Plastic lunch boxes remain a popular choice, but they might not be the healthiest option, especially for children who are more susceptible to toxins with potential long-term health effects. Here are some reasons why you should consider avoiding plastic lunch boxes!
Health Risks of Plastic
Plastic lunch boxes can be toxic because they can release harmful chemicals into the food stored in them.
Some of these chemicals include:
• BPA, BPS, and BPF: These are used to make hard plastic containers and can interfere with the body’s hormones. They have been linked to thyroid problems, liver damage, allergies, asthma, and obesity.
• Phthalates: These are used to make plastic more flexible and can leach into food easily. They have been associated with reproductive issues, reduced fertility, and asthma.
Evidence also suggests that chemicals from plastics can cause behaviour problems, developmental delays, birth defects and cancers.
What's extra concerning is plastic tends to leach more chemicals when exposed to heat, scratches, or wear, amplifying the potential health risks associated with its use. Lunch boxes go through a lot of wear and tear in their life time!
It's important to minimise plastic use for infants and children due to their heightened susceptibility to toxic chemicals. Their higher dosage per unit body surface area, underdeveloped metabolic systems, and evolving endocrine and reproductive systems make them particularly vulnerable. Shockingly, there are over 16,000 chemicals used in plastic production, with more than 3,000 known to have harmful health effects; however, almost 10,000 lack data! It blows my mind we simply do not know the implications of these exposures!
What to Use Instead?
When it comes to materials for lunch boxes you want something that is safe, but also is practical and durable. Food-grade stainless steel, such as 18/8 or 304 stainless steel, is one of the safest options. It is easy to clean and does not leach harmful substances into food. It is also more durable than other materials such as glass, which is simply not practical for kids. The longevity of stainless steel also makes it a lifetime investment, meaning it is also a great sustainable option.
Here are some great lunch box options:
Each of these options not only prioritises your health by avoiding harmful chemicals associated with plastic, but also ticks the boxes of durability and sustainability. Plus way more environmentally friendly!
Making Safer Choices
While plastic lunch boxes continue to be popular, the evidence of potential health risks, especially for children, suggests it's time to reconsider our lunch box choices. Opting for stainless steel over plastic not only eliminates the risk of harmful chemical leaching but also provides a durable and sustainable long-term solution that lasts child after child!