Going Back To School? Try our Top 6 Fair Trade Lunchbox Picks!
“Back to school” is about more than just getting a new teacher and seeing old friends. It’s also about learning and discovery, about pursuing old interests and cultivating new ones. It’s about giving our children the resources they need to become compassionate and successful members of the global community.
The good news: you can help put your kids on this path simply by packing their lunch. When you fill your child’s lunchbox with delicious food marked with the Fair Trade logo, you’re not only ensuring that they have the energy to get the most out of every lesson, you’re also helping to supply food, backpacks and education to the children of farmers around the world. You are laying the foundation for a bright future – both for your child and for countless children in more than 80 countries.
When you choose a Fair Trade product, like a banana or granola bar, you know that:
- The product was grown according to rigorous social, environmental and economic standards – with respect to people and planet!
- Farmers and workers earned additional money (what we call the Fair Trade Premiums) to invest in projects that address their greatest needs.
The Fair Trade cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast provide just one example of the power of your purchase. In 2013, a group of about 2,000 farmers voted to spend their Premium funds on projects to improve educational opportunities for their children. They built new schools and teacher housing for underserved areas. They also established school lunch programs to spare children in the extended community a long (2+ hour) walk home in the middle of the day. Another big one was helping parents obtain birth certificates for their kids, which many did not have but are required for enrollment in school. As a result of these wise investments, primary education levels increased from about 65 to 80 percent in just one year. This type of investment also works to undermine the root causes of challenges like child labor, a major problem in the cocoa industry, by finding innovative ways to make education a priority.
Your Fair Trade Lunch
With Fair Trade now on every aisle of the supermarket, there are more opportunities than ever before to pack a lunch that packs a social punch! Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
- Honest Tea Organic Raspberry Tea – Who says tea is just for grownups? Honest Tea Organic Raspberry Tea combines organic black tea, fresh raspberry juice and a pinch of sugar for a beverage that adults and children alike will enjoy. The best part? Each sip supports education for kids in tea and sugar farming communities.
- LARABAR Bites – Indulge your child’s sweet tooth the natural way with these new truffle-like bites from LARABAR. Available in four flavors, LARABAR bites transform real ingredients like cocoa and dates into delectable, bite-sized treats that your child is sure to love. Only you’ll know that they’re healthy.
- Wholesome! Organic Honey – Spreadable, mixable and always enjoyable, the lunch possibilities for Fair Trade honey are endless. Add to a peanut butter sandwich, drizzle on berries, or mix with almond butter and serve with sliced apples for a tasty dip that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
- Cherry Tomatoes – Portable, nutritious, and easy-to-eat, Whole Trade cherry tomatoes are the perfect addition to any child’s lunchbox. Include as they are or toss with sliced Fair Trade bell peppers for a vibrant side dish.
- Bananas – The fiber in bananas helps your child stay fuller longer, and the Fair Trade Premiums generated through your purchase help the children of banana farmers receive nutritious meals and education. Pack as is, or cut into slices for a peanut butter, banana and (Fair Trade!) honey sandwich to maximize your positive impact.
- Annie’s Organic Cocoa Bunnies Cereal – Take cereal beyond the breakfast table and into the lunchbox! This yummy oat, corn and rice cereal has cocoa goodness packed into every bite. Your kids will love the taste, and you’ll love that it’s free of artificial flavors, synthetic colors, preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup. A great mid-morning snack!
These lunchbox picks represent some of the many ways your child’s lunch can bring hope to the children of Fair Trade farmers and workers. You might already be envisioning your kiddos’ smiles when they open their lunchboxes to find a spread of delicious, nutritious goodies. Now take a moment to imagine the grin on the face of the cocoa farmer’s child when she receives a free school lunch or scholarship funded by Fair Trade Premiums. Your child’s Fair Trade treats make these dreams a reality. Pack a lunch that packs a punch!