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…
I usually make a sandwich or a salad as my main entree. K’s entree today is a ham sandwich.
Then comes the fruit…
And a yogurt or cottage cheese. K got…
Then there’s a snack. K chose a…
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…
I keep the food in one area so I don’t forget to pack any of it.
I always pack a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day. (I usually bring a big sports water bottle.)
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…
For food safety, I store the lunch box in the refrigerator as long as possible.
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).
– 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.