Beat The Lunch Box Blues

by zesty on December 7, 2009 · 10 comments

Happy Monday!  I had a very busy weekend with most of the time spent at the house or shopping for lights.  But guess what? We finally bought all of the lights and we are pumped.  We had a little hiccup with the pendant lighting located above the Island but we lucked out at a local hardware store and scored the final two lights of a list of five.  This is a huge week at the house so I will be sure to keep you posted on the progress.

With winter setting in and a few months into school, universities and just a routine in general – a lot of us can fall into a lunch box rut.  Do you find yourself getting bored of your lunch?  I tend to keep mine pretty broad and open to almost anything but every now and again I feel like I am getting sick of sandwiches and need to kick it up a notch.

Below are some ideas that I try to use to be both effective at keeping it simple and fresh.

Lunch Box Ideas

Many of these lunchbox ideas make economical (and time-saving) use of leftovers and all of them are fast, easy, and delicious!

  1. Cottage cheese topped with toasted walnuts, blueberries or pumpkin seeds.
  2. Hummus with finely-chopped bell pepper, scallion, or sunflower seeds for extra nutrition ( scooped up with some of your favorite crackers )
  3. Bite-size raw veggies with a separate container of sesame dipping sauce or your favorite ranch dressing.
  4. Apple slices with peanut,  or almond butter.
  5. Make up a mix of chopped dried fruit, seeds and nuts . Buy the items separately and mix them yourself in a big airtight container.  Much cheaper than buying little bags of trail mix.
  6. trail mix

  7. Cheese cubes with tiny cherry tomatoes. ( I just had this one  the other day! )
  8. Leftovers: The trick is to think ahead and make a little extra at dinner for lunch the next day.
  9. leftovers

Desserts from the freezer: Just place a few of these below in the freezer before you go to bed and then throw toss them in your lunch bag the next morning. They’ll be thawed by lunchtime–and keep the rest of lunch nicely cold in the meantime.

  1. Individual yogurts. Add a separate container of wheat germ, toasted coconut, berries, or chopped walnuts for a kid-pleasing crunchy topping.
  2. banana_peel

  3. Banana slices (you can top them with yogurt, maple syrup, and wheat germ, if you like).

Tell me this

  1. Do you pack your lunch?
  2. What are your favorite things to pack in your lunch box?
  3. Do you pack the night before or in the morning?

For me the answers are:

  1. Usually
  2. Leftovers
  3. Night Before ( if I remember )

I hope you have a great Monday and I will talk to you tomorrow.  A really fun announcement coming tomorrow regarding Open Sky.  I hope you are excited!!

Take care


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren

Great packed lunch tips! I always bring a lunch to work, and I always pack it the night before. My staple lunch items are either a big salad or sandwich with a piece of fruit or yogurt with granola and dried fruit. As the temperature drops outside, I find myself craving warm and comforting lunches, so I like to pack leftovers or instant oatmeal with banana slices.


2 Pam

Great ideas Zest!



3 a

1. I rarely pack a lunch. I generally am a lunch skipper :|
2. I usually pack alot of small snacks if i pack a lunch
3. night before.


4 A different Pam

My hubby HATES bringing just a sandwich to work for lunch, and we are cheap, er- I mean, poor, so he always packs his lunches. He is also trying to watch his sodium and cholesterol intake, so he wants healthy lunches. Because I am pregnant, leftovers are rare (I either don’t cook, or I eat it all). So on those non-left over days, he always has a trick up his sleeve. Luckily his lunch room provides a toaster oven, and a fridge. So- some of his favorite lunch options are:

Wraps- Whole wheat tortillas with thin sliced veggies (think onion, avocado, bell pepper, etc.) and turkey (deli) or either chicken or steak strips (available cooked and seasoned in the meat section of the grocery store) with some salsa verde and pepper jack cheese.

Salads- Same as above sans tortillas and adding lettuce, pretty much, with a light or “free” salad dressing. (He keeps most ingredients in the fridge)

Reuben’s- Rye/Pumpernickel swirl bread (he keeps the loaf at work in a desk drawer) and sauerkraut, swiss cheese, lite mayonnaise, and corned beef broiled for a minute or two in the toaster oven).

He prepares them all while on his lunch break, and gets teased for it, but when the finished product is being eaten, all the other guys are jealous.


5 Leah @ L4L

I pack my lunch everyday. And lately, I’m packing dinner too for my seasonal part time job in the evenings.

I swear by leftovers. On the weekends, I cook a lot of big meals to help us get through the week. This is basically the whole premise of my blog!

Other snacks that I pack are string cheese, veggies + hummus, banana, fruit leater, and nuts.

99% of the time, I’m packing up our lunches (and dinner) the night before.


6 Beth @ DiningAndDishing

1. Usually
2. PB and J sandwiches
3. I always mean to pack the night before, but it usually ends up happening in the morning!


7 Sues

The freezer is totally my friend :)

I work from home, so no lunch to pack for me. But I try to eat at home every day and not head to the bagel shop like I usually want to!!


8 Marianne

I always pack my lunch (well, okay, on rare occasions I don’t). Generally, I like sandwiches because they are easy to eat, and soup is another fave of mine. But if there are good leftovers, I’ll definitely eat those. And I almost always pack my lunch in the morning – that way I pack what I’m craving :)


9 Ara

Great! Perfect! The idea is truly mouth watering huh! Thank you! By the way, for more nutritious packed lunch we should also consider our food container because other containers especially plastic type materials contains harmful toxic effect that can affect our health as well as our environment. We should use stainless steel tiffin containers that are approved and well tested. I would like to invite you to check out this site Happy Tiffin you’ll have an idea of what is the right food stacking container.


10 Adi (

I pack my lunch every day – so by Friday, I’m usually out of ideas for creative treats. I always pack the night before (leaves more time for enjoying a bowl of oats before work in the morning!) and some of my favourite things to pack are tropical fruits, veggies with hummus, A-squared (almonds + dried apricots…) and warm leftovers are always great.


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