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Annie Leonard
Annie Leonard

As the writer and host of The Story of Stuff, Annie has inspired millions to work toward a sustainable future.

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Alternatives to Canned Foods for Kids

Alternatives to Kids' Canned Foods

Canned food is certainly convenient. Fortunately, there are simple and inexpensive replacements for canned food so that parents can avoid unnecessarily exposing their children to BPA.

Dry Pasta

One great and inexpensive alternative to canned pasta is cooking dry pasta and mixing it with fresh or jarred sauce. Dry pastas come in a variety of shapes and colors, making meal time fun for kids. It is easy to make large batches and separate portions into smaller containers for later use. Another inexpensive option is boxed macaroni and cheese, which is now widely available in a variety of brands and options, including organics.

Frozen Pasta

You can find a variety of heat-and-serve pasta meals in the frozen-food aisle. Just make sure to take the food out of the plastic bag or tray before heating, as it's always best to avoid heating any plastic in the microwave.


Many soups now come in containers called Tetra Pak cartons—they look like giant juice boxes. Tetra Pak cartons are re-sealable, so you can just pop the container in the refrigerator after opening. It used to be hard to find anything other than broth in Tetra Pak cartons, but you can now find all kinds of soups, including chicken and rice, black bean, vegetable, and chunky tomato, making the transition to BPA-free soups easy and affordable.


The best BPA-free alternative to canned fruit is dried or fresh fruit. An added bonus to moving away from canned fruits is that they often contain added sugar, so cutting out the BPA might also help you cut the calories! Frozen fruit is also a great option to use in smoothies or in baking if fresh isn't available.