Jamie says: There are some things we do because we have to, other things we do because we really want to, and there are some things we do out of love… like last night when Kathryn asked me to pack her lunch box for her first day of work. “I’ll always remember you made me lunch on my first day of work,” she said. I joked, “did you take psychology or something”- a question that was used on me by my Dad at the dinner table which has now become a running joke in the family. She added, “this could be something you could blog about.” I instantly thought of all the working people packing lunches and the mothers and fathers making their kids lunches for school…yes, this blog post is needed. Wow, my sis really knew how to win me over! But really, in all honesty, how could I say no. I couldn’t resist.
So I found myself at 10:00 PM last night in the kitchen preparing lunch for my little sis who’s not so little anymore- all grown up and going to work! She starts her first day as a copy editor for the Seminole Tribe of Florida today!
She had some menu suggestions, so I pretty much followed her ideas… out came her lunch box and the packing began…
The lunch box
I usually make a sandwich or a salad as my main entree. K’s entree today is a ham sandwich.
Then comes the fruit…
Grapes- drying on a clean dish towel
And a yogurt or cottage cheese. K got…
Yogurt (don't forget the spoon)
Then there’s a snack. K chose a…
Larabar- fruit and nut bars with no added sugar
I usually add a vegetable (unless I have a salad), too, but we were overdue for a trip to Publix.
A little sweet treat is usually appreciated…
Mocha brownie made by Mom
I keep the food in one area so I don’t forget to pack any of it.
All the food, piled up and ready to go in the lunch box
I always pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day. (I usually bring a big sports water bottle.)
This water bottle is actually my Dad's (shhh) and is from Alcatraz in San Francisco, California
Growing up, Mom and Dad used to write “napkin notes” (handwritten messages on disposable napkins) and place them in our school lunches. The whole family was in on it today…
Everything goes into the lunch box…
Packed lunch box- ready to go
For food safety, I store the lunch box in the refrigerator as long as possible.
Store the lunch box in the fridge until you leave the house and then put it in the fridge as soon as you get to your destination
Sometimes, in the beginning of a new routine, I’ll write a note on a little piece of paper and attach it to my car keys so I don’t forget things (like a perfectly good lunch).
Write a note and put it with the car keys (or something else you always take with you, like your phone) so you don't forget your lunch
– Sandwich (or salad)
– Fresh fruit
– (and usually a vegetable, too)
– Yogurt (or cottage cheese)
– Snack bar (or snack)
– Sweet treat (occasionally)
- 100% whole wheat bun (Nature’s Own)
- spicy brown mustard (Gulden’s)
- 2 leaves Romaine lettuce (Publix)
- 3 slices lower sodium sliced ham (Boar’s Head)
- 1 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese (Polly-o)
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 cup seedless red grapes
- 6 oz low fat French vanilla yogurt (Stonyfield)
- 1 banana bread snack bar (Larabar)
- 1 small mocha brownie (made with love by my Mom; from Williams-Sonoma’s Picnics and Tailgates cookbook)
- water (in a reusable bottle)
- Spread mustard on top bun. Wash and dry lettuce. Roll lettuce vertically. Thinly slices. Place lettuce on top of mustard. Place ham on bottom bun. Slice cheese and place on top of ham. Sprinkle cheese with oregano. Quickly flip top bun over to meet cheese. Place in a reusable container.
- Remove stems from grapes. Wash and dry. Place in a reusable container.
- Choose a yogurt from the refrigerator. Don’t forget a spoon!
- Choose a snack bar from the pantry.
- Place a brownie in a reusable container.
- Fill a reusuable water bottle.
- Don’t forget a napkin. Write a special note on it if you’re making the lunch for someone else.
- Place everything in the lunch box and store the lunch box open in the fridge. If you have a small ice pack, place the ice pack inside. If your starting a new routine, write a note to get your lunch and attach it to your car keys (or phone or another item you take with you everywhere); you can reuse this note, too. If possible, store the lunch box, open, in the fridge when you arrive at your destination. Enjoy!
- Nutrition note: Pack a healthy lunch and snacks and you’ll be less tempted to raid the vending machines and fast food restaurants during and after work.