10 Simple ways you can pack a nude food lunch box

Have you been asked by your school or child care centre to support ‘nude food’ lunch boxes, but have no idea what it means? Are you looking for a way to save your family some money, while also providing delicious and nutritious lunches? The Nude Food Lunch Box Revolution is taking over. Don’t worry though, we’ve found these quick and easy ways for you to get on-board.

 

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There’s a revolution?

Yeah. The Nude Food Lunch Box Revolution is all about reducing the amount of unnecessary waste in your child’s lunch box. Think about things like single-use plastics and throw away containers and wrapping. In a nutshell, nude food is food that is healthy and environmentally friendly, without packaging.

When it comes to lunch boxes, it means parents are looking for creative ways to package fresh food without using single-use packs or plastic wrap. There’s an emphasis on reuse, so a lot of nude food lunch boxes have sectioned compartments where you can place various lunch items. When you’re thinking about plastic-free, consider beeswax wraps and silicone cupcake cases and sandwich holders.

Also helpful for a nude approach to lunch boxes are the assortment of containers in varying sizes. Just be sure to label them.

Nude food is important for a few reasons. It’ll save you money because you’re encouraged to buy products in bulk (for example, purchasing a 1-litre tub of yoghurt and portioning it into reusable containers is more cost effective than buying individual pots in excess packaging). It also reduces the amount of waste going into landfill, and because you’re thinking about the food you’re eating, you’re more likely to make healthy choices.

 

5 Items you’ll need for nude food lunch box success

Getting the right gear is more than simply choosing the right lunch box for your child.

Stock up on reusable containers

To ensure your nude food lunch box success, get yourself some reusable containers. You’ll want the stackable kind and something that’s going to be easily washed (dishwasher friendly). The containers will help your replace the cling wrap and other packaging. They are especially handy when you’re serving cut fruit, dips, snack items that are many (popcorn, pretzels etc.) and those lunch box items that don’t do well when squished.

Having containers ready to go also helps minimise the food waste at school. Children are more likely to return an item to their lunch box than throw it in the bin when reusable containers are in place.

Wrap me up in your love

Do away with the Ziploc bags and cling wrap. Instead, use beeswax wraps. The benefits of using beeswax wraps are many: they’re long-lasting, they help keep food fresh for longer, they are 100 per cent compostable, they reduce waste and protect wildlife, and they have antimicrobial properties. They come in some pretty funky patterns too… Oh, and you can make your own.

You can also use skins (also funky) and silicone food storage bags.

Ditch the plastic cutlery

If you’re packing food that requires a spoon (yoghurt) or fork (spaghetti) you’ll want to include some cutlery. Gone are the days when you could pack a plastic spork and be done with it. Schools are encouraging more sustainable options, so reusable cutlery is your go-to. By all means include a spoon or fork from the drawer at home, but if you have a thing about matching sets, save it from getting lost and invest in something that is exclusively for your child.

Spoil the spills

Is there anything worse than reaching down into your child’s backpack only to discover something wet and sticky? When you’re choosing your child’s nude food lunch box, choose something leak-proof. That goes for their water bottle too. In addition to avoiding leaks, you want your lunch box and water bottle to be almost bulletproof. Have you seen how rough and tumble things get in the playground?

Keeping everything cool

We’ve come a long way in terms of food safety. Kids today don’t have to wonder whether their ham and cheese sandwich is a bit iffy after sitting in a hot lunch box. That’s because today’s lunch boxes are insulated, ensuring foods don’t spoil. Some lunch boxes even come with freezer blocks! Just remember to pack everything correctly to keep your child’s nude food lunch cool.

 

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5 Simple ways you can pack your child a nude food lunch box

A little bit of preparation goes a long way

If you’re new to the nude food lunch box movement, the top tip is to plan ahead. As with most things, a little bit of preparation for the week ahead can make all the difference to your lunch box. Aiming for healthy over packaged? Spend some time slicing and dicing your fruits and vegetables on a Sunday night (or at least the night before you put your nude food lunch box together).

Nude Food Lunch Box Tips

Treats that are good for you

There is a lot of sugar that goes into off-the-shelf lunch box snacks. Easier than scanning the nutritional information box on every item you’re thinking of buying is making the snacks yourself. It might sound more labour intensive, but the benefits are worth it; you’ll not only save yourself money, but you’ll also be making something healthier for your child to eat. Another benefit is that because you’re making your kids’ treats, you know exactly what’s in them.

Little treats like banana bread, protein balls, slices and homemade biscuits are great for lunch boxes.

If baking and cooking is not your thing, when buying snacks, see what ones can be purchased in bulk. Most supermarkets have an option.

Yoghurt without the mess (or waste)

Yoghurt is a popular choice with kids. It could have something to do with how quick and easy it is to consume. Yet the store-bought varieties don’t make it very ‘nude food’ friendly. Instead of purchasing packs of individual tubs, or multiple pouches that are suitable for soft plastics recycling, why not use reusable containers and make your own? You don’t even need one of those fancy machines to make it!

Check out this easy recipe that makes delicious homemade yoghurt.

Pass the dip

You’ve sliced and diced the vege, but you want the kids to have a bit of ‘spice’ in their life. That’s where a tiny tub of hummus, guacamole or salsa can come into the mix. The addition of a dip can really bring your child’s nude food lunch box to life. Dips encourage your child to eat their vegetables — honestly, who can resist dip? — which in turn means there is less food returning home in the afternoon.

You can also use dips for corn chips, pita bread triangles, tiny toast, and more.

Let your creative juices flow

Nude food lunch boxes can be inspirational things. You might even find your children take more interest in what food goes into their lunch box. For example, my child thought the healthy vegetable rice paper rolls I made in the second week of the new school year were pretty awesome. However, by week four a quiet request for me not to make them came across the kitchen counter one morning.

Fruits that in disposable materials might become messy — we’re looking at you watermelon and pineapple — are suddenly more appealing in a reusable container. Appealing often translates to tasty, which means your child is more likely to eat it.

But don’t let your creativity stop with what goes into the lunch box. Consider how you present it, too. We’re not talking Michelin chef standard, but if you have some biscuit cutters, use them to create funky shapes for your child to enjoy. When food — including nude food — is fun, it’s also yum!

Do you have any tips for a nude food lunch box? Share them with us.

Moo Baba

By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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