20 September 2006

Improving upon the Horizon milk box

Another beverage box hack! Heather's Horizon milk box best-practices:

My sons love the expensive-yet-satisfying Horizon milk boxes at Starbucks. But we always had problems with the straw: it collapsed, broke or fell into the abyss, never to be seen or heard from again. Furthermore, it's too narrow and milk always dripped or poured out from the hole that seemed to get bigger as my sons drank.

Our solution: We poke the straw hole with the slanted edge of the attached mini-straw and then throw the straw away. We then place a regular-sized Starbucks straw into the milk carton. The regular straws don’t collapse, are thick enough to maintain the integrity of the seal without causing the hole to expand, and, most importantly, never disappear into the box.

Two warnings (which we learned from experimenting):  Don’t try to poke the hole with the regular green straw.  You’ll only leave a dent in the foil and in the straw. Second, Make sure you use the regular size green straw. I once grabbed a super-size Starbucks straw -- the ones for the Venti Frappuccinos (can you tell I frequent Starbucks?).  It was a disaster.  My little boys’ arms were barely long enough to hold the box while sipping the milk from the other end.

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For long straws: I carry a Leatherman Micra on my key chain, so if we encounter a long straw (which usually means the drink will be tipped for my daughter to reach it, therefore spilling the drink), I just snip it off short. Quick & easy solution. The Leatherman Micra actually has lots and lots of uses...

If you aren't hooked to the idea of organic milk, Starbucks also sells kids' drinks. We get an 8 oz chocolate milk in a cold beverage cup (read: plastic with a lid and straw) for $1.


BRU now has Horizon milk available - great for trips when you don't know if you'll have refrigeration, and you can put it in luggage to take along as well!

The leatherman was too bulky for me, but I hooked a pair of the small folding sewing scissors onto the keyring in the diaper bag for the same reason. I also keep "bendy straws" in the diaper bag, as sometimes my DD decides she doesn't want a cut straw, but never objects to a bendy straw!

My husband always cuts the straws for our kids. We learned that it is safer to turn the straw over and put the cut end into the drink-sometimes they don't cut very smoothly.

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