….so that it does not squash in your child’s lunch bag? That is the question I ask myself every year as school kicks off at the peak of the domestic peach season.
I love peaches, my kids love peaches (sadly for them, they only get them at this time of year as I fret about peaches’ constant appearance on the dirty dozen list of the most pesticide-drenched fruits). But nobody loves a brown mush at the bottom of the lunch bag.
Help is at hand! I was sent some Kinderville bigger bites storage jars, by my friends at Rockpretty Baby. I had never heard of or seen these `jars’ before, but it turns out they are ideal for peaches (and a number of other things too).
They are made from silicone. This seems to be the material of choice for flexible food grade products these days. It is more or less natural (being a product of the abundant silicon in sand and rock) although I’m not so sure the same can be said of the lovely primary colour dyes. It is also chemically inert, tolerant of a wide range of temperatures (so can be boiled to sterilise) and is apparently resistant to bacteria. Health Canada reassures me of its safety and other sites seem to concur.
The silicone is soft enough to cushion your peach and the neat thing about it is that because it is flexible, when you push the lid down, it creates a vacuum seal and your jar becomes almost watertight. Yet little hands can remove the lid with ease (and have fun at the same time, sealing and popping the top off).
Now, when I say `almost water-tight’ I sound a note of caution. I sent a slightly oily salad to school in my jar the other day and found everything scattered around the lunch bag on return. I think things had been fine until the kids tried to replace the lid. Maybe the oil interfered with the seal. Or maybe it was recess that did.
Anyway, for really messy stuff in lunchbags, I would still opt for the clamp sealed stainless containers that I wrote about before. But I do love these bigger bites containers for awkward shaped items; they are appreciably taller than most stainless jars. And, for those of you who might be toting your own (or a baby’s) snack, food can be microwaved directly in the container and the jar itself won’t get hot. I just wouldn’t carry, store or heat anything too smelly in them as all plastic-type materials tends to hold smells after a while.
Kinderville is a US company that specializes in squishy silicone products, mostly targeted at the baby end of the spectrum (e.g. silicone plates, freezer cubes for baby food).
The items themselves are made in China and Korea (apparently responsibly, exceeding all safety standards).
Bigger bites jars are not cheap @ $17.99 for two, or $22 – or more – in Canada (sigh). This is about the same price as stainless. The company also makes smaller jars – little bites - which are half the price (4 instead of 2 for the same price) and they are currently 30% off on the US site (though shipping to Canada is ruinous). I would be interested to know if these minis would pack a peach too (can anyone tell me?).