Smart School Lunches

Photo: Courtsy of Revolution Foods
Product Review: Revolution Foods lunchbox snacks

When it comes to our kids’ lunches and being green, we know three things for sure:

  1. Litterless is best.
  2. A balanced meal is key to kids’ health.
  3. Using produce that is organic and/or locally grown is a great way to reduce our footprint.

But there are days when we all need a little help — and a convenient, quick back-up plan! You know that day: the kids (or you!) have overslept, a favourite t-shirt is still in the dryer, the cap or bracelet du jour has gone missing. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes we need a little help when it comes to packing a healthy, and green, lunch. So we tested Revolution Foods’ lunchbox snack products.

Company:Revolution Foods

Item(s) tested:

  1. Organic Grammy Sammy: 100% whole grain graham snack-size sandwich filled with yogurt (we tried Honey Graham & Strawberry Yogurt and the Cocoa Graham & Banana Yogurt). Pack of 5 $3.99.
  2. Organic Jammy Sammy: 100% whole grain, snack-size sandwich filled with fruit spread (we tried Blueberries & Oatmeal). Pack of 5 $3.99.
  3. Organic Mashups: Simply, mashed up fruit in a squeezable pouch (we tried Grape). Pack of 4 $4.99.

Where can the item be purchased? In Canada through ecomom.com, and in the U.S. at Whole Foods, Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Wegmans, H.E.B. Henry’s farmers market or online at drugstore, Amazon, Diapers, Babies R Us and Toy R Us.

The claim of the product:Easy-to-pack snacks that offer kids a fun way to get the nutritious foods they need.”

What was great about the product:

  1. All the products we tested were USDA Organic approved.
  2. 3% of the net revenues from the purchase of the products goes to Revolution Foods school lunch program, which helps provides nutritional food for kids in underserved schools.
  3. Ingredients. We recognized all of them (in a good way). No complicated jargon here! Click here for the Grammy Sammy ingredient list. Click here for the Jammy Sammy ingredient list. Click here for the Mashups ingredient list.
  4. Packaging. Yes, the company’s Mashups packaging is causing a big stir in the food industry. But as an alternative to glass jars, the packaging creates 90% less waste and creates 14 times less landfill. Though not fully recyclable (the cap is made from recycled material and can be recycled, the rest cannot), this innovative packaging is a huge step in reducing its waste from the food industry.
  5. Along with waste reduction, the new Mashups packaging is allowing for more product to be shipped at once as it is light and compact, reducing energy and CO2 from shipping.
  6. The kids who taste-tested the products (a class of three-year-olds), loved them. The Mashups were a huge hit with the teachers, too, who noted less clean up was needed than if the kids had fed themselves from a bowl containing fruit of a similar consistency.
  7. National School Lunch Program Compliant.
  8. Great price.

What was NOT so great about the product:

  1. Watch out if your kids have allergies! All these products are processed in a plant that also processes gluten, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, soy and eggs.
  2. The majority of the packaging is not recyclable. Nor is it made from recyclable materials. However, in the future the company would like to make packaging that is recyclable and made from recycled materials and is testing packaging to ensure freshness and shelf life can be maintained.

Grade from Green Living: B- (We recognize that the mission of Revolution Foods is to serve up healthy food that is easy to pack for kids, and taking care of the environment is something it is doing as best it can but is not the company’s main focus — food safety is. So although it still has a long way to go to create more eco-friendly packaging (and Revolution Foods’ products will always contain packaging versus being completely litterless), we do nod to the innovative efforts they are making to reduce their waste as much as possible.

In a pinch, with an organic certification and our kids’ health foremost in mind, we would use the Revolution Foods lunchbox simplicity snack products.