Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cherry Baby - Go Green Lunch Box

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I was intrigued when I discovered the Go Green Lunchbox - the different compartments excited me, but I had heard that it was kind of big, and there were other pros and cons, same as any other lunch box. But I was eager to give it a go!

Go Green makes sectioned lunchboxes and insulated lunch bags - and while the box is only available in one color (boooo!) the bags come in a gorgeous array!
The Go Green Lunchbox has an innovative design, with the silicone seals for each compartment to make it leak-proof, silicone-coated side tabs to close the box and help protect the tabs in a fall, and a little twisty lock in the lid to make sure the lid (and therefore your lunch contents) stay secure.
Water, Cherry Pomegranate drink powder, pomegranate arils, cherry gummies, carrots, ham sandwiches, cheese
  • Lots of compartments
  • Individual seals on each compartment so everything is leak-proof!
  • The lid is separate. I hate a lid sticking up in the air and tipping the whole lunch over if someone bumps the box (or the table!) Or the lid causing the lunch to flip over while on a lap in the car.
  • Easy to clean. The bottom is dishwasher safe, and if you take the silicone seals off, the lid is too!
  • Snap-sides and locking clip help keep lid sealed and secure in transit or if dropped!
  • Room for the water bottle right in the box, so it's less likely to get left behind somewhere.
  • The bag has a white board in a little frame. You can draw a little picture or write special messages and reminders ("Remember to use the potty after lunch!" would be my message every day! Sheesh! But it's a good way to remind them about special after-school plans, or if they needed to be sure and bring something home that day.) Or you could tuck a Lunchbox Love note or photo in there.
  • Every part is available to be purchased separately, to replace lost or busted parts, or just to have extras.
  • One of the side snaps on my lid won't stay snapped. It keeps opening on its own. But the lid lock and the other three snaps keep my lid on. I need to experiment with locking first versus after snapping down the sides, and whether the order of closing the side snaps matters. But that's way too complex for my kid to do at this point.
  • It's hugemongous. The compartment and overall box sizes are okay, but difficult for my little shawty to  fit into her preschooler-sized backpack. 
  • Only comes in one color. Green.
  • Despite the size, a whole un-cut sandwich won't fit. You'd need to cut it into smaller portions and stack them. So many of my sandwich cutter shapes would be too big as well. (Maybe if you bent or  angled it, as shown in the company's photo, but that could spell disaster for many sandwich filling options!) 
  • The dangly lid clippies. I can't imagine you should leave them on in the dishwasher, so might as well leave them off if you don't think they're awesome.
  • The lunch bags aren't machine washable (the inner plastic lining and insulation rarely hold up well through a laundry cycle!) I'm not as worried about the interior, since it wipes clean fairly easily, and I can stick a vinegar-soaked rag in there overnight if it starts to stink. But for some reason we are stain magnets here. A new lunch bag lasts about 3.2 seconds before it gets a stain on it. Usually before we've even used it the first time! It's like a sticky fairy lives above the front door and waves her magic wand as things enter my home.  
  • The side clasps are too hard for my preschooler to open without help. She did manage to turn the lock herself though.
  • Lid is not dishwasher-safe unless you remove the silicone seals, which means they'll get lost. At least they would in MY house!
  • The bags carry the lunches vertically, so any fancy bento cuteness either needs to be secured really well, or just accept it will all get jumbled up.
  • And this is just MY issue, but the box is too big to fit on my 12x12 scrapbook paper, so the sides either get cut off, or you see my crusty old cooler on my crusty old back porch (where the best light is in the morning.) Notice you're NOT seeing my crusty porch in any of these photos...
Cherry Baby Bento
To make this lunch, I filled one of the compartments with pomegranate arils (because cherries are out of season!) and added a cherry cupcake pick on top.

I had found some naturally-colored (and flavored) cherry-shaped gummies at a store. The cherry mini cup was the perfect container to make a small serving of treats look like more.

In the square muffin cup I used a cherry blossom veggie cutter on some carrot coins to make cherry blossoms, and tried to use red dot picks to look like cherries, but they just looked kind of lame. Oh well. There is a mini spoon tucked in that compartment to use for the pomegranate seeds.

For the cherry sandwiches, I used a mini circle cutter from a space cutter set to cut out two ham and two bread circles for each sandwich. I used mustard to "glue" everything together, and put one ham circle in between the breads, and one on top, to make the cherries look more cherry-like. I used the same cutter on some thick slices of mozzarella cheese, and used leaf picks to pair everything up to look like cherry bunches.

During lunch,* I noticed Little Z had eaten all the sandwiches, but hadn't touched the cheese circles yet. So I asked her if she liked them (I meant did she think they were fun or cute.) "I didn't even try one yet, because I was enjoying the sandwiches sooo much!" All is forgiven!
[*She takes her lunch for snack to her AM preschool, so she doesn't fill up on Goldfish and Cheerios instead, and then we have an hour at home to finish her lunch before her afternoon preschool starts.]
For a size reference, an EasyLunchbox fits two square cups across in the large compartment and one in the smaller compartment. And two square cups fit vertically as well,. So together, all the sections except the one to hold the water bottle are roughly the size of an EasyLunchbox, but a little longer top to bottom. Plus deeper/taller.
I packed a cloth napkin and drink powder packet in the top right compartment - the one with all the stuff I was worried about tumbling around.
Okay, I lied. Here's a little slice of crusty old back porch cooler. *shudder*
A Laptop Love note was perfect in the little white board frame in the carrying bag! But my ice pack didn't fit in the netting pocket, so I put it in the bag underneath the box.

You can read a more in-depth review from BentOnBetterLunches. She and I had pretty much the same issues and concerns with the lid being attached with those little clips. But she took way more photos of all the features!

Disclaimer: I received a free Go Green box and bag to review.

Tools of the Trade
Biting the Hand        

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