April 2015

Watching your kids grow up can be bittersweet, but I generally like that my own have reached elementary school age. They are thriving in school and are fortunate to attend one that is stimulating, nurturing and, well, pretty educational. There are, however, a couple of things that I don’t love about having my kids in school, and right at the top of that list is making daily school lunches. It can be a struggle to walk that fine line between food that provides maximum nutrition (and minimal chemicals) and food that your kids not only like, but can gobble down quickly.

In the two years I’ve parented a full time student (soon to be two), I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. And while our school does not require me to consistently provide a litterless lunch, I do find that eco-friendly and nutritious generally go hand in hand. I provide my kids with (mostly!) homemade food and so, I’ve got a great arsenal of reusable food containers and water bottles. I have however, continued to provide paper napkins, and felt some eco-guilt as a result. Which is why I just love the idea of Funkins!

Funkins are reusable, generously sized, 100% cotton napkins, each of which sports two fun kid-friendly patterns. They were developed by Lisa Baumgartner, a business-savvy Canadian mom who had been wanting fun reusable napkins for her own family. And they’ve really taken off, gaining international media attention, and even becoming popular with celebrities.

Funkins reusable napkins are eco- and kid-friendly.

Funkins aren’t only for use in lunch boxes. Keep a couple in the car for those inevitable spills and as a great lap-protector during on-the-go snacks. Consider using one to brighten up a plate of cookies you’re giving a friend, or wrap a small gift in one for a child’s birthday. Public picnic tables and plane tray tables can get kind of gross, so why not use a Funkin as a placemat?

If you like to think globally but act locally, you’ll be pleased to hear that the company which produces Funkins is 100% Canadian owned and the napkins themselves are manufactured in Canada using high quality fabrics that are CPSIA Compliant, and are Lead and Phthalate free. There are also 100% organic cotton Funkins available in a number of patterns, and all prices on the website are in Canadian Dollars.

If you need a little incentive to try out Funkins, you’re in luck because, now through Earth Day (April 22nd), all current patterns are priced at 25% off. If cost matters to you (as it does to my own family), be sure to also check out their Clearance section for great deals on discontinued patterns. I noticed some really sweet Christmas Funkins in there, so I plan to stock up now and be all ready to make next December’s school lunches extra special.

If your own kids’ lunches could use a little greening and a splash of colour, head online and check out Funkins!