HOW TO PACK DELICIOUS, AFFORDABLE ZERO WASTE SNACKS AND LUNCHES

Nobody wants to be that creepy lady at the park, but I couldn’t stop staring at the family sitting at the picnic table next to me. What were they eating?

I had just started zero waste grocery shopping, and I was absolutely stumped on what to buy for my kids’ snacks and lunches. No more plastic bags of Goldfish crackers? No more applesauce pouches? There had to be something easier than homemade organic fruit leather that I could feed my kids, but I had no idea what it was.  

And then there was that family. The kids were happily eating from strange stainless steel containers with lots of little compartments. There were no plastic baggies in sight. And it wasn’t just raisins and carrot sticks, either. They had variety! It looked pretty good!

Don’t be like me, stalking strangers’ food in public places. 

Talk zero waste lunches with us. 

We’ll be sharing dozens of zero waste snack and lunch ideas at the Nokomis Green Fair this Saturday, January 27, from 12-3. Stop by and say hi! We’d love to hear what you pack in your kids’ lunch boxes or bring to work for yourself. Have a favorite mason jar salad? Know where to find crackers in bulk? We’ve got tips and tricks to make zero waste snacking more affordable — for example, those stainless steel lunch boxes are nice, but re-purposed cream cheese tubs work great for snacks, too. 

Can’t make it to the fair but want zero waste snacks? We’ve got you covered.  

This spring, Zeroish is teaming up with a local non-profit to raise funds for a zero waste project in the community. We’ll send everyone who donates a $1 or more to the fundraiser a free copy of our Zero Waste Snacks and Lunches ebook. It’s full of recipes and ideas for zero waste lunches that are healthy, sustainable, and delicious. There’s a shopping guide so you’ll know where we found those amazing fig bars, and a price breakdown to keep you on budget. More details coming soon!  

Get started now on zero waste snacking now with some of our favorite lunch box combinations, all sourced locally from Twin Cities grocery stores

NOT YOUR KINDERGARTENER’S SCHOOL LUNCH
A packed lunch professional enough for the office.

Banana
Dried fruit and nut trail mix (Whole Foods bulk)
Hard boiled egg (compostable cardboard carton)
Fig bars (Whole Foods bulk)
Pineapple and pomegranate

TASTES-LIKE-DESSERT CHIA PUDDING
This pudding tastes like dessert, is nutritious enough for a hearty snack, and is made with healthy chia seeds from the bulk section.

Cashew milk (homemade or in a recyclable cardboard container
Maple syrup (bulk or recyclable glass container)
Chia seed (bulk)
Berries of choice (Bring your own container to the farmer’s market) or try sliced, fresh mango or pomegranate
Cashews (bulk)

TODDLER LUNCH ON THE GO
Healthy, zero waste finger foods for the youngest environmentalists.

Berries (try bringing your own container to the farmer’s market)
Cheese (unpackaged, Lakewinds deli)
Fig bars (bulk, Whole Foods, Wedge, Linden Hills, Lakewinds)
Avocado (don’t forget the spoon!)

Visit us at the Nokomis Green Fair from 12-3 on Saturday, January 27 for more zero waste snack and lunch box ideas or stay tuned for our upcoming free ebook!

What are your favorite zero waste snacks? Is there a food you love that you can’t find in bulk? Tell us about it in the comments!

Jenna Bergendahl is a homeschooling mom of three in Minneapolis. She loves biking, camping with her husband and kids, and staying up late reading sci-fi novels. In 2018 she’s taking on a zero waste challenge, trying out veganism, and catching up on episodes of Game of Thrones. She’s also the editor of Zeroish.

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