As it turns out, the Easy Lunchboxes website is less about food and more about packaging.  Which is interesting at this particular moment in time because Babyman has just graduated to the Twos’ classroom at his preschool.  Lunchbox containers are a big deal in the Twos’ room, as the core of the Twos’ curriculum is self-sufficiency.  At lunchtime, that means no more plastic tray with a friendly teacher spooning out portions of chicken, pasta, or applesauce.  Nope, in the Twos’ room, the teacher will simply put all of Babyman’s various baggies and containers in front of him and let him have at it.

My current cache of Babyman containers are harder to open than a vault at the Louvre.  Like most moms, I carry food around with me at all times, and I really don’t like the idea of the containers popping open in my purse and leaving me with a bag full of cheerios or yogurt-covered raisins.  But I have been counseled that Babyman will now need containers that are easy to open if he is to succeed at self-sufficiency.

I hesitated with this entry because I know that containers aren’t a very sexy topic.  (It’s like that Food Network show about packaging that seems to dominate prime-time.  What’s up with that?  So boring.)   But as it turns out, lunchbox containers are downright hot right now!  Even my weekly Daily Candy seems to have gotten the lunchbox bug.

Part of this is the whole green movement.  From schoolyard vegetable gardens to compost programs, our children are growing up in a world where green is God.  (Have you ever noticed that Bob the Builder utters the phrase “Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!” with almost OCD-level frequency?)  This is a wonderful thing, and I hope it means a better future for this planet of ours…but sometimes my heart really goes out to the folks at Ziploc, whose iconic sandwich baggie is now synonymous with waste.

All of which to say, a couple of weeks ago I made a little pilgrimage to The Container Store.

Let’s be honest for a minute, shall we?  Everyone loves The Container Store.  It’s a magical place that, upon entry, offers reassurance that you, even you, high-rise apartment dweller stuffing a massive wardrobe into half a closet shared with your partner, can achieve TOTAL ORGANIZATION.

You may or may not know that The Container Store has an entire section devoted to lunchboxes.  What’s your fancy?  Tote, shoulder bag, or backpack?  Do you need a freezer pack with that?  BPA-free plastic, or glass?  Screw-top, or flip-cap?   Bento box?  Thermos?  Sippy cup?  So many options!

We started simple: a set of 3 nesting containers  with flip-top lids, and one traditional-looking rectangular tupperware, with an interior container for holding dips.  Like a portable chip n dip bowl, which will be perfect for blanched carrots with hummus or pita chips with Boursin-sour cream dip. This seemed like a logical place to start…until I realized that I need about three times this many if I am to keep up with the dishes.

Of course, the containers are just a piece of the puzzle.  The real question is, will Babyman eat their contents?  How will he fare in this new world of self-sufficiency?  Will someone make sure he has enough fuel for the exploring and playing he has to accomplish during the day?

I picked him up on Wednesday and his new teacher stopped me when I came in.  “I have the best pictures!” she cried, and ran for the digital camera.  There he was, grinning from ear-to-ear, black beans stuck to his cheeks and a veritable Santa Claus beard of yogurt from the tip of his chin to his hairline.  “He’s really into eating on his own,” the teacher told me, handing me his yogurt-sopped shirt in a plastic bag.

Next stop, apparently, is Old Navy.


  1. OOOH – I am dying for a Container store trip!

  2. Good post! I read your blog often and you always post excellent content. I posted this article on Facebook and my followers like it. Thanks for writing this!

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