As a standard, I pack a main course (sandwich on wheat bread, wrap, soup or leftovers in a thermos), one or two fruits and veggies (usually fresh but sometimes things like canned pineapple in natural juice or applesauce), and a snack (pretzels, granola bar, goldfish crackers) as well as a yogurt and a drink (100% juice or chocolate soy milk). Occasionally I will throw in a special treat like gummies (with 100% vitamin C), dill pickles, cookies, a small piece of candy…or a Moonpie (don’t ask).
Here are a few random lunch-packing tips everyone probably already knows, but I’m going to add them anyway.
• Keep the hot stuff hot and the cool stuff cool. Pour hot water into the thermos, cap it and let it stand for at least five minutes to warm the thermos lining before adding soup or other yummy hot food (spaghetti is a much loved choice around here). Add a reusable icepack to the lunchbox closest to the foods that need it the most.
• Wash the ice packs and lunchboxes at least once a week.
• I put a small bottle of germ killer in the outer pocket of their lunchboxes for those times when they aren’t able to wash their hands before chowing down.