City, CA

Oh, and here's a bento blog (she's got some good info on packing lunches - see the link for Food Safety):
lunchinabox.net/top-tips/

And when DS gets old enough, I'm definitely looking into a Laptop Lunchbox.

Maria

I like wax paper bags for sandwiches, baby carrots, etc. We have a Kleen Kanteen with a sippy top, which my daughter loves, but which does leak a little. I am planning to get a laptop lunch box, but haven't gotten around to it. Moxie, I'll be interested to hear how it does at your place.

Jean

M uses the ziploc containers for her snack at school (she's half-day, eats lunch at home with us). Her lunchbox holds her paper towel and paper napkin (school rule), 2 of the ziploc containers (one with fruit, one with Cheerios), and her water bottle, with enough room for a note from Mommy or Daddy. I don't think I could fit anything else in if I tried.

And both my kids ate jarred baby food. C is a much more adventurous eater than M is, but I think that's just his personality. He also has a bigger sweet tooth, unfortunately. I control it, but he complains much more than M ever does.

I think that when it comes to our kids, we're all more sensitive about the choices we make, and so it's easier to perceive bashes that weren't intended, especially in print where there is no tone of voice. We realize that for the first few years at least, we have almost complete control over what they eat, what they play with, etc, which means we also have almost complete responsibilty. No one wants to be the mom who could have prevented x, y, or z calamity that befell her child, but chose not to.

These are scary times when it seems that every time you turn around, something else is shown to be dangerous or a risk for your health. They didn't know about a lot
of these things when we were children, and so no one worried. Now we have so much to worry about, it's overwhelming.

pnuts mama

we considered making the switch to the thermos sippy with straw: (amaz*n link give you a list of all the choices)
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-5042420-9965626?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=thermos+sippy&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go
but it's not dishwasher safe, which annoys me, b/c there is a part of me that still likes the temp that the dishwasher gets up to to ensure sterile/super clean stuff, especially with the milk gunk.

does anyone have a straw-sippy that they use for milk that they like for milk? that doesn't leak all over the place? i know it's a lot to ask for. i think charisse had rec'd the playtex one, anyone else? just wondering.

when i was researching all this recently, i ran across this review of a variety of cuppies, with their recycle #, etc. if it helps anyone make their decision:
http://zrecs.blogspot.com/2007/05/sippy-cup-showdown-safer-bpa-free-sippy.html

sorry for the giant url's. someday i'll learn how to make a tiny one!

Elizabeth Engel

I just want to give a big thumbs up to the Laptop Lunches. We've been using them for almost a year and we LOVE them. The four interior containers encourage us to offer a variety of things, so our son gets veggies and fruit and cheese along with his main lunch every day.

The initial investment seemed a bit steep, but after the lead-in-lunchbox & poison plastic scares, we decided the peace of mind was worth $30 or $40. (I ordered an extra set of containers--cheap--and that way I can pack his next day's lunch while the previous day's containers are in the dishwasher.)

Also, though they're not as gorgeous as some of the authentic Japanese bento boxes, they're incredibly functional, durable and not plastered with Thomas or Dora.

Wow. I guess I really like them. I don't work for the company, I swear.

anon#3 again

Whoops! Wasn't saying Amy was attacking, or anyone else in this post for that matter. But the tone of Amy's comment seemed almost apologetic to me, like she was ashamed of the Gerber products. I also have two friends who work full time out of their homes who manage to make their own foods and never cease to lecture me on my use of jarred foods.
I have just been feeling the pressure lately of being stuck in a feeding rut with texture/swallowing issues -- feeling stagnant with Stage 3s because my son seems to have trouble with larger pieces. And I feel like so many people on all sides are coming at me with this criticism -- not necessarily the Moxie community though! I'm so sorry for what seemed like a misguided defense. I just thought this was a place where I could vent my frustration -- and honestly, it didn't occur to me that anybody would read my comment anyway. Sorry! :)

pnuts mama

anon3, i don't think anyone should ever have to apologize about venting- if there's one thing that moms need the most, is to vent more, and in a supportive community. so i hope you feel welcome and safe here to do that. i'm also sorry that the people around you aren't more supportive- that's a reflection on them as individuals rather than you being a great mom.

i had so much anxiety with pnut and the low %ile and not eating and i was just killing myself with stress a year and a 1/2 ago at about 11 months old trying to get her to eat as much as i wanted her to to make me happy. having her refuse the food i had for her on the spoon was nearly as frustrating (and freak-out inducing) as the whole wanting to nurse all night long thing from her earlier months. i had to force myself to let it go, and trust that if she was gaining and growing that she'd eat what she wanted to when she was ready. while i'm thrilled that there are tons of parents out there who prepare their own baby food, we didn't, and our kid seems to be moving right along. by stage 3's she was staring to eat what we ate, mushed up, etc. off her own tray.

my philosophy on eating is: as long as i'm giving her at least 85% of healthy wholesome stuff, i don't care what she eats. i really don't. we try to eat as healthy as we can, but we don't eliminate other stuff, just eat it in moderation.

and i totally get what moxie means by baby #2 being so different than #1 in the sense that you simply can't devote the time/energy/focus on the little things with #2, 3, etc. that you do with #1. i've watched my younger nephews be raised much differently than my two eldest, and it makes so much sense to me- when i start to get new-mama crazy about things i say to myself "if she was baby #3, would i be doing/caring about this?" if the answer is no, then i move on.
take care. sorry i veered away from the lunchbox issue.

hedra

Heh, if you're NOT preg, I'm gonna be surprised. You sure sound it. ;)

If you're struggling with the solids/textures thing, I highly recommend the book 'How to get your kid to eat - but not too much'. I got it from a feeding clinic site, after another round of frustration over my oldest's ongoing feeding/eating issues. GAH. And yes, he ate jarred food, and all that, and B just declined to eat until we offered table food... and eats well, dangit... but the likely bigger issues for G were entirely separate, compounding issues, including reflux, sensory issues, choking incident, and the dang suction bulb trauma at birth (3x the risk of a feeding disorder if they deep suctioned, so if you're gonna look for things to blame, that's a WAY better candidate, and the food consistency thing is secondary - maybe a player as a layer on to the other issue, but deep down, the oral trauma thing is way earlier than that for most kids...). Um, anyway, other soap-box there. (Even the AAP noted the aversive feeding thing as a consequence of insufficiently gentle and careful suctioning at birth, I think it was in the BFing position paper...)

Where was I? Oh, right. Feeding is a really complex issue, and is internal and external both. I think the book I mentioned would be reassuring - it is very much 'let it go, and let them lead' EVEN if that means 'they really prefer the smooth stuff'. G still dislikes mixed textures, and he's almost 10. He's also a 'supertaster', which means that everything tastes LOUDER than it does to most people, so those jarred baby foods are like a nice gentle breeze, and mixed foods are like someone fed him gravel mixed with coffe beans mixed with canned asparagus mixed with road tar. I swear by the 'feed on the fly' method that was REQUIRED by the twins (yeah, like I had time for ANYTHING), and by letting them control their intake and choices as much as possible within the family diet... and at the same time, highly doubt that trying the same approach would have made much impact on the oldest. He is unlikely to have gone nuts for the garlic in our food, at any rate. Heck, mint tea makes his mouth burn. And we cant run the alternate experiment, either. So, well, hang in there. Feeding issues SUCK, and they manage to drive in right to where we're the most tender as parents, in the 'feed and grow' part. Feeling like a failure there is as fundamental as it gets. You have my sympathy, BTDT.

And good luck on the hpt. Fingers crossed!

Caroline

Pnuts Mama, we use the First Years Take-n-Toss straw cups for milk and for smoothies. They're made of the safe(r) type 5 plastic. Since the liquid doesn't sit in it all day, I don't worry too much. They're cheap, and the bright colors camouflage a lot of spinach and avocado in a smoothie! Then we stick with a Sigg for an all-day water bottle.

r0ckaby3

No experience with packing lunches yet, but on the sippy cup stuff...

We love our Kleen Kanteen with the sippy lid. My 2 year old has just started getting excited about using sport top bottles like mommy and daddy, so we're going to try a Sigg for his next cup purchase. The cool thing about the Kleen Kanteen sippy is I can purchase the sport top lid for it too when he's ready to go sippy-less!

Julie

Gr. We just switched to Nalgene water bottles (my husband and myself) and now I"m going to have to toss them.

I'm kind of worried about all this plastic stuff...we used to heat our son's milk in an Avent bottle in the microwave....someone please soothe me about this. We did it for about a year. a YEAR!!!!!

Luckily we have all glass storage containers, so we don't need to worry about that. What does it mean when there isn't a number to be found on the bottom of a piece of plastic? Some of my stuff I can't find anything.

Will be buying Kleen Kanteen and Sigg sippies in bulk.

Hedra.....a question about textures and eating....our ds doesn't like multi-textured foods - ie: grilled cheese sandwiches, but loves cheese and toast. He's 2. I am a little bit worried I can't get him to eat foods like pizza, grilled cheese and/or quesadillas at this age. Thoughts? He's always been a bit stubborn about what he eats, but.....he LOVES cheese.

hedra

Julie, first, I have only the one experience with the feeding disorder thing (the other dietary problems are on the inside, not the behavioral side). I'm not an SLP or a feeding therapist. And I can't even find my huge pre-feeding skills textbook (another clinic book). Still, I don't think 2 years old is a critical period in the sense of 'if you don't get them to do X, they'll never do it'. And 2 has so many other developmental processes, they get tangled up in the food culture and come out all messy, usually on mom's psyche.

The main points that were hammered home repeatedly by the feeding clinic were that NORMAL/IDEAL is a child who is
a) self-managing (that is, they know what they like and can let you know; seem to know when they're hungry, stop or refuse to eat when they're full),
b) maintaining a curve for growth (getting enough calories in, mainly), and
c) willing to taste things (even if they find 99% of them revolting).

The point for textures and flavors and experience isn't ACCEPTANCE, it is willingness to *try* it. If they already know it isn't something they like, they'll obviously resist. They're not crazy, they hated it before, they can extrapolate to hating it the next time, too. But offer something new... will they taste it, if it is there? If there's no pressure or expectations or weight or heavy rules or parental buttons to push, the normal feeding child will try. Reject, mostly, but try. That's the main goal. Acceptance is a long long path with many variations. Unfortunately, we tend to lay on a lot of pressure, and that means resistance.

This is tied in to discussions of feeding we've had here before. The slightest whiff of coercion, control, demand, expectation, urgency, fretting, worry, or anger, and most kids will balk. Stubborn is the *most* stubborn around food. ABSOLUTE control in the child's hands is what is recommended, regarding what goes in their mouths (barring an actual feeding disorder or dietary issue). You control *only* what is available, and when. They are completely in control of what of your offerings go in, and how much. There are some 'tricks and techniques' for getting reluctant eaters to ignore their own body messages and eat when we want them to - but having btdt, I highly recommend only employing them with professional guidance. I used them, and totally did it the wrong way with the best intentions and made things much worse instead of better (once, and another time did it right for the right reasons, with some guidance).

For a level-set on what is 'abnormal': Panic, fleeing the room when a new food is even presented (let alone put on the plate), weeping in terror while hiding behind furniture because someone asked if they wanted to try something new... that, that's when you know you have a problem (that was G). That, plus consistantly dropping growth charts after 1 year or after weaning (in combination), plus parental concern, and you have a good basis for a professional evaluation.

Resistance to textures is something that CAN be a precursor to other pickiness of significant sorts. But making them accept textures by some technique or other isn't a guarantee they won't be picky. Between 3 and 5 years of age, most kids are 'disordered eaters' of some stripe. After 5, most kids develop out of it naturally, on their own, whether their parents did it 'right' or 'wrong' according to any camp. And some do not. And even of those who do not, almost all get quite reasonable nutrition, even if in weird or rigid combinations of foods.

If you're concerned with the actual diet/nutrition, either see a pediatric nutritionist, or at least try the My Pyramid Tracker on the cdc.gov website, which can be set up by age. You put in what they eat, the system kicks out what they're getting. G, who has a diet that currently consists of about 15 foods, half of which are forms of dairy or are dairy-related (like cereal or cheese pizza), and only two of which are green (light green). That's actually an improvement, he used to run around 12 foods. Yet, the exact combinations he tends to eat, and the quantities he assigns himself if left to his own devices? Perfect total calories. Normal protien level, normal carbohydrate level, a bit too low on the fat, and a lot low on fiber, but while he always runs a lot low on the EFAs (yay Coromega supplements), and on the A (again, a supplement brings it up), he's really not all that far off. And his sodium and saturated fat levels are excellent. Not perfect overall, but really nowhere near as scary as it looks if you just watch him eat. A little knowledge, in detail, can be a real relief. And usually, if you can count 12 foods, the odds are good that they're doing fine for nutrition. Picky is usually 12-15 foods in the diet, 'normal' is only around 19. The difference isn't huge, really.

I guess I wouldn't worry about the pizza/grilled-cheese/multi-texture thing. M and R are both great texture eaters, and always have been. Yet they only recently were willing to eat pizza as a 'unit' (M is outgrowing her dairy allergy, WOO! just had to say that, dairy avoidance SUCKS). For a long time, pizza had to be separated into layers (cheese lumps and crust-plus-sauce) and was eaten as two separate dishes.

If you really want to be sure your kid is headed the right way on the food tolerances, I really recommend that book. It has been a huge help for me spotting my own food issues, too. (I'm a cue eater - this explains why I've had to tell people to not even put popcorn near me, since I eat it if it is there. Even though I really don't LIKE popcorn. But cue = eat for me. This is a native trait, not a pathology or learned behavior, and I just need to learn how to manage it properly. Some kids cue eat, others don't. The book explains a lot of the dynamics, in ways that you go 'oh, yeah, I've seen that!' and wonder why it wasn't obvious before.)

Sorry for the huge digression, Moxie. I tried editing for length, but ran out of time. (Okay, I've had help running out of time, tonight.)

Julie

Thank you Hedra....that was VERY helpful. Most of the time I'm not that worried about it....but he's hypotonic and sometimes I wonder if he might benefit from some OT in addition to PT. But my gut really just tells me that it's a control thing. So thanks. And I'm glad you didn't edit for length.

:)

Julie

and sorry Moxie and Emily for straying off- topic.....and thanks everyone else for all the great plastic suggestions. I've emailed my family and friends with that link so everyone can eliminate those plastics from their households.

Shandra

" I also have two friends who work full time out of their homes who manage to make their own foods and never cease to lecture me on my use of jarred foods."

Well I suggest you get the friends to read the labels. Although it's good to keep an eye on it, a lot of jarred baby food has really been cleaned up and the ingredients go something like: sweet potato, chicken, water. Then go read the ingredients on a jar of pasta sauce that a lot of people would use in their "home cooking."

It's not about the jar, it's about the contents, so, pish.

Moxie, I don't have a child banging the ziploc containers about, but they hold up pretty well in my Elle lunch bag.

Amy

Oh I'm so happy to find out the ziploc reusable containers are "safer" plastics! Gone are the plastic baggies!! Huzzah!!

Foster

DH and I bought Laptop Lunchboxes for ourselves, and, unless you are a dedicated lunch-packer, I would NOT recommend them for adult use. This is b/c while, chopped up, dh can fit at least 5 chicken tenders in one of the big compartments, whole, you can only fit about 3. I dont really care to chop EVERYTHING up :) For a kid, though, perfect size, me thinks. So, we used em for a while, but now mostly take Rubbermaid containers. They are $5 - 6 a piece, but the lids are *fantastic*, no leaks ever, #5 plastic, and can actually fit enough food for an adult. Usually it is something like piece of chicken w/ veggies next to it. If Im taking yogurt, it comes in it's own container anyway. Rubbermaid also makes the only #5 water bottles that Ive seen including straw sippy-cups. The only prob is after a while, the water will taste like plastic, but you can tell that we like that company anyway!

Amy

I just ran and looked, and all of my rubbermaid containers are #5's, but a reusable water-bottle that my daughter was using was a #7!! That's gone out the front door into the recycling bag and we're going to look for a safe alternative.

anon0

Like someone else asked, what if the item doesn't have a number? Most of mine don't!

Blythe

This is a bit of a different tangent, but here you go. Has anyone seen "Jamie's School Dinners?" I watched it on British TV, and I'm not sure if it has been broadcast in the States. If not, it's worth hunting down on DVD or online or something. It's about Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef) and his attempts to work with one public school district in England to improve their school lunches. It is instructive on so many levels - seeing the resistance he gets from the kids (not surprising), their parents (not totally surprising, but still! some of them delivering McDonalds to school so their kids don't have to eat the veggies!), the food prep people, the administrators, the bureaucrats, etc. It's an uphill battle but shows that with cooperation among local purveyors, schools, and families, schools can afford to serve much healthier and better-tasting meals. I was (obviously, based on this lengthy comment) fascinated.

zinemama

Packing school lunches is one of my most loathed of parenthood chores. What they'll eat and not eat, the scramble to come up with something at that ungodly hour of the morning, etc.

However, since we got the kid a Laptop Lunchbox, I have to say, there's a part of me that gets a great deal of satisfaction in packing his lunch. Now, I'm not about to go all Vegan Lunchbox and start taking pictures of his meals, but dang, I can come up with some pretty attractive looking lunches using that thing.

That said, I'd advise anyone considering the LL system just to get the actual box itself and contents; skip that carrying case. If your kid already carries a backpack to school, the case is just unnecessary. Plus, the minute I saw it I could tell the inside was going to get smeared with food, which I would then have to deal with.

I was worried about the box popping open without the case, so I generally put a big rubber band around it. But even when I don't do that, it's never happened.

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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