Reusable Food Bags

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Dawnie Dawnie
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Reusable Food Bags

I've been wanting to make some reusable food bags for my kids lunches.  I have scoured the internet and just don't feel comfortable with the options for *plastic-y* fabric.  It seems there are arguements for and against everything.  So I was sitting here today and thought what about all those left over crib covers I got when the boys were babies.  They were hardly used and have been sitting in the top of the closet forever.  I pulled them down and believe they are a super thick cotton flannel.  They would not be totally waterproof, but would hold most moisture in.  I'm talking things like apple slices and carrot sticks and then things like pretzels or chips.

Anyone have any ideas or have you made any of your own and what fabric did you decide to use?
Jay Jay
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

This is only "kinda" an answer :-)
I've gotten bags on Etsy, but they mostly have nylon at least as the liner, and that qualifies as "plastic-y" I suspect. The material you mention sounds reasonable, and obviously a prototype is in order. You might look at some of the options at Etsy either under homemade food or sandwich bags for some design ideas, though you probably already have something in mind. There's also a thing called a Wrap-N-Mat which -commercially- includes plastic, but is potentially a great design as well. I assume you're not interested at this time in the ss alternatives like LunchBots. etc
Let us know what you decide!
Dawnie Dawnie
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

Thanks,  It looks like the mats you mentioned are lined with a LDPE #4 which is used a lot, but I would like to find something without any plastic to it.  I'll be washing the material I have tomorrow for a prototype later this week when I get some time.  I do like the design of the mats, I've seen something like it on Etsy and some other bag style pouches too. (love that site)
I'll let you know how they turn out.. .the only drawback I can see so far is that they are very *baby* in their material design... hope the boys can get past that!  :)
Jay Jay
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

You're right, the commercial Wrap-N-Mat has a heavy duty plastic lining, so a no go. I have some from "back in the day", and the key is that the center section is a bit bigger than a sandwich, and there are strong creases so easy to fold. I could measure and give the exact dimensions if you'd like.
Hope your guys can get past the pattern :-) Optional is to use as a center lining sandwiched (ha, ha) with Thrift Shop finds or fabric scraps from elsewhere.
KarinSDCA KarinSDCA
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

In reply to this post by Dawnie
You could use a different fabric for the outside of the pouches/wraps/mats and use the water-resistant fabric as the protective inner layer. Just an idea...

I actually found some interesting fabric yesterday at an impromptu stop on a road trip. I didn't research it at all and don't even know much about the fabrics used for these types of things, but I liked the patterns and have thought about making these types of things in the past. I purchased a quarter yard of two coordinating fabrics and will be playing around with these in the next month or two. This fabric is coated in some way to be water-resistant, possibly water-proof (but I doubt it). I think it will be good for the average baggie type food versus actual liquids. It should hold in enough moisture to keep fresh food (snacks) fresh enough for a day out and about or at school.
Dawnie Dawnie
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

Oh I wish you could remember what kind of fabric it was.  It sounds just like what I'd like to use.  I'll be playing with the leftover fabric I have after Halloween... so busy now
KarinSDCA KarinSDCA
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

Moda just jumped into my head...
NatalieInCA NatalieInCA
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

In reply to this post by Dawnie
This summer, I sew cotton snack bags for my kids' lunch and snack. Made 6 bags out of one 100% cotton kitchen towel. The cotton is thick and absorbent, no lining needed. It is good for dry foods, fruits like apple slices, grapes etc... I researched the water-proof options and decided against it. I try to eliminate all plastic/man made materials. I use small stainless steel containers for items like cantaloupe. It has been 2 months now, and so far so good. :)
NatalieInCA NatalieInCA
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

In reply to this post by Dawnie
I forgot to say that I would not use the baby crib covers, as they might have been treated with flame retardant chemicals.
Also, I used a kitchen towel with a print and dark colors. Have not seen a stain yet, but I am pretty sure the bags wouldn't look as new today if I had used a white one...
Jay Jay
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

NatalieInCA wrote
they might have been treated with flame retardant chemicals
THAT is an excellent point!
Dawnie Dawnie
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

Ohhh, you guys are soo smart!  Didn't even think of that, but I bet they have been treated.  Seems like every fabric that touches our kids beds/bodies for sleep are flame retardant.  Thanks so much for pointing that out.
I'll try the towel thing, The foods you mentioned are exactly the kind I'd package in them, the really wet stuff will go in the containers.

Guess I'll just have to donate the crib things... a sorely failed attempt to repurpose  ;)
Hannah Hannah
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Re: Reusable Food Bags

In reply to this post by Dawnie
I use only food safe cotton laminates for my bags.  Not oil cloth or nylon.  Check with the fabric store to see which are "Certified Food Safe"