Monday, October 5, 2009

Goodbyn: Our Saturday snack solution (a review)

Saturdays on the go are inevitably punctuated by the panic of it being 11:45 and the kids haven't yet been fed. Seeing that they're happily on an 11:15 a.m. lunch schedule at daycare, an early lunch and nap attempts are just part of the routine. But there are weekend days we just need an exception to the rule.

When errands are planned en masse, it typically means racing around the kitchen to grab a few granola bars and sippy cups to hopefully tide them over. I know it doesn't always work, but I can tell you it's tough to pack fresh fruits, accepted vegetables, crackers that won't crumble or other foods into a snack bag.

And then I was approached to review the Goodbyn, a lunchbox made of recycled plastics that's pre-divided into containers for your meal. While the makers promise significant savings from avoiding the heaps of Ziploc bags over the school year, I know that packing lunches are at least a few years away for me. But I'll tell you, it does work for my family's needs.

The Goodbyn is a little challenging to use at first - there's multiple pressure points to snap the lid shut, as opposed to having it hinged - and takes a bit of finessing to get it right. And the amount of food included is huge. I have a hard time seeing that a young elementary-school student, which it's obviously aimed for, could (or should) eat as much as it holds.

To give you a sense on the size, you can hold:
  • the 8-oz. bottle that comes with it (or several cheese sticks, for the parents of preschoolers)
  • two pints of blueberries from the farmers market or a trial or single-serving size box of cereal
  • three or four granola bars
  • several handfuls of dried fruit, crackers, etc., in the small spaces
  • and still have room for more.

We've happily fed three kids out of the box during an outing this weekend and have made a meal for two as a "picnic" in the park.

Of course, the budding artist would love to customize it in the 200 or so stickers included in the set (and hidden from interested fingers at this point).

The cost seems a bit high on the surface - about $30 retail - but if you offset it by the cost of toss-away containers and baggies accumulated over the course of a year, you'd easily come out ahead. Not to mention have a few less dishes to wash, and you can recycle the whole thing once your kid is too "cool" for it next fall.

Disclaimer: In the name of full disclosure, yes, I received a free sample from the makers of Goodbyn to test. But you probably realized that anyway.

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