Monday, May 4, 2009

Help! I Need Lunchbox Ideas!

I pack my husband's lunch every work day (4 days a week). He has an "outside" job and doesn't have access to a refrigerator. It's a much easier task to pack a lunch box in cold weather because you don't have to worry about food spoiling due to the heat. So, with hot weather coming quickly, I'm looking for some ideas.
  • What would you pack in a lunch box that's exposed to warm temperatures?
  • What type of lunch box works best? His is probably 8 years old and takes quite a bit of abuse, so I'm thinking of getting a new one. Only one side latches now!! :) And trust me, a brown paper bag won't cut it! He's rough! :)
  • What about lunch box containers...found something that works well for you? His lunchbox is very similar to the one pictured here, and I pack quite a bit to eat because he works 10 hour shifts. My father was here once when I packed my husband's lunch. He took one look at it and asked if we were all going on a family picnic! LOL!
  • What's the best way to keep food chilled?
  • Any quick, frugal, healthy, and easy snack ideas you'd be willing to share? (That's asking a lot, isn't it!? I'm willing to forget the "easy" part if you can come up with something quick, frugal and healthy! How's that?) :)

Ok, so I'm all ears. Please fill up my comment box with helpful hints and ideas!! I'm counting on y'all to help!! :) Thanks in advance!

I'll leave you with a recipe I found HERE that looks like a good lunch box treat to me!

Easy Ritz Cracker Snack

  • 1/2 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 48 Ritz Crackers
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 cup flaked coconut or chopped nuts

Spread about 1 teaspoon peanut butter on 24 of the Ritz crackers. Spread 1 teaspoon Marshmallow Creme on remaining crackers. Sandwich crackers together, using one peanut butter and one marshmallow, then dip in melted chocolate or white chocolate (almond bark), and roll in coconut or finely chopped nuts to coat. Set crackers on waxed paper and let stand until chocolate sets. Store in air-tight container for up to one week. Makes 24


Sandra said...

Homemade granola bars are a good snack and are easy to make. You can put whatever he likes in them. Potato stix are good. I used to pack my husbands lunch like you said you do: like we were all going. I would cut up watermelon and have 2 sandwiches and some other snack. His boss said every day everyone liked to see what all was packed in there. I can't be of much help. My husband has a refrigerator and microwave oven so I just pack him leftovers from supper.

Adminswife said...

My son takes a mini-cooler for his lunch (and he works in an air conditioned building - but no refrigerator). He uses refreezable ice. He can take leftovers or whatever he wants because he has a cold cooler.

DarcyLee said...

My husband has access to a microwave when he works but when he goes fishing for the day, I will pack his lunch in a mini cooler with a reusable ice pack in it to keep everything cold. He isn't much for a lot of snack foods but he does love a good sandwich and that is what I usually give him: ham, roast beef, cheese, but nothing that will go soggy like tomato.

lady m's lavender cottage said...


A mini cooler with dry ice is your best bet. Ideas in what to take...try to pack veggies like carrots in containers not in plastic baggies. They keep the food fresher in hot weather. Also, sandwiches are wonderful but try not to put the mayo on the sandwich - it will make it soggy. Snacks: granola bars, cookies, oranges, these will stay good in hot weather.

Lady m

Algebra Teacher said...

Laptop lunches! They have a wonderful product. All three of us have one and tons of ideas for lunches. These are the best "green" lunch boxes that I have found and we all love them (even the 5 year old). Check them out. I am not affiliated with them in any way - just a very satisfied customer.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above posters about using ice packs. You can also freeze bottled fruit or water. Does he like leftover/cold pizza or spaghetti? My family love these hot, warm, or cold. For sandwiches, save up the condiment packs from takeout restaurants and convenience stores to throw in. He can squeeze on the amount of ketchup, mayo, mustard, relish, etc., that he likes and the bread doesn't get soggy. Fried chicken is another eat it cold or hot favorite.

Conny said...

I'm looking forward to reading the comments - we pack our lunches EVERY DAY except Friday (which is PIZZA day at school). I get soooooo tired of pbj sandwiches :( so do my kids. Sometimes I cook extra so we can have left overs for lunch :) but I know that isn't possible for your husband. Those freezable ice packs are great for keeping condiments from going bad on you. Thermoses are great for keeping soups hot too :) That's about all I know for tips. We don't use containers too often because they tend to NOT come back home. We use baggies though I'm sure that's not very "green" or environmentally conscious. ;)

Lori said...

Thank y'all so much for the good ideas!! Packing quick, healthy, and frugal ideas for lunch is challenging!! I really appreciate your help!

Anonymous said...

Some good ideas here.

Angela said...

I bought a cooler at Sams Club a couple of years ago that is in camo. It is the best cooler for keeping things cold or hot! It didn't cost much either.

I buy those cute little ice packs for the kids at WalMart or Target for a dollar that are shaped like an oreo cookie, baseball, monster truck, etc.... They keep things cold really well and I've not ever had a problem with them.

I also have a big flat ice pack that came in a Heavenly Ham package that was sent to our house for Christmas that I will sometimes put on the bottom of the cooler and then put a few of those little ice packs on top.

The food and drinks in this cooler are always colder from the cooler than they are from the refrigerator!

Hope this helps!

shannon said...

I pack tortilla wraps for my guy. Spread cream cheese on them and layer romaine lettuce & turkey or ham. You can also use cheese. He also likes a hot thermos of chili. I will bag some fritos up with cheese & he has Frito Chili Pie.