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The Globe and Mail

Cool gear to brighten up the lunch box (bye-bye brown bag)

Now that litterless lunches are de rigueur, Canadian parents are devoting more of their September budgets – an average of $362, according to a recent Bank of Montreal survey – on eco-friendly lunch gear. Good things cute and conscientious aren’t mutually exclusive

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After lunch, this three-compartment silicone box from Smart Planet Home collapses to half the size, making it easy to tuck into a backpack. It also comes with a spork nestled inside the lid. $29.95, rolostore.com

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Someone stealing your kid’s lunch? Keep an eye on them with this wonderfully creepy insulated bag, which comes with its own little vision chart. Works great against office food thieves, too. $21.95, rolostore.com

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Canadian home-dec accessories designers Nathalie Butterfield and Terra Kushner have expanded into kid-friendly, organic-cotton lunch bags, and the results are too adorable – especially Fluf’s snack packs, machine-washable substitutes for plastic sandwich bags. Lunch bags $19.50, snack packs $17.50/pair, fluf.ca

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The humble spork has been around for at least a century, but this one embodies the holy trinity of utensils – a fork, spoon and a knife. Swedish brand Light My Fire makes them BPA-free and in a rainbow of colours. $11.50/4 pack, lavishandlime.com

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Instead of the licensed cartoon character du jour, steer your little luncher toward these bags by Built NY. They’re sturdy, wipe clean and pretty darn cute. $24.99, iqliving.ca

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Heidi Klum and Halle Berry have been spotted toting their kids’ lunches in bags by SoYoung, the hip accessories company founded by Toronto mompreneur Catherine Choi. To boot, the silk-screened coated linen cooler bags are PVC, phthalate and lead-free. $29.95, soyoung.ca

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The cardinal rule of packing lunch is that the entrée and the dessert shall never touch – hence Black+Blum’s ingenious stacking pots, which feature a watertight locking seal. $24.99, iqliving.ca

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Give plain old pastrami sandwiches some pizzazz with Lunch Punch cutters, which remove crusts and make fun shapes in one shot. But be warned – your kid might spend more time playing with his food than eating it. $17, lavishandlime.com

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