How to tackle the lunch-box dilemma

SPE­CIAL RE­PORT: BACK TO SCHOOL Find the right con­tainer to keep your child fu­eled

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - CULTURE - Tanya En­berg $26.75 from MEC. $22.50 from $13.97 - $15.97 from From $14.99 at Ama­ *Prices are sub­ject to change at re­tailer’s dis­cre­tion

You work hard to pack your child a yummy healthy lunch for school only to have it re­turned un­eaten in a soggy mess at the end of the day. Baf­fling, isn’t it? Surely your child was hun­gry at some point dur­ing the day.

Tack­ling lunch-box dilem­mas can be a source of house­hold stress, but choos­ing the right foods and con­tain­ers for your little eater will go a long way.

With such a wide range of lunch con­tain­ers to choose from, find­ing the right fit and style can be over­whelm­ing. From trendy bento-box style lunch kits to sim­ple sand­wich car­ri­ers, here’s a look at the best finds to get school lunches off to a great start come Septem­ber. What type of eater is your child?

From left­over pasta and rice dishes to soups and oat­meal, a ther­mal food sys­tem has hot-meal seek­ing kids cov­ered. Look for prod­ucts that keep foods hot for a min­i­mum of five hours.

Con­sider food safety with a freez­able lunch box. Just pop it in the freezer at bed­time and the freez­able gel will keep food cold for hours the next day.

Give the clas­sic brown­bag lunch a hip up­date with a wash­able cloth lunch bag. These are also ideal for re­duc­ing back­pack weight. Look for wi­peable and wash­able ma­te­ri­als and se­cure clo­sures. A pocket or two in­side is help­ful for stor­ing smaller items.

Pop­u­lar bento boxes con­tain­ers show­case lunchtime va­ri­ety, which can be par­tic­u­larly help­ful for picky eaters since the food com­part­ments are all nicely sep­a­rated.

Closely ex­am­ine lids and seals to pre­vent nasty lunchtime leaks. No one en­joys eat­ing a soggy sand­wich, so choose con­tain­ers with tight lids or lock seals for a squeaky-clean eat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Easy on the wal­let and easy to pack, wrap and sand­wich-lov­ing kids will ap­pre­ci­ate a con­tainer made specif­i­cally for their favourite lunchtime choice. COOL LUNCH BOX FINDS:

keeps lunches nice and chill, thanks to the gel built in­side. It col­lapses flat for stor­ing in the freezer over night be­fore pack­ing a fresh meal the next day. It has a pocket for cut­lery and a nap­kin. Eco-minded kids will adore the It’s a sweet up­date to brown-bag lunches and made of cer­ti­fied or­ganic cot­ton with food-safe lin­ing. Clean it with soap and wa­ter or pop it in the wash­ing ma­chine. Pack up some lunchtime joy with a

star­ring your child’s favourite pop cul­ture char­ac­ters. With dou­ble wall-vac­uum in­su­la­tion, these stain­less steel jars are per­fect for serv­ing up left­overs, hot or cold. Keep back­packs light and save pre­cious space with the

The clever kit col­lapses to half its size, fea­tures three food com­part­ments and comes with a re­us­able fork and condi­ment lid.

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