What do you pack for lunch?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Joy, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    Last year I got really tired of eating the same thing for lunch everyday and I'm looking for some new ideas of what to pack. What do you take for lunch?
     
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  3. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    2 fruits, 2 veggies, a cheese stick, a sandwich, wrap, or salad, and something sweet but lower cal. I usually saved the fruit and the something sweet for after school. I didn't have easy access to a microwave so it might change some this year if I do have easier access to it.
     
  4. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Leftovers from the night before, usually. If not that, I usually take tuna or egg salad, or a turkey wrap as my "main course." I always take a sweet...I have a huge sweet tooth! I also usually take a small thing of nuts or trail mix, as well as a fruit. Sometimes I'll take a hard-boiled egg, or hummus and pita chips, or cheese and crackers instead of the nuts. I eat breakfast REALLY early (like 4:45 AM) and my lunch isn't until 12:15, so these things are usually my mid-morning snack around 9-ish, right before the kids come in.

    I have fallen in love with dark chocolate granola thins as my sweet. YUM. 90 calories each and just like a cookie.

    I have a fridge and a microwave (and a real oven and toaster oven, too) in my room, so I used to just stock up on the low-cal frozen dinners, but this past year, I tried very hard NOT to rely on processed foods. They are so high in salt and chemical additives. I'm trying to buy local and buy whole...and trying to keep that in mind for lunches, too.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I like bringing crackers, apple slices, carrot sticks, and/or cheese sticks to dip in peanut butter. I lighten up the peanut butter (both in texture and calories) by blending it up with apple sauce. Delicious!

    Tuna sandwiches. PB&J sandwiches. Leftovers from dinner the night before.

    I try to avoid heavily processed packaged foods.
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Lettuce wrap (lettuce instead of bread, turkey, ham, fat free feta, pickles)
     
  7. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I like flatbread wraps with cucumber, spring mix, roasted red peppers and whatever kind of hummus I make. I'm lazy and that's easy and quick enough.

    Sometimes I make marinated baked tofu sandwiches with pesto (spinach or basil pesto depending on time of year and what I'm growing).

    Or salads always work. I like one with arugula, white beans, roasted red peppers and then a sun-dried tomato walnut vinaigrette. Or some sort of chickpea couscous salad with a balsamic dressing. That one works well I a wrap too.

    When I make salads, I usually have a fruit, a grain, a protein, and then spring mix, spinach, and arugula. Sometimes I add chopped raw cashews and dried apricots. I make up a salad dressing on Monday, stash in the fridge, and use that all week.

    If I'm not lazy, I make up batches of black eyed pea patties and eat one of those with a green and herb side salad.
     
  8. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Sorry to threadjack.

    Kim, I saw these on TV tonight and they look delicious!

    If it's not a lot of trouble, could you tell me how many grams of sugar is in each snack? I'm trying (failing) to watch my sugar intake. :)
     
  9. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Does anybody have suggestions for single people?

    It's so hard to cook for one...because I either live on leftovers, or I make many meals and toss much away because it goes bad. :(

    Even fruit is hard because if I buy it at the start of the week, by Thursday, much of it isn't that good. I have bought those special green bags, so I may try that!

    I appreciate tips and ideas. :)
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    IEDUK8, I have the same problem! I freeze many of my meals. I have also taken to trying to make smaller meals. I will sometimes halve recipes and it usually works out okay.

    I haven't had the problem with fruit. I usually buy my fruit once a week and it is good for 7-10 days depending on the type of fruit. Some last longer than others.
     
  11. Mrs. Q

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    I usually take leftovers, if it's something that's good re-heated (like pasta).

    Sometimes I take a turkey sandwich, chips & salsa, fruit.
    Sometimes I buy pre-prepared chef's salads at the local grocery store.

    I always keep granola bars and low-cal snack packs in my room. My conference is 9-9:45 so I can snack then, and usually again around 3:00 so I can make it through the afternoon.
     
  12. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Thanks, DGP!

    As a bachelor, it's hard at times. I always start the year with ambitions to have a freezer stocked for those nights I don't want to cook anything, but then I get bored of the same ol' meals. ;)

    I've just discovered supercook.com and food.com so I may make use of those. ;)

    I did a search for "easy recipes for bachelors" LOL
     
  13. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Everything I make is just for me. It tends to menn I will eat the same thing for a couple days, but I don't usually mind.

    A batch of hummus will last 2-3 days and can be used for all sorts of things. Cheap to make and only takes 5 minutes.

    I make half quantities of some recipes.

    Ideally, I get veggies and fruit twice a week, but apples always last well, and bananas and avocados can be bought in varying degrees of ripeness. Spinach lasts ok too.

    I usually buy berries, mangos, broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans, green beans, and corn frozen, unless they are on sale or I'm making something worth the extra time and expense.

    I make small loaves in my bread machine, and freeze batches of muffins and flatbread that I make. Flatbread only takes about 20 minutes to make!
     
  14. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Mollydoll, if I remember correctly, you're a vegan, correct? For health reasons, I no longer eat dairy. It hasn't been difficult to eliminate dairy, especially given how much better I feel, but I do admit to missing cheese sometimes. Any suggestions for tasty substitutes? I like putting a little bit of cheese on my salads and sandwiches. Thanks! :)
     
  15. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Hmm. I make tofu feta sometimes. Great with Greek salads.

    On veggie burgers where I just want the crappy American cheese I use Tofutti slices.

    When I first stopped eating cheese, I replaced cheese in my salad with chopped raw cashews and dried apricots. After a week or I stopped missing the cheese.

    Vegetarian Times has some recipes for cashew goat cheese.

    Mostly, I use things like avocado instead.

    I'll pm you some more so as not to thread jack,
     
  16. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Pasta salad
    Fruit
    Healthy chips
    Drink

    or

    Turkey sandwich
    Fruit
    Healthy chips
    Drink
     
  17. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I usually eat leftovers, too, and I pack them up right away, before I sit down for dinner.

    Also, I have a few recipes that I will make on a Sunday night and will last me all week for lunch:

    Southwest chicken pasta - cooked pasta, black beans, chicken (leftover, rotisserie, perdue short cuts, etc.), salsa, a little ranch, and a little cheese. This is good cold or warm.

    http://www.realsimple.com/food-reci...ad-potatoes-arugula-00000000000655/index.html

    http://www.realsimple.com/food-reci...s/pot-sticker-salad-00000000000671/index.html

    http://www.realsimple.com/food-reci...ean-tuna-panzanella-00000000000706/index.html

    http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/index.aspx?recipeid=113751
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 7, 2011

    Soup (I make a big batch every weekend once the weather turns cool)
    Salad
    Raw veggies and a hard boiled egg or sliced turkey

    Always a couple of pieces of fruit and a yogurt.
     
  19. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I bring a yogurt for my morning snack, a meal-replacement/protein shake for lunch, and an apple for my afternoon snack.

    The shake works really well for me because it completely fills me up. When I get tired of it, I usually buy a salad in the cafeteria or bring a turkey sandwich with lots of veggies.
     
  20. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Leftovers or a frozen meal. I don't like to do the frozen meals as they don't fill me up, they're just not satisfying, but it's convenient.

    Need to rethink things for this year.
     
  21. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I take leftovers -silver, like your idea of packing them first before eating. I will be an "empty nester" this fall so I'll probably overcook for a while. We have 2 ancient microwaves for about 20 people so I don't take the frozen meals since they take longer.
    Hint: buy matching containers so they stack nicely in the freezer.
     
  22. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    In warm weather I always bring salads - lots of veggies and a little shredded turkey on top.

    In cold weather I love left-overs or a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread.

    Lots of people in my building eat frozen lunches but they don't look too appealing to me, and I have to watch my salt intake due to inner ear problems.
     
  23. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    i like leftovers, but usually the line at the Microwave is too long.

    I buy frequently from our school cafe, because our cook is delish!!

    otherwise,

    flatbread sandwich
    apple slices, or fruit cup
    Diet Dr Pepper
    popcorn or some light chips
    and a yogurt.

    boring! I pack my lunch like my daughters' ha!
     
  24. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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  25. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I usually pack once that lasts 2 weeks.
    Cereal, milk, fresh fruit, frozen veggies, canned soup, string ceese, bread, sandwich stuff, yogurt, granola bars, bottled water, crystal lite singles, PB, Healthy choice heat and eat,

    I do take left overs too and about once out of 10 days I eat school lunch.
     
  26. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    Peanut butter and jelly on wheat, carrot sticks and greek yogurt.

    sometimes, i just pack left over dinner if i have a lot left over.
     
  27. Lynn K.

    Lynn K. Habitué

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    I pack a main dish (frozen entree, leftovers, soup, or salad), something salty and crunchy (crackers, chips, popcorn - all low fat), and something sweet (usually yogurt).
     
  28. Mrs. Q

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    Wow, I love that! The microwave is a long way from my room and by the time I get back, half my lunch is over. This would be great!!
     
  29. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    search for Bento Lunch Jar on amazon - they have a few different options at different prices. I LOVE mine. The food is steaming when I open it at lunch. I also like that it forces me to take a variety of food instead of just a big container of pasta or something. And sometimes I mix the food on a plate, so I might put lettuce in one and warm chicken in another and it keeps it from getting soggy until I eat.
     
  30. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    I usually take a turkey sandwich, granola bars, fruit (or fruit cocktail or jello), and cheese.
     
  31. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Thanks for those suggestions!!! :)

    ETA: Apologies to the others for hijacking this thread!! :sorry: :)
     
  32. HWilson

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    Ok, it appears lots of people bring leftovers or sandwiches, which I do occassionally as well.

    But I LOVE the Marie Calendars meals!!!! YUMMMMYYY
    They are in the frozen food section, they have a variety of meals and they are all very good. I have not tried the meals that have a meat and veggie. I usually get the beef and broccoli, chicken alfredo, speghetti, and things that are all mixed together. They do take 3-5 minutes to cook in the microwave but they are super yummy and easy. I buy several at a time and put them in the freezer at work and they are there and ready to go. And I dont have to worry about making my lunch, taking it to the frig everyday, and worry about leaving it home. I keep plastic utensils in my desk so it's also easy clean up. :)
     
  33. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    You don't know how much I envy you! LOL!

    I would love to eat more frozen entrees, but I guess I always worry about the sodium... it's possible I worry for no reason, of course! ;)

    But you're right...those are yummy. :)
     
  34. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    All of you are so much healthier and resourceful with food than I am!

    I'm a Taco Bell/ Chinese take out girl all the way. I think the universe might seize out and swallow me whole if I dared to pack a vegetable or something reasonable for lunch.

    The only "leftovers" in my fridge are a few bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade... :lol:
     
  35. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Last year I fell into a rut and got school lunch a lot, especially those Uncrustables frozen PB&J sandwiches. They are delicious, but I gained weight after just a few weeks! :eek: hoping to make better choices this year.
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If they're on sale, I'll pick up 4 or 5 Lean Cuisine lunches.

    Sometimes I bring leftovers.

    In the warm weather I like bringing cheese and crackers. I leave a box of Wasa crackers in school, and buy a wheel of the Baby Bell cheeses-- the 35 calorie ones.
    http://www.thelaughingcow.com/products/light-swiss-original/

    Throw in a bottle of water and I can have a 100 calorie lunch and feel full.
     
  37. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    More and more they are reducing the sodium in the meals. I take medicine for high blood pressure and I eat a Lean Cuisine or such almost every day during the school year, and I've had no problems with it. Most of them have less than 700mg. I just eat almost no sodium at breakfast and a reasonable dinner, and I stay well under the 2,000 mg limit my doctor recommended. Plus, there is increasing evidence that sodium has little to do with heart health anyway. I use a calorie counter app that keeps up with all my nutrients for me.
     
  38. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I make a large meal, and then freeze the left overs into meal sized portions. It means I have lots of containers in my freezer, but it's so easy to just pull one container out for lunch at school and then for supper when I get home and am too tired to cook. Add a side salad or fruit and you have a meal.

    I reserve one Sunday a month as "cooking Sunday" and I make 4 or 5 meals in an afternoon. Then I portion everything out and am ready for another month!

    Also, when I buy a package of fresh chicken breasts, I cook them all at once. Then, again, I freeze the pieces into meal sized portions. When I get home from school I can pull out cooked chicken and in minutes have a wrap, quesadilla or a salad.
     
  39. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    Well, that's definitely good to know! It's good to hear they're reducing the sodium in many prepared foods. :)
     
  40. IEDUK8

    IEDUK8 Rookie

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    I've actually thought about doing that (preparing a month's worth of meals in one day... like a "Meal Marathon!" :)

    Do you have suggestions for good containers? I currently just have the Ziploc containers (also a few Gladware) and some just seem kind of flimsy to me.
     
  41. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    I'm the same!!! I need to watch what I eat but I do not do a good job at it. For me food is a happy time and I don't want to eat if it's not going to taste good!!!! MY DH is a chef, it has spoiled and ruined me!! lol
     

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