Back to School: My Year of Waste-Free Lunches

We survived our daughter’s first year of school! Last year about this time we were trying to find a good system for Audrey’s packed lunches. We settled on the Crocodile Creek lunch box and Crocodile Creek canteen right away.


With the matching Crocodile Creek backpack, she was almost set. We still needed to find something to pack her lunches in. I preferred something BPA-free and never found a metal or glass dish that looked like it would work. I also didn’t want to pay more for something like that just in case it didn’t end up working out.

I ended up buying these BPA-free Ziploc divided containers. Each one is divided into three sections and has one lid that seals everything separately.

Two of them lasted us all year. We washed them in the dishwasher, and they held up perfectly. They fit everything she needed for her lunches. I snapped a few photos to show how we packed them up:


We’ll definitely repeat this system next year. I liked how easy it was to pack the divided containers, and it was nice having just one lid that fit over everything snugly. Other systems have several containers and lids that might be a hassle to deal with.

What’s your lunch box system—and what do you like about it? Let us know!



  1. We had a zippered, soft-sided lunchbox that we got at a yard sale for $1.00. Because my son is not a sandwich eater and prefers hot lunches, I bought a 10-oz. Thermos Funtainer. Generally I just make him double portions at dinnertime, then reheat the leftovers in the morning and stick them in the thermos. Next to that I usually put one or two small BPA-free plastic containers with apple slices and/or crackers or a mini-muffin. Add a regular spoon, homemade cloth napkin and he was set! I originally sent in a Klean Kanteen water bottle too but he never drank from it and it disappeared after two months.

    I did get a couple of small stainless-steel Kids Konserve containers but he had a hard time with the lid, so I use them for snacks I take to the office or when we go out on weekends.

    My biggest problem was finding containers small enough for a 5-year-old appetite and 15-minute lunch break.

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