Tea in Lunch Boxes – a Bottle of Love and a Healthy Drink for Kids
Here in Missoula, Montana, we’re lucky to live in an area that prioritizes tasty, nutritious, affordable ‘hot’ school lunches. That being said, I have always felt that packed lunches are a true expression of love.
Like a lot of opinions, this one is probably a product of my childhood. Growing up, my mom always packed our lunches and would often include a note (‘Good luck on your fractions test, you are a math STAR!’). We had a lot of sandwiches on homemade bread, soups in thermoses, and occasionally one of my Dad’s famous Finnish pasties but never, and I mean NEVER, juice boxes. Even in the 80’s my Mom knew intuitively that fruit was best consumed in whole-fruit-form. Juice wasn’t much better than sugar-water – a concept now echoed by countless studies and bevy of posters on our pediatrician’s walls.
Time passed, I grew up and had children of my own. When I packed lunches for them, I soon realized that while sandwiches, soups, and Finnish pasties were all winning options, water was probably not going to cut it for us. Time and time again my daughter would return from school with a full water bottle. Completely full! I started worrying that she wasn’t getting enough to drink and nobody is at their best when they’re dehydrated. Hmm… I needed something too tempting to resist. Something she would actually look forward to drinking. What about tea? Yes! She loved it! And I loved the fact that I was giving her something that was both hydrating and healthy.
So far her favorites include Turmeric Twirl, Rooibos Rose and Honey Bear (which, it turns out, is a firm favorite tea among many of the kiddos we know). Surprise, surprise – she prefers her tea with a spoonful of local honey (which, conveniently, is said to boost immunity and help with allergies). She happily drinks it plain as well. She drinks it warm or cold out of a thermos we found at the Goodwill.
I took my mom’s love-packed lunch template and tweaked it slightly. I upgraded the plain water to tea, a drink that manages to appeal to us both. And of course, I always include the note because sometimes there’s room for improvement but we all know there can be no improving on perfection.
Written by Geneva Ristau. Geneva is a guest writer for Lake Missoula Tea Company, professional food photographer, and co-founder of One Acre Films.
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