Making a healthy lunch is only half the battle. You also need to put it in a safe container.
Glass is the best way to store food. But it’s not suitable for children. There’s too great a risk they’ll break the container and cut themselves.
So we’re back to plastic, if you want to pack a meal. This, however, presents another dilemma. Many food storage containers may be manufactured with a compound called BPA, which stands for Bisphenol A.
This chemical is often added to plastics and to epoxies. It’s very widespread in the environment. About three million tons of BPA are produced, every year, around the world.
Samples of human breast milk have been found to have low levels of BPA. The jury is still out on whether BPA poses a danger to unborn babies and young children.
Some health officials recommend limiting our exposure to this endocrine disruptor, which has estrogen-like properties and can disturb the body’s normal hormonal functions.
Fortunately, it’s now possible to find BPA-free lunch containers for children. These products are very welcome, especially considering some of the newer research into the potential health hazards of this estrogen mimicking chemical.
Non Toxic Lunch Containers
In 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration tested BPA and released findings that it was safe in certain products typically used by consumers.
However, newer studies have found that it can cause negative health effects in laboratory animals, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. This latest round of data has raised concerns.
A study by the National Toxicology Program also seems to support those who believe we should be reducing or eliminating our exposure to BPA, as there was concern that this chemical could interfere with brain development and behavior in young children, according to an National Institutes of Health website.
So, you’re not being an alarmist if you want to avoid this potential toxin. Here is an attractive BPA-free alternative. This set of four lunch boxes is also made without PVC or phthalates. (There’s no use getting rid of one worrisome compound if it’s only going to be replaced by another.)
To avoid exposure, the NIH advises lowering our use of canned foods, as the epoxy lining inside many canned goods may be made with BPA. Cooked food should be stored in glass or stainless steel, rather than plastic, containers.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles for Kids
Of course, this is easy to do at home. At school, staying away from this chemical is not so easy. You also have to pay attention to water bottles.
If your children play sports, one of your overriding concerns is making sure they have enough water to drink, especially on hot days. The easiest way to transport this water is in a sports bottle. Sometimes it’s not easy finding one that’s BPA free.
The majority of bisphenol exposure happens when food or drink comes into contact with a plastic container made with this chemical, the HIN has found.
Some parents prefer to skip plastic altogether and send their children to school with an attractive stainless-steel water bottle. If you’re used to packing disposable plastic water bottles, this thermos will quickly pay for itself, because you can use it over and over.
BPA Free Sandwich Bags
A sandwich is what many people have for lunch. This is probably the most portable food on the planet. But putting sandwiches into regular plastic bags may expose your children to BPA, as some brands contain this chemical. As I already mentioned, there’s growing concern that it doesn’t belong in our bodies or in our food.
Wrapping sandwiches in aluminum foil is something I avoid in my house. Aluminum is a toxic heavy metal that’s been linked to a number of health conditions.
If you are concerned about plastic and aluminum, there’s an alternative. You can cover a sandwich in unbleached parchment paper, and then pack it in a plastic sandwich bag that isn’t made with BPA.