sarah Bancroft to the rescue with Lunchbox 911

sarah Bancroft to the rescue with Lunchbox 911

Guest post By Sarah Bancroft, editor in chief,

With a ravenous 8-year old who could eat six meals a day and a picky preschooler whose favourite food is seaweed (at least today), I’ve got my hands full when the lunch line opens at 7:30 a.m. Here are my survival tips for getting everyone out the door, while making sure the sliced apples never touch the sliced cucumber….


Banish the Lunch Bag

My kids love stainless steel bento boxes, with all their little compartments. It also helps me sneak in more veggies- saving the world one carrot stick at a time. Available at Potterybarn Kids.


Getting your kids involved can be a good thing

We make yogurt parfaits with 0% Greek yogurt, fresh blueberries and toffee crumbles that our third grader assembles herself. Participation = better chance it doesn’t end up at the bottom of the backpack.

Think outside the (lunch)box

Neither of our kids are into sandwiches, which makes lunches a little more challenging. So we make a thermos of perogies, reheat last night’s spaghetti (try the President’s Choice Black Label Nero di Seppia Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce), or Em’s fave, quick cheese quesadillas (I use the pre-sliced marble cheddar and Blue Menu Whole Grain Whole Wheat tortillas from President’s Choice). Available at Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore.


Reduce your LunchPrint

Both our schools have a litterless lunch policy, so we package snacks and mains in Lunchskins reusable pouches that can be thrown in the wash. Letting the kids choose which patterns they want keeps them interested. Available at


There is such thing as a Free Lunch

I worry constantly about hormones in the food my girls eat, so I’m a true convert to the Free From line of packaged meats from President’s Choice that has no hormones, anti-biotics, etc. The Free From Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Pepperellos Pepperoni Snacks are favourites of our preschooler. Available at Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore.


We’ll drink to that!

S’well bottles keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours, plus they come in cool colours. It was only after we started using them that we realized they support clean drinking water in developing countries: a Social Studies lesson before they’re even out the door! Available at and Holt Renfrew.

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  1. Shalini
    September 16, 10:45 Reply

    What a great list! Thanks Sarah! I haven’t seen those Swell bottles but that’s a wonderful idea for drinks. And the yogurt parfaits to go–never thought of that! My third grader assembles his at home, too, but it’s a novel concept to get him to show off his creativity at school. Maybe he’ll eat his lunch?

  2. Kathy
    September 16, 16:50 Reply

    Great ideas for lunches ! Those free from meats contain celery extract which has an equivalent amount of nitrates as the regular lunch meat.

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