Thursday, September 2, 2010


I just found a new use for my EasyLunchboxes!
While I'd like to tell you that we go to McDonald's as a rare treat, I'm sure you can tell from the abundance of leftover McD Happy Meal apples featured in past lunches, that we're frequent flyers. Usually I try and go to one with a play area, so Z can at least get in some exercise, but when I'm headed on the 90-minute drive to my sister's house out on the peninsula, I'm usually running late - so we eat in the car.
Previously, I've used re-utilized cottage cheese or cream cheese containers as car bowls. I could toss in the opened Ranch cuppy and a nugget or two and some fries, and off we go! (Occasionally tossing more fries/nuggets at her as we progress. And futilely offering her apples. I always get both.) But the Princess has decided that she now requires TWO dips for her McNuggets: ketchup and 'white dip' (Ranch.) I just couldn't bring myself to have the Ranch cup sliding freely around a pile of loose ketchup, all while banging into the nuggets. I'd like to think she can do this without getting any sauce on her hands. (Ha!)
So on Wednesday, as I was frantically shoveling everything into the car I would need for the next two days, I wondered what I could bring for her to eat out of in the car. The only things in her cupboard that were clean were tiny Ikea bowls and the EasyLunchboxes. Hmmm...

A little background here. My sister (Auntie Kayneen) is going to school to get her Early Childhood Education teaching certificate (or something like that) and takes classes on Saturdays so Unka Rop can watch the kids. But for her internships and observations and such, she needs to be in real classrooms on real school days. But her honey needs to work. So I came over to spell Gramma Nayra (our mom) who watched the girls Monday and Tuesday. But before I could head over there, I had a bunch of stuff to package up and mail for eBay, library books to gather and return, and my prescription to pick up. Plus pack for a sleepover. Oof. Amazingly, I got it all done, and we swung by the McD drive-thru after the Post Office (they're about a block apart.) After spending about 5 minutes staring at the rainbows made by car oil on the wet pavement.

 I offered Little Z the choice to go inside McDonalds and play for a bit, as we weren't needed at my sister's at a specific time. But she wanted to eat in the car. Hum. So I put my EasyLunchbox to work!

Love how it worked out! And while I appreciate the irony of buying fancy lunch containers, only to use them on fast food junk, this was perfect! She could easily hand the entire thing back up to me for refills (she needed more 'kepoch' and fries.) No spills. Nothing got knocked over. No crotch-full-o-fries (falling under the car seat cover where the buckle comes through.) Aaaaaaaawesoooooommmme! There were some drips of sauce falling off of her food, but it was way better than the time she knocked the entire Ranch cup into her lap. As an added bonus, I tossed it into my sister's dishwasher and we did it again for dinner on the drive home the next day! (We couldn't wait for noodles to be ready, as we had to get back in time for her Little Gym class, since we missed last week due to a fun mudfest. I'll post about that another time!)

A tip for drinks in the car: (or restaurants even - I hate watching her tip her glass to get at the straw!) I take some bendy straws, chop off a little at the bottom (and snip them smaller and save them for beading crafts!) and store a bunch in a travel toothbrush holder and keep it inthe car/diaper bag. Then we have a stash of easy-to-use straws so she's not dumping her 'Chokk-lyet meelk' all down her front. 


  1. Brilliant. The only other thing my containers are used for in my house is my kids' bead collection. I hope others have some great stories like yours to share!

  2. love the idea!

    (ps now I am a follower! freak-out-episode at computer is now over!)

  3. We do McDonald's a lot too (6p pick up time from childcare, starving child, and momma not on the ball enough to bring a sandwich everyday!)

    1. He doesn't know he can have dip in the car. He eats his chicken nuggets and fries out of the bag (occasionally I get a Happy Meal, then out of the box) and only gets dipping stuff if we are eating at home/at a park.

    2. All drinks in the car are in sippy cups/water containers with constrained lids. He gets his chocolate milk, etc again when we stop somewhere.

    #2 here is constrained by him still being in his Marathon convertible seat. As long as he is rear-facing, he can put food and such between his legs and the seat (but not so much an open top cup). I -really- want a Nautilus for this car. But I can not really justify the money as long as he still fits in his Marathon (when I get around to turning it Forward-facing. Have not done that yet)

    Cut up bendy straws are GREAT to have as restaurants, though, as most do not have sufficient setups for small children.

  4. I think I have the Nautilus... that's the 3-in-1 right? It's always justified! I mean, they'll EVENTUALLY need the next 2 stages! We originally got a Britax something-with-cow-print (as a shower gift) but it has no cup holder. Inconceivable! So I conned... I mean used logic to talk my husband into getting a second seat. That way he could keep one LATCHed into his car, since I have a terrible time figuring out the LATCH system and how to unhook it. And I got one with a cup-holder! And it will eventually be the seatbelt kind, so I'll probably move it into his bar then and try and finagle a new one for my car! *sigh* But then it's much easier to transfer around, since it isn't really strapped in. But it's SAFER if it's LATCHed in, so that will be my story.

    Another thing I do: I got the Take N Toss sippy cups and keep a stack in my car/diaper bag. That way, when I'm at McD's, and am faced with a potential chocolate milk disaster, I have a cheap sippy I can pour it into at the restaurant or for the drive home. And if we lose it, eh. (Also good for taking home nummy drinks that just got refilled, like Red Robin's Pomegranate Limeaid. Soooooo goooooood!)
    But my last stash was borrowed by my sister (it was a crazy hot day and she needed a way to keep the boys hydrated the rest of the day, since she had a doctor's appointment to go to, and stopping off at home would take her 45 minutes out of her way from where we were to where her doc's office was.)

  5. Yes. That is the Nautilus (What brought it up to me)

    Note that LATCH has weight limits. Your Z is a peanut so I'm sure she is not there yet. But at 40 or 48 pounds (Depending on the vehicle) the seat will have to be installed using the seatbelt.

    Yes, the old Britax convertibles do not have cup holders. I never missed them when he was rear-facing. But now that I've turned him forward in two of his three car seats -- and one is the Maestro that does have cupholders, I am seeing their advantage. (the new Britaxes DO have a cupholder available as an accessory. I'm trying to decide if I want to purchase that and try it out)

    We've already got car seats for both cars (And one for childcare). So can not use the excuse of needing the seat for the other car. We'll see. Maybe a Christmas gift?


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