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Toxic lunch containers: here's exactly what you need to avoid

Adriana Velez is Food Editor for SheKnows. She spent her formative years in Brooklyn, which pretty much explains everything about her. She now lives somewhere else and has discovered life after kale and kombucha. She's written for Civil ...

Never pack your kids' lunches with these dangerous items

By now you've probably heard all about the dangers of bisphenol A, that plastic that's been linked to cancer and hormone disruption, among other things. But there's also growing concern over BPA's cousin, BPS, believed to be another hormone disruptor.

And while you can find food containers with "BPA-free" labels, it's harder to find any marked "BPS-free" as well.

More: Here's your summer reminder to keep your bottled water out of the sun

If you want to avoid the BP family, it's probably time to toss all those takeout and yogurt containers you've been reusing to pack food. And definitely don't reuse plastic water bottles. Toxic plastics aren't just hiding in thermoses and food containers, though. They can also be found in:

  • Straws
  • Plastic spoons, forks and sporks
  • Plastic baggies (I know!)

While we're naming toxic lunch invaders, it's probably a good time to remind you all that tinfoil can leach aluminum into your food. What about those stainless steel water bottles? Check with the manufacturer, but those should not be made with aluminum. They could be lined with a BPA or BPS plastic, though.

More: Here's your yearly reminder to keep aluminum foil off the grill

So what are your alternatives?

Clearly not Mason jars! We know how kids are with their lunchboxes. No one wants to chew broken glass for lunch.

Waxed paper sandwich bags can be more durable than you'd think, so don't count them out. Someday someone is going to figure out how to make them with ziplock closures. If this has happened already, could someone please tell me?

Certain brands make a point to produce the safest possible food containers for kids. For one impressive list, check out the Safer Lunch Gear Cheat Sheet at SafeMama.com.

And it goes without saying, you deserve safe lunch gear too! If you're not brown-bagging it in an actual brown bag, look out for yourself, and make sure your gear is safe too.

More: The truth about strawberries, apples and grapes we should stop ignoring

Never pack your kids' lunches with these dangerous items
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows


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