Greening the Brown Bag: Lunch Solutions


Sometimes the solutions are so simple. No need to give your kids a throwaway brown paper bag when a reusable, washable organic cotton lunch bag will do the job. I like these with bright designs, sold in pairs. Late July, a maker of delicious organic crackers, offers this bag with a zipper top and the option of ordering with a product sampler. If you’re feeling creative, make your own; there are easy free patterns on the Web, or try this lunch bag pattern for sale at PurlSoho and elsewhere.

Packing the bags for kids off to school or summer day camp  can be easy, too. I asked Lisa Turner, a natural and organic chef, nutritional counselor, excellent mom and president of Inspired Eating in Boulder, Colo., for suggestions. Her favorites:

- Start with a fun “main course” like cottage cheese and pineapple on raisin bread, mini whole-wheat pizzas, whole-grain pita bread stuffed with organic grated carrots, tomatoes, avocado and cheese, or a whole-grain pasta salad with organic cheese, shredded vegetables and extra-virgin olive oil.

-Make cookie-cutter sandwiches – just slice the crusts off bread and use cookie cutters in fun shapes.

-Add fun organic fruit, like pomegranate, sliced kiwi, mango cubes, whole strawberries and melon balls, instead of the standard apple or banana.

-Freeze individual containers of organic juice to keep sandwiches cool until lunch time, when the juice will be thawed and ready to drink.

-Don’t forget dessert – try fruit-juice-sweetened cookies or reduced-fat brownies.

Of course, adults can organic-bag it too. Share your favorite take-along lunch menu in the comments.

Image: Sashertootie