The school year has begun. Lucy’s in kindergarten in the morning and her favorite place — a school where the students spend most of their time outdoors, making up plays on the stage in the woods, or reading under trees, or creating games in the mud —in the afternoon. Suddenly, we’re all busy and on a rigid schedule again.
Thank goodness. I do so much better on the school calendar than during the wild open space of summer. (I never felt that way as a kid. But as a parent? What do parents with two full-time jobs do all summer long with their kids?)
Thankfully, Lu loves kindergarten. She comes home bursting to tell us stories of the kids who sit at the purple table with her, happy after art or music or PE class, but mostly she loves Wednesdays when they visit the library, because she’s so eager to read more and more.
At least we know she’s well fed for these adventures.
Lots of people have asked us what we feed Lucy for her school lunches. I’ll be writing a post about it soon. (Short answer? Plenty of protein and vegetables — like the sausage and peppers and cucumbers you see above — sometimes a sandwich— like the peanut butter and honey on pancakes sandwich you see above — and a bit of fruit, but no treats. Treats are for the afternoons or the weekends.) My first answer is always, however, what we give her food in.
We’d like to introduce you to PlanetBox, our latest sponsors. They make great stainless steel lunch boxes, of all sizes, that make it easy to feed a gluten-free kid with a ravenous appetite for life who goes to school all day. We’ve owned this lunch box for Lucy for the past three years and it’s still holding up strong. She still loves decorating it with magnets. I love tucking a real napkin and silverware in the carrying case, along with a note for her every morning. This lunchbox is so durable that I’m almost certain it will carry her through elementary school, and perhaps beyond. I can’t imagine our life without this lunchbox. Honestly.
Our friend Catherine McCord, who writes the delicious-for-kids site, Weelicious, introduced us to PlanetBox first. She posts photos of her kids’ lunches on Instagram almost every day. Her cookbook, Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals, is Lucy’s favorite cookbook of all time. So of course we had to get a PlanetBox for Lu. She has loved it ever since.
We’ve asked Caroline Miros, one of the founders of this family-owned business, to tell her about what she does.
Why did you start PlanetBox?
When my oldest daughter turned 3, I started to look for safe, effective ways to send food with her to pre-school. I tried glass first, but after it shattered on the ground the preschool teacher politely asked me to not send such a safety hazard to school. I tried everything on the market, but was frustrated I couldn’t find an all in one lunchbox that was made of a safe material, and made it easy for my daughter to eat her foods. So I challenged my product designer husband to design something new with me. And here we are, 12 years later, with a line of high-quality, stainless steel lunch boxes at PlanetBox (yes, that means my oldest is now a teenager :-).
How do you hope to help people?
I hope to offer people a beautifully design product that will make it
1. Easier for them to pack the healthy foods that work for them
2) Easier for them and their children to actually eat the foods they pack on the go
3) Easier for them to protect their own health and the health of the planet
Can you tell us about your newest products and how they meet a different need than your original lunch boxes?
Our original design is the 5-compartment “Rover” lunchbox. It was designed for people who like smaller serving sizes and more variety – which describes most kids, and some adults. We then created the 3-compartment “Launch,” designed for larger serving sizes, and more bulky foods (think salads and large sandwiches). Then we expanded to the 2-compartment “Shuttle” last year – built for mini-meals and snacks on the go. We designed the Shuttle with little kids in mind, but have found they work great for teenagers (yes, back to that teenage daughter 🙂 and mini-meals on the go for any age.
Can you share a story of a customer whose life has been helped by your product?
We are so fortunate to have people write to us every day with stories on how our products have helped them. Christi R. posted this on our FB page about 10 minutes ago: “Spent a couple of afternoons at the children’s hospital for follow up appointments with my special needs 6-year-old son. Once again, this lunch box proved to be an awesome investment. It’s easy to slip in the basket under his wheelchair, keeps his food contained while he ate, held foods he is able to eat and sits neatly on his wheelchair tray. It kept me from having to scramble around for foods he could/ would eat when we got stuck there for a few extra hours. It easy to pack and he can feed himself since it’s not a bunch of tiny boxes or bags that he would not be able to open with his muscle issues. THANK YOU Planet Box for making things a little easier for this busy mom!!”
In regards to people following specific diets, we get many many comments about how our lunchboxes have helped. Parents so appreciate the fact that our lunchboxes help foods look good – something that kids on special diets can be self-conscious about at school if they have to pack foods that are “different.” They also appreciate that the foods will stay contained and not risk any cross contamination. Amber S.U wrote this to us recently – “My daughter has a gluten intolerance and PlanetBox is amazing and very helpful. Purchasing prepackaged things gluten free is not common and very expensive. I have to pack her lunch every day and it was worth the $59.99 to get the Rover PlanetBox. I’m very pleased with it. After a year of use, it’s still in awesome shape!!”
I see more and more awareness about the need to pack healthy foods that work for you and your family, and I am so proud to be a part of that movement. I also see more and more awareness about the safety of the materials we use to pack food, and the amount of garbage and waste we create transporting our meals. We want to continue to be a leader in offering people safe, elegant solutions that function well, and make it easier to pack a healthy, waste-free meal on the go.
We really believe in the work that Caroline and her company are doing with PlanetBox. We hope you’ll support them by buying lunch boxes for your kids!
PlanetBox has kindly decided to give away two of the lunchbox kits. Leave a message here about what you feed your kids for lunch for the chance to win. Winners will be chosen at random next Monday, October 6th.