Written by Allison Perry, Media by Tawnie Kozora.
All throughout my life as a student, I have always taken my lunchbox to school. From kindergarten to senior year, if I didn’t like what was being served I would take my lunch. As a college student, though, packing a lunchbox is the best scenario because it saves me money and time. Packing a lunchbox also allows me to choose healthier options. At the age of twenty, I have mastered the art of packing a lunchbox. I’m about to share my secrets. Picking out a lunch box that works well for you is super important. A few questions to ask in when choosing a lunchbox are:
Will I need to keep anything cool?
How much food will I be taking in my lunch box?
Where will I be carrying my lunch box to?
When I chose my college lunchbox, I chose one that has ice packs built into it, because I like to pack cool foods. The lunchbox goes into the freezer every night when I come home, freezes back up, and the ice packs last up to at least seven hours after being taken out of the freezer. I chose a pretty small lunch box because I have to carry it around campus all day and I eat light lunches.
While my lunches are light, they are filling and delicious. I normally pack a combo of about five things: a fruit, a veggie, a dairy, a sweet, and a salty. Sometimes I will pack something salty that I can mix with my sweet. Sometimes I will mix my dairy and fruit. Doing this allows me to use up less space in my lunch box, and also make it less boring. Some of my favorite snacks to pack in my lunch box are: raw sweet potatoes dipped in vanilla yogurt, bananas or apples dipped in peanut butter, pretzels and cheese, trail mix, granola bars, boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, pumpkin seeds, baby cucumbers, snap peas, cuties (which are tiny oranges that are easy to peel), carrots, and the list could go on. Other students I know who pack their lunch like to pack turkey sandwiches, fruit snacks, crackers with summer sausage, salad, pasta salads, and soup in a thermos.
An important thing to know when you take your lunch box on a frequent basis is where to shop. I shop at Aldi, because they have organic snacks for much cheaper than places like Walmart, and they have many different generic snacks that taste just like the popular brands, only much cheaper. Some of the generic snacks Aldi carries that I buy a lot of are Greek yogurt, granola bars, pretzels, cheese, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and trail mix. The fruit and veggies at Aldi are also so much cheaper.
The art of packing a lunch box is to know what types of foods will keep you full throughout the day, how to mix and match in order to make the foods less bland and where to shop that will allow you to buy good food for less than the usual price. For more lunch box ideas, Pinterest is always a good app to use.