Disposable Lunch Box Essentials (eco-friendly!)

Let’s talk about some disposable lunch box ideas (that are also eco-friendly) for back-to-school!

It’s a back-to-school season unlike any other season, isn’t it? 

We’re all in different situations with our kids. Some home schooling, some facilitating distance learning, and others sending kids back to the classroom with new rules, precautions, and protocols.

With a 7-year-old, 4-year-old, and 2-year-old toddlers – we have a mix of schooling situations happening in our family this year and the only child that will be returning to in-person learning is our preschooler.

There are a variety of changes being put in place to keep our kids safe and healthy, one of those being school lunches.

disposable lunch box essentials

Many preschools are requiring kids to bring disposable lunches (aka: brown bag lunches) – and this is true for ours. Of course this bums me out because a) it’s not good for the environment and b) I love our Planet Box, but I understand that we’re all just doing the best we can.

So let’s talk about eco-friendly disposable school lunch ideas!

Bento box lunches are my go-to because they’re easy to pack, help with portions, and make it fun for kids to eat. So I started researching ways to pack a disposable lunch for my kid that is both functional (bento box style) and as eco-friendly as possible.

As I was researching and making my plan, I figured I can’t be the only one who is looking for these things! So I thought I’d share a blog post with my best eco-friendly, disposable lunch ideas for kids to hopefully help you too…

Disposable Lunch Box Ideas For School & Daycare:

Re-use containers or takeout boxes when possible.

It’s a regular thing for us to get takeout from a local Thai restaurant on the weekends. From here on out, I plan to save the takeout boxes so I can rinse and re-use.

In my research, I also saw people getting creative by re-using containers from grocery items, such as strawberry clamshells or yogurt jars. And even saving paper bags from takeout orders (think Chik-Fil-A or Starbucks)!

Replace plastic bags with recyclable or compostable options.

Here are a few I plan to try:

While I haven’t been able to find an affordable, disposable bento box for school lunch, I’ll be getting creative with little biodegradable cups to keep things fresh and fun for my little guy. 

Disposable Ice Pack Ideas for Preschool and Daycare Lunch

While I plan to be as eco-concious as possible, I will also include grab-and-go items from time to time, some of which can serve double duty as disposable ice packs! 

I plan to store yogurts, muffins and applesauces in the freezer to keep the lunch bag cool, while still thawing by lunch – just in time to eat.

So…this is my plan, but I’d LOVE to hear your tips and tricks too!

I’ll also keep you posted on how this goes over on Instagram

Here’s to a new and “adventurous” school year!


PS – Unfortunately eco-friendly lunch box items tend to be more expensive than non-eco-friendly items. This is an area I choose to invest a little bit more money to do my part, but keep in mind that if you’re on a super tight budget re-using can be a great way to save money while also reducing waste! 🙂 

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