Brown bag it

Have you grown tired of going out to lunch? Packing a lunch is not just for kids. You can have a delicious, nutritious and inexpensive lunch by brown bagging it.

Lunchbox : from comic books to cult TV and beyond
Jack Mingo, Erin Barrett.
New York, NY : HarperEntertainment, c2004.
Hyped by manufacturers of the time, stuffed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and thermoses leaking chocolate milk, carted from suburban split-levels to schoolyards across the country for four decades, these compact forms of portable art embody a whole world of memory and nostalgia. From outer space to superheroes, from cowboys to cartoons, in metal or nifty vinyl ... here, for the first time, is the whole colorful history of one of the coolest collectibles of our time. Book jacket.

Lunchboxes come in all sizes and shapes. There are lots of choices to tote your lunch around:

  • brown paper bag
  • picnic basket
  • metal lunchbox
  • insulated bag
  • thermos

There are all sorts of wraps and containers to pack your lunch. To keep foods fresh, crisp and spill-proof use:

  • plastic wrap
  • foil
  • wax paper
  • zip lock baggie
  • plastic container with dividers

The take-it-with-you lunch is more portable than ever. Packing your lunch gives you freedom to dine wherever you please:

  • under a tree at a park
  • at the zoo
  • on the pier at the river
  • attend a brown bag lunch seminar
  • near the lake

Brown Bagging It Tips

Pack your lunch the night before.

Leftovers make great lunches.

Experiment with bread try whole wheat, pumpernickle or rye, or use a bagel or pita pocket.

Bag sandwich items separately then make your sandwich at lunchtime.

Don't forget wet wipes and utensils.

Pick up extra packets of ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, salsa, etc. next time you eat out.

Store your lunch in a clean, safe place, away from sunlight and the heat vent. Keeping the lunch you pack safe is critical:

  • scrub all fruits and vegetables
  • clean the containers you pack your lunch in
  • frozen drinks or small ice packs keep foods cold
  • use a thermos to keep hot foods hot
  • use an insulated bag
Healthy lunchboxes for kids
Amanda Grant ; photography by Tara Fisher.
New York, NY : Ryland Peters & Small, inc., 2008.
Amanda Grant, a mother of three, shows you how to prepare fuss free lunchboxes in next to no time. Starting with the basics, she introduces you to the food groups, so you know exactly what goes into a balanced lunch. Chapters on Sandwiches, One-pot Salads, Hot Food, Savories, Snacks, and Somethng Sweet provide a nutritious selection or tasty lunchbox options. For chillier days, a warming selection of hot thermos temptations, such as Tomato Soup and Chicken Stew, will keep the cold at bay. And no lunchbox would be complete without a sweet treat. Amanda serves up a selection or delicious bites, from Mini Apple Tarts and Cranberry Biscuits to Fresh Fruit Jellos and Yogurt Pots.*The ideal guide for busy parents, with over 75 recipe ideas.*A handy list of food groups provides quick and easy nutritional information.*Creative and environmentally friendly packaging ideas help make healthy food exciting for your children.

Packing your lunch is a great option because it gives you much greater control over your food choices. Consider brown bagging your lunch next time.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff