A balanced and easy approach to healthy living.

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5 Ways to Save Big on Natural Body Care Products

Natural beauty products often come with a high price tag. This is because better quality and cleaner ingredients cost more than the artificial ones.

Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to buy the good stuff.  Over the years, I’ve found many ways to save on natural body, skincare, and hair products for kids and adults. Here are my top 5 strategies to spend less on natural products:

1. Avoid buying special “kids'” or “women’s” products

You’ve probably heard of the “pink tax” and witnessed it firsthand: products labeled for women (like shampoos and razors) cost more for less. It’s the same for kids’ products–soaps, shampoos and creams made for children are much more expensive than products made for adults.

So to save money, stick with gender- and age-neutral products and use them for the whole family–from infants to grownups. For example, I’ll buy Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap and use it as shampoo, body wash, and hand soap for my baby and everyone else in the family. If there’s a natural product I like for myself (like conditioner or sunblock), I’ll use it on my kids. In most cases, there’s no need to buy separate products if they’re made of natural ingredients anyway (read labels carefully!). I save even more by buying a big bottle and refilling smaller containers as needed.


2. Re-purpose kitchen items for your beauty regimen

Homemade facial masks with natural ingredients,

The truth is, you can make any body-care product you need out of food items. Coconut oil can be used for almost any beauty regimen purpose: it’s a great moisturizer (for baby to grown-up), make-up remover, hair de-frizzer, cuticle softener, under-eye cream, shaving cream, and may even protect your baby’s diaper area from rashes thanks to it’s anti-fungal properties. Sugar makes a luxurious scrub for face and body. Avocado can be turned into a soothing face mask and hair mask. Vinegar is great as a hair rinse, facial toner, and skin soother. (Hydrogen peroxide is another great toner, by the way, and it can also treat acne.) You’ll find loads of great DIY beauty product ideas containing these and other ingredients on the internet. Bonus: Add your favorite essential oils to any product you make and create the scent you love.

3. Dilute foaming products so they last longer

Many hand soaps, shampoos, face wash, and other sudsy products can be diluted with water and still be very effective. Diluting them makes your products last a lot longer (and you’ll save even more if you buy in bulk). There is no hard and fast rule in terms of how much water to add–experiment with different proportions and see how they work for you. Start with adding 1/5 water; you can always add more. For instance, I often dilute hand soap by 1/4 to 1/3 water with no discernible impact on how it cleans.

4. Know where to shop
I used to buy some of my natural products at Amazon, until I discovered I could save much more by shopping at Thrive Market. Thrive has a great selection of healthy food, supplements, and natural body care products for up to 50% less than Whole foods and other stores. Plus, you can buy food and toiletries in everyday sizes and you often get a free gift with your order (I’ve received free avocado mayo, raw energy bites, organic tomato sauce, and natural hand sanitizer).

Thrive’s prices can be significantly lower than Amazon’s. For example, Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap (32 oz) is currently $18.40 on Amazon and just $10.95 on Thrive. An 11 oz bottle of Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo is now $11.75 on Amazon vs. $7.45 on Thrive. The savings are real!!! Click here to try Thrive for a free month and get 15% off your first order, plus  free shipping for every order over $49. The annual fee is $59.95, which you will quickly make back in savings.

5. Stick with affordable beauty brands

Some brands produce great, clean products at a relatively low price point. Dr. Bronner’s is one of them. In addition to their famous castile soap, they also make shaving gel, various hair care products, toothpaste, and lip and body balms, all at very affordable prices.You may not find all of these products in stores, but they are sold on Thrive Market and Amazon. Everyday Shea makes really affordable bath products and lotions for kids and adults (on Thrive, you can get Everyday Shea body wash and shampoo at $7.95 each for a 32oz bottle!). Finally, EO (“everyone”) also has skincare and bath products for really great prices (see for yourself). All three of these brands get great reviews and I’ve been personally pleased with their products.


I’d love to hear your tips for saving on natural body care and make-up products. Please share! In the meantime, enjoy shopping while saving!

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10 Kid-Friendly Pantry Staples for Quick + Healthy Meals

One question I get asked again and again is what to feed kids for dinner, and how to make meals that are quick AND nutritious. Enter your pantry. This is where the magic happens. If you have a pantry stocked with healthy items that can be incorporated quickly into a kid-friendly meal, then you’ve almost entirely solved the problem of what’s for dinner.

Here are 10 great busy-mom and kid-friendly food items we keep in my pantry. Many of these items can be served without the need to cook! Everything is meat-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Buy in larger quantities and you will have what you need when you need it.

I like to stock up on these items at my new favorite online store, Thrive Market. Thrive sells healthy food, supplements, and natural body care products for up to 50% less than Whole foods and other brick and mortar stores. What I love about Thrive is that their prices are usually lower than Amazon’s and you can buy food products in everyday sizes. You can try Thrive for a free month and get 25% off your first order, plus you get free shipping for every order over $49. The annual fee is $59.95, which you will make back in savings.

1. Canned Salmon and Sardines


High in protein and loaded with heart- and brain-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, canned salmon and sardines are a great basis for dinner. They are also high in vitamin D and calcium. I avoid tuna because of the mercury content. The canned fishes are wild-caught, not farm-raised, which is healthier for you.

How to serve them? Make salmon salad like you would tuna salad (i.e. add mayo and whatever else you like). Serve salmon salad with veggies and whole grain crackers for dipping. Another idea: My kids love what I call “fish in a boat”–which is a couple of scoops of salmon salad in a romaine lettuce leaf (I just cut both ends of the leaf off and leave the crisper middle section). You can also make salmon patties, salmon tacos, and crumble salmon on top of a salad. Sardines can be served as is. For a full meal, add a starch, like potatoes or rice, and veggies. I buy these at Thrive and at big-box stores to save money and I look for brands that use BPA-free cans (such as Wild Planet). BONUS: no cooking necessary!!!

2. Taco Shells 

Tacos can be nutritious, filling, and fun. Keep a few boxes of shells around and you can make tacos with all sorts of things you already have in your fridge or pantry! We enjoy making tacos with canned salmon and refried beans (which are both on this list) as a base. Then we add shredded romaine, avocado, mild salsa and sour cream. Voila–a whole, balanced meal and you don’t even have to cook a thing. (I briefly heat the tacos in my toaster oven to soften them so they’re easier for my kids to eat.) Preferably, buy organic or at least non-GMO taco shells, like those made by Garden of Eatin. Serve blue and yellow tacos to make “Taco Night” even more fun.

3. Canned beans 

Pinto Beans, OrganicBeans are some of the healthiest foods in the world, and because they come packed with fiber and protein they are super filling. They are also versatile. The great news is that no cooking is necessary. Here are some ways you can serve them:

  • Sprinkle them on salads.
  • Mix them with rice or quinoa for a complete protein.
  • Serve beans with your kids favorite sauce or dressing.  I like using olive oil, lemon juice, and a little salt. Or, add soy sauce, which I sometimes combine with turmeric.
  • Make (or buy pre-made) refried beans for  tacos (here’s a quick and yummy recipe).
  • Make chumus and serve with veggies or corn cakes (see #4 below).
  • Briefly saute  beans in a favorite sauce if you prefer them warmer.

Preferably, buy organic, make sure there are no additives, and, buy brands that do not use BPA lining. You can also buy beans in cartons or bags.

4. Corn Cakes

Corn cakes are crispy yumminess and can be served plain as a snack or part of a meal. We like to spread them with almond butter and honey; chumus; salmon salad (see # 1 above) and, my personal favorite, a little mayo and mashed avocados. We avoid rice cakes because of the presence of arsenic in rice, which I’ve reported on here. Preferably, buy organic, or at least non-GMO. Real Foods’ Corn Thins are the tastiest and crispiest ones I’ve tasted, IMHO.

5. Quinoa

We make and serve quinoa at least once a week. It’s a full protein, iron, fiber and phytonutrients (among other things) and, as I am sure you’ve heard, it’s been called a “superfood.” There are so many great recipes on the web. I like to prepare quinoa and then sautee it in oil (I use avocado oil for this reason), with onions and garlic. Then I add other sauteed veggies like mushrooms, carrots, and/or peas. Another thing I love to do with quinoa is to mix it into a regular green salad. It adds bulk, fills you up,and absorbs the dressing, making it super tasty.

6. Nuts 

We always have a variety of nuts on hand for a quick snack. Full of protein, they are great when you need a pick me up or to quench a craving. My kids enjoy them, too. Sometimes, we make them part of meal, with cut up pieces of fruit or veggies. I like to buy them raw so that none of the nutrients are destroyed during the roasting process. Important note: so many kids have nut allergies these days that we eat our nuts at home or in the car. We avoid taking them into public places.

7. Mung Beans

I buy dried mung beans in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods and other health food stores. Mung beans are super easy to sprout. Read this post on how to sprout mung beans (all you need is a glass jar, water, and a paper towel!). Then read this post for ideas on how to serve them (so many ways–plain, in salads, in dishes, etc.). Note: don’t buy sprouted mung beans; buy dried, like in the photo above, and sprout them yourself for maximum nutritional punch.

8. Lentils

Lentils are are a low-fat, low-cholesterol, nutrient-rich substitute for meat. Unlike dried beans, they do not need to be pre-soaked, are less gas-producing, and can be cooked in under 25 minutes. We use lentils to make soups, add them to quinoa, and prepare them sauteed alone or with veggies. You can read my post, “Ode to Lentils,” to get recipes and the full list of why lentils are so awesome.

9. Veggie Broth

Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth, Low Sodium-32 Oz

I always have a few boxes of organic, low-sodium veggie broth on had to make quick and easy veggie soups. Also, quinoa and rice tastes better when it’s boiled in broth. I like the Trader Joe’s brand and the Pacific brand which is found in most super markets. Organic boxed chicken broth is also available, if you prefer that.

10. (Healthier) Prepared foods

Let’s face it: as easy and quick as it is to prepare the above foods, sometimes we just need something that’s ready to go. The key is to choose prepared meals that have ingredients you can pronounce and recognize, no additives/preservatives, and minimal sugar. Most packages foods are high in sodium–but if you generally eat a healthy diet and have no reason to pursue a low-sodium diet, then occasional splurges like these should be find.

  • Organic soups: Pacific brand has many flavors and is found in big box stores and most markets. My kids and I enjoy the creamy tomato flavor.

Pacific Foods Light Sodium Creamy Tomato Soup, Organic, 32 Fl Oz

  • Indian prepared meals: Found at super markets, big box stores and Trader Joe’s, prepared Indian meals like Madras’ brand and Trader Joe’s brand may be in high in sodium, but typically contain more or less healthy and pronounceable ingredients.

I hope you enjoy these suggestions and look forward to hearing about your favorite pantry items! Please share!

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An Easy Money-Saving Tip for Buying Produce

Piggy bank with red heart pillow

Has this happened to you before? You buy packaged produce, say a box of mixed greens or a bag of asparagus. A day or two later, you open the package and the greens/asparagus don’t look  fresh. Maybe they’ve started to smell, and you can see some wilting or yellowing. You end up throwing out the healthy produce you bought. It’s a waste of money and you’ve missed out on some awesome nutrients.This happened to me until I got smart about selecting produce.

So here’s my strategy to buying the freshest, longest-lasting greens: check and compare their expiration dates. Supermarkets often sell two or more shipments worth of produce at a given time, which means that some packages will be fresher than others (I’ve figured this out after years of comparing). The key is to dig through the packages until you find the freshest one, i.e. the one with the expiration date furthest into the future. You may find a difference of 3-5 days or more, which buys you a lot of time to include them in meals! My general rule of thumb is that I look for an expiration date that is at least 5 days in the future, so I know I have several mealtimes to consume the product before it starts going bad.

So, for example: the other day, I went to buy baby spinach and some boxes had an expiration date of January 1st, while others said January 4th. So, of course, I bought a box that said January 4th. I also made sure to select a January 4th box that had no yellow or wilted leaves.

Spinach leaves.

When I can’t find a package that gives me at least five days before the expiration date, I find an alternative product that will give me more time. Instead of buying the boxed baby kale that expires within a few days, opt for the spinach that expires over a week later. Bottom line: It’s best to buy fresh and have a chance to eat the product, then buying exactly what you want and it going bad quickly.

Note: expiration dates are never precise. The product can start going bad before or after the date printed. But they are a convenient rule of thumb because they do tell you which products are fresher and which are older. Obviously, it’s best to eat whatever you buy as soon as possible, because veggies and fruits start losing nutrients the older they get.

Another really great money-saving tip: If your greens have started wilting before you have a chance to finish them, then cook them! 

Warm Squash Salad

You can saute wilted greens in oil (with salt, pepper, and fresh garlic or whatever spices you love), throw them on top of a soup when it’s almost done cooking, use them as a pizza topping, include them in your omelette, or put them in a sandwich. I’ve sauteed all sorts of greens before: arugula, kale, baby greens, lettuce, etc. They all taste great  and you would never thing they had wilted!

Wishing all of my readers a healthy, peaceful, and fulfilling  new year!

And thank you for all of your support!




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How *Not* to be Fooled By Nutrition Labels

Nutrition Labels

If you’re used to judging how healthy a food is simply by reading its nutrition label you may be surprised by what you find. Some highly processed breads and cereals, for example, appear to be healthy for you because they have lots of vitamins and minerals. As an example, let’s compare the nutrition label of Lucky Charms–a highly processed and synthetically enhanced cereal–to the label of a much less processed breakfast food, such as Bob’s Steel Cut Oats. Look at the images below–which looks more impressive?

Lots of vitamins and minerals in these Lucky Charms!

Bob’s Red Mill Steal Cut Oats…no vitamins, some minerals, but minimally processed. Steel cut oats still have their hull (outermost layer intact) and are not steamed and rolled.

Naturally,you may say to yourself, “the Lucky Charms are healthier and taste better, so it’s a no brainer—I’m buying them!” Right?

Not really. Highly processed foods aren’t always as impressive as the label may suggest–especially when compared to whole foods. “Processing destroys nutrients, and the more processing there is, the more destruction you get,” says Marion Nestle, author and professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. Lucky Charms and its counterpart cereals (Fruit Pebbles, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch…you know, all the ones your kids love) are fortified, which means that micro-nutrients are synthetically added. “Fortification adds back some nutrients, so overall you’re better off with a processed fortified food than a processed unfortified one. But a whole food is always going to be superior.” (I highly recommend you read this Wall Street Journal Article on fortified foods.)

Naturally occurring nutrients are always better for us than the synthetic version. They are better absorbed by our bodies, they include a whole variety of micronutrients that are not reflected on the nutrition label, and they will tend to have more protein and fiber. Just as food companies have never been able to re-create breast milk with sythentic formulas, so, too, can we not create fake foods that are as beneficial as the real thing.

So, next time you are comparing products side-by-side, take a look at the whole picture. If you don’t want to be fooled by the packaging, be sure to read the ingredients label along with the nutrition facts label, and consider the following:

  1. Does the ingredients list include colors, letters, and numbers? These are a sign that the product contains artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, monosodium glutamate, and other synthentic substances, that are designed by food companies to make us enjoy and crave their foods, but have questionable effects on our health, and certainly tend us toward obesity. If you want a more complete list, take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives“–the list includes ingredients that have been associated with serious health concerns. Print it out for your next shopping trip.
  2. What is the fiber and protein content? Whole grains will always have more fiber and protein than processed versions. In addition to being essential for body function, these nutrients are heart, gut, and brain-friendly, are filling, and stabilize our blood sugar–which means, less mood swings and less cravings. Ideally, you want products that contain at least 3g of fiber and protein (each), per serving.
  3. Do the words “fortified” or “enriched” appear in the ingredients list? Then you know the food is so processed, that the food company is trying to sell you a nutritionally empty food by adding in synthetic nutrients.
  4. Do you see the word “whole” next to the grains listed in the ingredients list? Whole grains are better than refined ones because they provide lasting energy and stabilize blood sugar. Ideally, you want to see “whole [name of grain]” or “brown rice” when you read the label. If the label says “wheat” or “multigrain,” some parts of the grain may be missing. “100% whole [grain]” is the best. Check out this handy chart for determining whether the grains in the product are really whole or processed.
  5. Are there hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the ingredients? HFSC is an unhealthy sugar that causes weight gain and has little nutritional value. Check the ingredients label for high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar and sucrose, and try to limit the serving amount of sugars to 6g per serving on the nutrition label. Hydrogenated oils are trans fats that clog our arteries and can raise our risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. Check the ingredients list for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.”

Going back to our Lucky Charms vs. Steel Cut Oats comparison, we can used this checklist to draw the following conclusions for why the Oats are a better choice: They have more than twice the amount of fiber and over three times the amount of protein per serving. They are made of whole, unprocessed grains. Lucky Charms may have some whole grains in them, but they are full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, and probably all of the micronutrients are synthetically added. Bob’s has 10% Daily Value of  iron and 2% of calcium, naturally. These numbers may seem low, but in the whole, original form, nutrients are better absorbed and produce a better effect in our bodies than do the fake ones.

This may seem like a long check list, but after some time it will become second nature. You will find that ten seconds is enough to scan both the nutrition and ingredients labels to make a good choice for you and your family.

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How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (Part 2)

saving money as a family piggy banks

This is part two in a series on saving money while eating healthy. You can check out Part 1 and the first two tips here.

Money-Saving Tip #3: Avoid Health Food Stores…Shop Discount Stores and your Supermarket

Whole Foods and other health food stores typically offer the highest prices. So, unless there is a good sale, I only go to these stores for special items I can’t find anywhere else. Instead, I take advantage of the increasing number of affordable healthy and organic options that are now available in discount and big box stores.

For instance, when I shop at Target, I get a bunch of organic grocery items that are cheaper than almost anywhere else: pasta sauce (they have many great varieties), pasta (gluten-free and regular), apple sauce snacks for kids, organic spices, fruit leather snacks, Navitas Naturals Hemp Seeds, and frozen wild salmon. Target also offers a limited selection of organic fruits and veggies. If you prefer to buy in bulk, Costco, Sam’s Club, and other big-box stores have great values, too. These stores sell organic mixed greens, spinach, baby carrots, quinoa, eggs, hummus, frozen organic fruit and veggies, and more, all at great prices. Trader Joe’s, if you’re lucky to have one nearby, has some of the best prices around for produce (organic and conventional). I also shop my local supermarket’s organic produce section, and save money by choosing grocery items made by the store brand’s “natural” line.

Amazon offers low prices on some pantry items, but you usually have to buy in large quantities. “Add-on” items can offer a deal on buying one, but I still tend to get the best value by visiting brick and mortar stores.

Money-Saving Tip #4: Shop In-Season

We are used to being able to eat whatever we want, when we want it, but you’ll always save money buying produce when it’s in season—not only are the base prices lower, but these foods often go on sale during their peak growing months. For instance, at my local supermarket and even at Whole Foods, organic berries of all kinds are on sale throughout the summer, so I save $1-2 for each box I buy. Not surprisingly, we eat lots of berries during warm months! In the fall and winter, you can get deals on organic apples, oranges, and bunches of clementines.

Money-Saving Tip #5: Stock Up During Sales

When there are sales at Whole Foods and elsewhere, I buy as much as I can.  (By the way, you can check out Whole Foods’ circular here). If it’s fresh produce, then it’s on the menu for the week. Otherwise, I stock up on sale items and store it in my pantry or freeze for later. Here are some tips on how best to freeze your low-priced goodies:

  • Organic Fruit: cut up and freeze in chunks; use for smoothies, baking, and baby food!
  • Organic Veggies: Frozen veggies are great for baking and roasting. Broccoli, zucchini, peas, and green beans are some examples of veggies that can be frozen and used in tasty stir fries.
  • Organic Herbs: freeze minced herbs in ice-cube trays in olive oil, then pop cubes into the pan when you are ready to cook.
  • Free-range meat and wild fish: divide into family-friendly portion sizes, then freeze portions in air-tight Ziploc freezer bags

2013-07-28 21.01.39

My frozen stock of wild Alaskan salmon. Normally about $18.99/lb, I got these on sale at Whole Foods for $12.99/lb! I divided the fish into dinner-size portions, and voila! Ready to go any time.

Stay tuned for part 3, with more money-saving tips!

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Eating Healthy on a Budget: Easy Ways to Save (Part 1)

Piggy bank on green grass with flowers background

A lot of people tell me they want to eat healthier, but it’s too expensive. I relate. A diet based on whole, natural, and organic foods is pricier than the alternative. Even a recent Harvard study has shown that a healthy diet is more costly than an unhealthy one, though not by that much.

So, how do we buy the most nutritious food without breaking the bank?

Here is the bottom line to eating healthy on a budget: shopping for nutritious food is all about making the right trade-offs. Sometimes it makes sense to splurge, and sometimes it doesn’t. Once you’re aware of the trade-offs, you are empowered to make decisions that are good for your budget and your health.  In this post, we will explore two ways to save money.

Money-Saving Tip #1: You Don’t Always Have to Buy Organic

Organic produce and products made from them are better for your health than conventionally grown crops. A recent review of 343 studies found that, on average, organic crops and organic-crop-based foods contained higher concentrations of antioxidants, less cadmium (a toxic chemical found in cigarette smoke), and, unsurprisingly, less pesticide residues than conventionally-grown foods. If money weren’t an issue, I’d suggest buying everything organic.

In real life, that can get pretty pricey. Luckily, there is a wonderful tool that can help you prioritize your organic purchases and determine when it’s ok to save with the cheaper, conventional options. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list tells you which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic, while the Clean Fifteen list tells you which produce is least contaminated, so you can buy the conventional version and save money.  These lists are based on scientific analyses of pesticide content in foods and are updated every year or so. To keep track in the grocery store, download the EWG’s free app, “Dirty Dozen,” for your iPhone or Android smartphone.

The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists for 2014

Money-Saving Tip #2: Buy Frozen

Frozen fruits and veggies are often cheaper than buying fresh, and, luckily, they may have as much or more nutritional content as the fresh version found in supermarkets. This is because produce chosen for freezing are usually processed at their peak ripeness, a time when they are most nutrient-packed. By contrast, produce destined to be sold fresh are picked before they are fully ripe, which gives them less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. (EatingWell has a really great overview of the pros and cons of frozen vs. fresh).

I still try to buy fresh when I can, particularly, local and in-season produce, as these are hands-down the most nutritious options (more on that in my next post). But, frozen can be a great way to cheaply add healthy fruits and veggies to your family’s diet, particularly organic berries and other fruits (which can get pretty pricey), as well as organic broccoli, green beans, and peas. Frozen veggies are amazing in stir-fries and baked dishes, while frozen fruits are perfect for breakfast smoothies the whole family can enjoy.

Frozen wild fish is also cheaper than buying fresh. I buy wild instead of farmed fish because the latter tend to have higher levels of certain toxic chemicals and are sometimes fed antibiotics. In addition, wild fish contain more protein and omega-3 fatty acids. But wild fish can be very expensive. Wild salmon, for instance, can sometimes cost $19/lb. So, unless there’s a good sale on fresh wild fish, I buy it frozen. It’s not only cheaper, but easy to find lots of varieties of frozen fish, including in your local supermarket, Target, Walmart or Costco. By buying frozen, I save 50% or more of what I would spending buying fresh.

Simply Balanced Alaskan Keta Salmon Skinless Fillets 24 oz

Target’s Frozen Wild Salmon Fillets

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will discuss more money-saving tips. How do you save money when buying healthy foods? I’d love to hear your strategies.

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Toxin-free Lunch & Snack Containers for Kids and Adults


Many of use are sprucing up our kids’ gear for the school season. If you’re looking for lunch containers for school, snacks, and/or work, I’ve found some great sets! And, the bonus is that they are toxin-free and super convenient!

My favorite food containers are made of food-grade stainless steel (as opposed to plastic or glass), and here is why:

1. They don’t contain PVC, BPA, melamine, phthalates, lead, or other hazardous chemicals commonly found in plastics.

2. They are super light (unlike glass containers).

3. They don’t stain, unlike reusable sandwich bags. (They also protect your food from getting squashed, which baggies don’t do.)

4. They are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.

5. They are reusable and will last a long time. Good for the wallet, great for the environment!

6. They are durable and won’t warp or break.

There are MANY options out there, but here are two sets I am enjoying now. I like sets that come with variously sized containers because they are so versatile: I’ll always have the right size for whatever I am packing that day.

Great for little kids:

MIRA Brands 3-Container Leak Proof Stainless Steel Lunch box

I love this nesting set, consisting of three small containers perfect for little kids’ lunches. All three can fit into a kids’ lunch bag. For example, I’ll use the largest one for cut up veggies, the smallest one for chumus or guacomole, and the middle one for fruit. The covers seal pretty well–I wouldn’t put liquid in them, but yogurt and dips are well-contained and won’t leak through.


Great for bigger kids and adults:

U Konserve Eggplant Square Leak-Proof Nesting Trio, Set of 3

This is another nesting set. The smallest container fits a sandwich perfectly, so I use it for both little-kid and adult lunches. The medium and large are great for salads and any leftovers.

Other fun and useful options:

Bento box, anyone?

LunchBots Trio Stainless Steel Food Container

Wanna stack?

Deco Stacking Lunch Box

And, perfect for soups…

Thermos FOOGO Stainless Steel Food Jar

Photo credit for header: http://www.kidsfoodalert.com