Ten Reasons to Pack Lunch!
There are many reasons that I pack lunch. Believe it or not, having a lunch blog is actually not the primary reason but rather a by-product of the necessity of lunch packing. There are some general reasons that I make this choice overall but as I think about my children there is a actually a different specific reason for each one. So what exactly are they?
Well, I actually posed this very question to my Facebook readers recently, “What is the primary reason you pack lunch?”. I was quite delighted with the many responses. Many were the same reasons as my own and some answers really gave me pause to think, “wow that is a great reason!”. Do feel free to drop by and join our Facebook discussion! I would love to hear your reason!
I decided that I would take some of my own reasons and add to it some of the great responses I got to my Facebook query to see how many reasons I could list. It didn’t take me very long to group together 10 great reasons to pack lunch. I submit them here for your consideration, if you don’t already pack lunch I certainly hope to win you over to the cause!
1. Health & Nutrition
I start here because to me this is one of the most important reasons I pack lunch. I am concerned about the health and nutrition of what I feed to my family just as I know you are! I want to control what they eat and help them make a better choice! So perhaps your reason may be that you want to feed your family organic, non-GMO food or food free from artificial preservatives and colors? Maybe you want your family to eat more fresh food as opposed to processed food? Perhaps you want to control portions to fit an active lifestyle or you or someone you love is watching calories for weight control? Well your in control! These are all great reasons to pack lunch!
The lunch below features a simple spiral ham and cheese sandwich. It is served with black olives, sweet potato sticks, red grapes and carrots.
2. Save Money
The alternative to packing lunch is to buy lunch! Multiply out the cost of buying lunch for each family member and it won’t take you very long to figure out that it is much cheaper to pack. With 4 children and 2 adults in my home all needing lunch I know I am reaping a big cost savings when I pack! If you utilize meal planning, couponing techniques and you buy in bulk quantities you can really ring up a savings. Not to mention the more meals you make at home the more likely you are to use up what you buy at the grocery store each week. There is never a cost savings when food ends up in the garbage. So who doesn’t want to save money?
3. Picky Eaters
My son Brendan is a picky eater and he always has been. He has sensory processing disorder (SPD) and it does limit his diet. If I were to have him purchase lunch at school I know he would eat little to none of what is served. He would spend the day hungry rather than eat what he perceives that he doesn’t like. Now that aside many people are picky eaters, kids AND adults alike! There are sometimes reasons for pickiness like SPD but sometimes people are just picky because they are. It happens! No judging! Yes, always try to work on pickiness through a process of trial and reward but in the interim packing lunch is an assurance that your loved one will eat something!
The easy pickings lunch below was packed for my picky eater who started middle school last week! This lunch is packed in a Lunchbots Quad container and includes: cucumbers, watermelon, snap pea crisps and peanut butter pretzel sandwiches (swap peanut butter for an alternative spread if packing for a nut-free person or environment).
4. Food Allergies
Although peanuts often spring to mind, there are many, many types of food allergies and if you or a loved one has one then packing lunch is certainly a necessity! It is a way to assure that the lunch is safe! For many this can even be a matter of life or death. My son Evan has a gluten-intolerance and perhaps could have Celiac Disease. He will have the blood test in the near future so we can know for sure. This for me is a reason to always pack his lunch. I know that I have carefully chosen each item in his lunch box to assure that it is safe for him as each person who has or loves someone who has a food allergy would certainly do. For Evan eating unsafe food results in digestive issues, mood changes and other reactions but for some unsafe food results in anaphylaxis, a dangerous reaction that can result in death. No argument from me that this is a very good reason to pack lunch!
5. Save Time
Kiddos are able to open and eat their lunch quickly. Lunch times at many schools are very short and standing in the lunch line can cut out 5-10 minutes of time that you could be eating. This causes kids to eat very quickly or eat very little as a result. For adults packing lunch means that you don’t spend lunch hours going to get lunch. Instead you can run productive errands, you could workout or you could just have a little “me” time. Aw go ahead, eat and work through lunch so you can leave early, you deserve it!
6. Show Love & Appreciation
Show your family you love them by packing their lunch. You can pack their favorite foods or write a note to include. You could put in a special treat on a special day. You could make a themed lunch that will put a smile on someone’s face. You’ll make them feel special when they are the envy of the lunch room! Maybe you pack lunch for one of the other 10 reasons listed here? Why? Because they are good reasons and you love your family!
The lunch below features turkey, cheese and tomato kabobs along with sweet potato tortilla chips and apple and celery dippers. The dip is peanut butter and greek yogurt with grated chocolate mixed in.
School lunch menus can be repetitive. Although I do believe that many school districts have done a lot to improve the quality of food that is served there is still generally a predictable pattern to the menu. Schools have to work within a budget and they have to feed a large quantity of people all at once, of course this can be limiting. You however can research Pinterest, try new recipes, mix things up, change with the seasons and have endless food combinations to choose from. You can even theme lunches for fun! Let’s face it, even us adults will eventually keep going to the same one or two restaurants near our office because it is easy and they quickly become tired choices! So pack lunch and become excited about your lunch box variety!
8. To be Eco-Friendly
OK maybe this is more of a reason to pack a container lunch but I never miss an opportunity to mention this!
I recently read that the average school age child will create 67 pounds of waste each school year by packing disposable lunches. Really that is a lot! How many students are in your child’s class? How many in their school? How many bring lunch? It’s a big problem! Really big! You can make better choices when you pack lunch. Chose to use reusable lunch containers made from BPA free plastic or stainless steel like Easylunchboxes, Lunchbots or Laptop Lunches. Buy food in bulk and stop buying individually portioned food where it isn’t necessary! Use reusable drink containers instead of juice boxes or pouches if your school allows. It makes a big difference!
9. I Have To!
My two little ones go to a private preschool and lunch is not provided nor available for purchase. If I don’t pack lunch well there is NO lunch! Yikes! So I have to pack lunch! I know that is probably true for many of you out there too! This is an undeniable reason to pack lunch!
10. Creative Outlet
For many packing lunch is a creative outlet. Some prefer to implement full themed bento boxes which really are quite impressive. Others may just add a cookie cutter sandwich or some food picks. Even others may prefer to theme the food itself such as all Italian food or Mexican food. Some like to try or create new recipes or play with the way food is arranged. Finally some like myself will photograph, edit and blog about their lunches as a creative outlet. Is that you?
So we’ve arrived at the end! Although I feel my list is pretty thorough I am sure that I have missed some other great reasons to pack lunch! Leave a comment below and tell me why do you pack lunch?
Want one now? Products featured in this post (links below are affiliate links and this blogger may earn a commission on any sales):