When parents are shopping for back to school items, they are looking for functionality, durability and of course, things that are easy to clean.
As a nutritionist and mom of two boys, ages 11 and 13, I've personally packed thousands of lunches. Each year, I share some of my favourite things, from lunch and snack containers to school-safe snacks, to help you make the best choices for you and your kids as they start school this fall.
Here are my top picks for this year:
These big, roomy lunch bags from Fluf are fully machine washable. Their rinseable, food-safe lining contains light spills, while its interior pocket is perfect for holding a water bottle or ice pack. Sustainably and ethically made with a certified organic cotton exterior + recycled materials on the inside with a 100% Post-consumer RPET lining.
Fluf Cotton lunch bags come in a variety of cute patterns and attractive colours for all ages.
While these lunch bags are not insulated, if you zip it shut with an ice pack inside, it will keep your child's food cool until lunch.
Fluf is a Canadian company based in Toronto. All Fluf bags are ethically handmade in a small, family-run facility in India, where they share a commitment to paying living wages, and ensuring fair working hours and safe working conditions for all factory employees.
*Note that Planetbox Rover, Launch and Shuttle and The Good Kiind Explorer bento boxes can fit inside this lunch bag. The Fluf lunch bag can easily fit a bento box, a water bottle, an insulated food jar and several snack containers with room to spare.
Triple insulated, this 8 oz. food jar from Lunchbots keeps 1 cup of your child's favourite soup or pasta hot until lunchtime. A bright silicone sleeve adds a splash of colour and its all-stainless interior means no plastic touches the food. These food jars can even be washed in the dishwasher.
Along with the added grip of the silicone sleeve, the 3.5" lid diameter is ideal for children's hands making it easy for them to open on their own.
I love these new stainless steel nesting containers with clear silicone lids from U-Konserve! Perfect for school snacks and a great plastic-free option that still allows you and your child to see what's inside their containers. The stainless steel nesting set of 3 (16oz, 9oz and 5oz) gives you a variety of container options for both large and small snacks.
The flexible silicone lids are easy for little hands to open and make these containers leakproof. Dishwasher safe.
These stylish, mid-sized backpacks are made of durable and sturdy 100% certified organic cotton canvas. They are machine washable and sustainably and ethically made with organic + recycled materials. Just like their lunch bags, all Fluf backpacks are ethically handmade in a small, family-run, GOTS-certified facility in India.
Fluf backpacks are lightweight and work just as well for a 6 year old as they do for a teenager. They even have a large pocket inside that can fit a laptop computer! Kids entering Kindergarten can use them too, but if your child is on the small side, you may want to come by our store to have them try it on first.
Packed with raw cacao and chocolate chips, these Chocolate Oat Clusters taste like the most decadent double chocolate chip cookie.
Made with feel good ingredients to love, including Canadian Purity Protocol gluten free rolled oats, protein-rich sunflower and pumpkin seeds, virgin coconut oil, naturally sweetened with coconut sugar (5g of sugar per serving), and taken up a notch with added probiotics that contributes to healthy gut flora with 1 billion live cultures per serving.
One of my kids is a chocolate lover, but the other, not so much. Thankfully, these also come in other flavours, including Apple Cinnamon and Berry Burst.
Rawcology is a Toronto based, mom-owned company that produces a variety of organic, school-safe snacks.
Rawcology’s allergen free guarantee: All products are manufactured in their dedicated facility free from the top eleven allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, milk, eggs, gluten, mustard, crustaceans, fish, soy, and sulphites.
Say goodbye to the same boring, limited lunch rotation, and hello to everyone’s new favorite meal of the day! Lunchbox has months’ worth of recipes for flavorful, filling, nutritious, and delicious meals—guaranteed to stay fresh until lunch.
Aviva Allen is a Toronto-based kids' nutritionist, mom of two and founder of Healthy Moms.
All products mentioned above can be purchased online or in-store at the Healthy Moms Market using your Healthy Moms Discount Card to save 15% off.