October 28, 2018

It's Apple Time!

One of the best things about autumn in Ontario is... APPLES!   And there are lots of fresh, local apples available at the grocery stores and markets these days.  Apples make a great snack for kids at school.   Here is some apple advice from Jackman's Eco Team.

Whole Apples
First of all, you could send a whole apple.  It's easy... no need to package it.  Problem is, many kids struggle to eat a whole apple.  Sometimes, kids take a few bites and toss the rest in the garbage or compost.  Check with your child to see if they have what it takes to eat the whole thing.  Or look for small sized apples at your favourite grocery store.  

Apple Slices
Now, you can cut the apples into small wedges and throw them in reusable containers for school snacks.  Then your child can eat a few slices instead of the whole apple.   Problem solved... well sort of.  The cut apple slices go brown over time.   Solution... soak your apple slices in salt water. Simply mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of cold water.  Soak for 10 minutes, drain and rinse. Then store them in reusable containers.  It works!   Tip - Granny Smith apples don't brown as much as other varieties).  Another Tip - Sprinkle the apple slices with some cinnamon for some added flavour.

Here's another idea... make some applesauce to send for school snack.   It's super easy to make and kids love it.  No need for store-bought applesauce.  Homemade apple sauce is so easy to make and it tastes great too.  Here's an easy Applesauce Recipe for you to try.  Send the applesauce to school in small, reusable containers.   Oh, and don't forget to pack a reusable spoon.   By the way, I like to make a big pot of applesauce and then freeze some for later use (just like my mom used to do when I was a kid).

Apple Muffins
Did you know apples make tasty muffins?  And of course, an apple muffin recipe is just a Google search away.  What are you waiting for?  It's time to bake!

Apple Chips
If you want to get really creative, why not make some apple chips?   Take the core out of the apple, then cut into thin slices.   Place on a baking tray in a single layer.  Bake in the oven for several hours at 200 degrees.   Yum.

September 18, 2018

Mr. Cressman's Famous Cookie Recipe

Back by popular demand... it's Mr. Cressman's famous chocolate chip cookie recipe.   These cookies are easy to make.   And they're so incredibly tasty.  Mmmmm!   You may never buy packaged cookies again.


1 cup butter, softened 
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
  2. Grab a large bowl and add the butter and sugars.  Stir it up. 
  3. Now, add the eggs and vanilla and stir again.
  4. You’re ready to add the baking soda, salt and flour.  Mix everything together.
  5. Don’t forget the chocolate chips.  Stir one last time. Now the cookie dough is ready.
  6. Place a piece of parchment paper on the baking pan.  Scoop the dough onto the pan. 
  7. Pop the cookies into the oven to bake for 2O minutes.   
  8. Transfer the cookies into a container right away.   Layer them with parchment paper.  Put a lid on the container to keep the cookies moist and chewy.
There you go.  You’re a master chef in the making.  Pack a cookie (or two) in reusable containers for your school lunches.   The perfect waste-free snack/treat.

August 25, 2018

Mmmm... Quesadillas

Mmmm...  Quesadillas!   So yummy!   And easy to make.  A perfect meal for kids who are looking for something a little different for lunch.   Start with a tortilla.   Then, smother it in cheese.  Now choose your toppings.   Anything goes.  Here's a list to get you started.  

bell peppers
ground beef
pepperoni / pizza sauce
black beans
avocado / guacamole
more ideas?  

So easy to make... Just place your the tortilla in a skillet.   Add cheese and toppings.   Place a 2nd tortilla on top.  Cook for a few minutes.  Flip.  Cook for a few more minutes.  Take it out of the skillet.  Cut into 6 slices.   Let it cool.   Now pack away in reusable containers for school lunches.   Easy-peasy!

August 23, 2018

Reusable Water Bottles

Staff and students at Jackman are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles to school.  They can be filled with tap water at home and then refilled at school if necessary.  Good news!  We now have 2 water refill stations at Jackman (and we're hoping for a third).  

Everyone knows that Toronto tap water tastes great.   It's clean too.  And best of all, it’s practically free.  

There’s no need to buy single-use plastic disposable bottles.  Reusable water bottles are best

Don't forget to label your water bottle with your name.  That way, if it gets lost (and hopefully it won't), it's more likely to be returned to you.  

August 22, 2018

Boomerang Lunch

Boomerang:  A small throwing toy specially designed to return to the thrower.  

Boomerang Lunch:   A specially prepared lunch that is sent to school and returned home at the end of the school day.  

Ever wonder why Jackman participates in the Boomerang Lunch program?   Let me explain...

Instead of ‘throwing out’ uneaten food at school, kids can save it to eat later. No waste.

Similarly, kids take home unwanted food.  This is done to spark a family conversation about food likes and dislikes.  Changes to lunch menus may be needed.   Less waste.

Food packaging is also returned home.   Containers can be washed and reused.  Some packaging can be rinsed and recycled.   Most packaging is disposable and should be thrown away.  It may be time for a family discussion about packing waste-free lunches.

As you can see, Boomerang Lunch is a great way to reduce waste.   100% eco-friendly.

August 18, 2018

Waste-Free Lunches and Snacks

We encourage Jackman families to pack eco-friendly lunches and snacks as often as possible.  Try to reduce the amount of garbage you make when sending lunches and snacks to school.  Here are some ideas to get you started...
  • Start with a reusable lunch bag.  Brown, paper bags lunches are so 1970.  Haha!
  • Place lunch foods and snacks in reusable containers.  Wash and reuse them over and over again.  And whatever you do, kids... don't lose them!
  • Bring water to school in reusable water bottles.  And kids... once again, don't lose them!
  • Send juice and other drinks in reusable containers too.  
  • Label lunch bags and containers with your child’s name so lost containers can find their way back home. 
  • Consider sending more homemade lunches and snacks.   They make less garbage.  Store-bought foods are often packaged in disposable wrappers.
  • By the way, new recipes are just a Google search away. 
  • You can also find great lunch and snack recipes in our very own blog, wastefreejackman.blogspot.com
  • Remember… fresh fruit is waste free, naturally.
  • Reuse Ziploc bags instead of throwing them out.  
  • Reduce the use of disposable wraps such as foil and plastic wrap.  They can't be recycled.
  • Pack reusable forks and spoons.  Just wash and reuse.  Simple.
Let’s make our school a waste-free place.

August 17, 2018

Re-inventing the Ham & Cheese Sandwich

Is your child tired of boring, old sandwiches?   Why not skip the bread?  Try puff pastry!  Here's a recipe for a Ham & Cheese sandwich made with puff pastry.  It will surely re-ignite your child's enthusiasm with this sandwich classic.  

Here's what you need:
  • 1 box of Puff Pastry Sheets (2 pack) 
  • 1 package of ham 
  • some cheese (choose your child's favourite) 
  • some mayonnaise  
  • 1 egg, whisked
Here's what to do:
1. Cut each pastry sheet into four squares.    
2. Fit 1 or 2 slices of ham on one side of each square. 
3.  Add the cheese on top of the ham. 
4.  Smear some mayo on the other side of the square. 
5.  Brush some egg on the edges.    
6.  Fold over the pastry.  Pinch the edges together to make a seal.  Tip:  Use a fork to pinch the edges. 
7.  Brush some egg on top of the sandwich. 
8.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
9.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  
Now all you've got to do is let them cool and pack them away in reusable containers for school lunches.   An epic waste-free lunch idea.    Your kids are going to love this lunch.  A new twist on an old favourite.  

By the way, you could use puff pastry to re-invent lots of lunches sandwiches.    Try chicken and pesto.   Or pizza.   Try turkey with veggies.  Or maybe a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon.   The possibilities are endless! 

August 15, 2018

Chicken Pesto Sandwiches

It's nearly back-to-school time and you know what that means... school lunches!   Don't worry, we've got lots of lunch ideas to share with you. Here's a lunch favourite of my kids... the chicken pesto sandwich.  

Here's what you need:
  • ciabatta rolls or another bread
  • 2 cups of shredded chicken (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup of prepared pesto 
  • additional topping ideas: cheese, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, peppers (you choose)

Now, put it all together:
1. In a bowl, toss together chicken and pesto.   
2. Place on bread. 
3. Add cheese and/or other toppings. 
4. Top it off with more bread.  
Place this epic sandwich in a reusable container and you've got yourself an amazing waste-free, kid-friendly school lunch.   

Bon Appétit!

May 30, 2018

Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

Here's the perfect school snack... homemade mini chocolate chip muffins.   So easy to make.   So tasty to eat.   So much better than anything you could buy at a store.   And a lot less packaging.  Go ahead, give them a try.   They'll surely become a family favourite.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

  1.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder
  2.  In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, egg, vanilla and milk
  3.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.   Mix together.
  4.  Spoon batter into mini-muffin tins (the small ones).
  5.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.
See... told you that was easy.   You've transformed school lunches/snacks in just half an hour.  

May 22, 2018

Maple Muffins

At Jackman, we've fallen in love with fresh, pure MAPLE SYRUP.  But MAPLE SYRUP isn't just for pancakes, you know.   MAPLE SYRUP can be used to sweeten many foods.   For example, try baking some MAPLE SYRUP muffins.   They're super tasty.   And easy to make.   And you guessed it, these homemade muffins are the perfect waste-free snack.  Go ahead, give 'em a go.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1.   Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  

2.   In another bowl,  mix the wet ingredients.
3.   Now, put it all together.   Mix well
4.   Fill the muffin batter in muffin cups, 2/3 full.   
5.   Bake for 16-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Mmmmm.   Tasty.   These muffins make the perfect before-school breakfast or the at-school snack.   And homemade muffins are naturally waste-free.   What are you waiting for... give them a try.