Two weeks ago, I set a challenge.
Oldest, Youngest and I decided to bag up all the plastic that was in our kitchen, store it in the cupboard, and see how we got on without it! (NB if you haven’t read my post on why we don’t think plastic is all that great, here’s the link)
The idea of the challenge was not to push us over the edge or add extra help-what-are-we-going-to-use-now stress, it was simply to conduct an experiment. Life with a 3.5 and 1.5 year old is full of plastic things and it was hard at first to see past that.
I’ll say straight away that some things were harder to give up than others.
We could not ditch lunch boxes yet because we do need a like-for-like replacement for nursery and work.
If you’ve not read about the wonders of stainless steel, I wrote some thoughts on alternatives to plastic here.
We have now purchased one stainless steel lunchbox from Green Tulip Ethical Living on Not On The Highstreet. I have completely fallen in love with it! Unfortunately it totalled to just over £20, but for a lifetime purchase, I would definitely consider it worth it.
The box is a very simple design with one compartment on top of another with a small container to fit inside and clips at the outside to keep it all together. It is the perfect size for sandwiches/ fruit which is what we would usually take in it. As I said, I have fallen in love with this so will definitely be purchasing some more, but maybe not this month!
Sippy cups may be a challenge. We have kept one plastic sippy cup out for visitors of a certain age, but Youngest (1.5 years old) gets by quite happily with his Klean Kanteen bottle (sippy lid) and open ceramic children’s cups (closely monitored by an adult and only at the table, but it works for us!). I am still researching options for a replacement, all I can currently find is baby bottles (for milk). I will update this when I have researched!
Storage for the freezer is something I am still pondering. I don’t often freeze in bulk, but I can see it being useful on occasion. For example, our church does something called stork aid, which is giving meals to families who have recently had a baby. This is something that I usually do in advance, freeze and defrost then I can make the meal whenever is convenient to me rather than on the day.
Unfortunately, one of my glass cooking dishes with a lid recently broke (totally my fault). I am therefore on the lookout for second hand or cheapish new glass, stainless steel or ceramic containers with lids. Not a massive rush, but this might be useful.
I have purchased a few stainless steel cooking utensils from our local TK Maxx. Oh, I may have also bought a gorgeous ceramic mixing bowl and some stainless steel small wine glasses (to satisfy my inner dream to live in a castle!).
The aforementioned purchases would only be necessary if you didn’t already own them in your kitchen, and again, we probably could have done without. I hadn’t gone shopping for ages and I probably was over-excited about being somewhere with (for once) extremely well behaved children, so thought it would be rude not to grab the chance to impulse buy!!
Pretty much everything else on the list above!
The Smalls happily use stainless steel forks and spoons (teaspoons and child size forks), ceramic side plates and bowls (those with high sides are best for Youngest).
No incidents, minimal spillages, no attempts to break anything. I just make sure that everything is eaten and drunk at the table which is great family time anyway. Young children are so different, this might not work for you, but it’s been a surprise success for us.
Storage tubs have been an interesting challenge. I have really enjoyed reusing glass jars for leftovers, this has worked very well for us. I purchased a couple of bigger glass jars with lids but haven’t really utilised them yet. I think I am also learning to have less leftovers ie plan properly for quantities.
Watch this space for my next challenge… onwards and upwards!