We’re quick to buy lunchboxes for our kids, but what about for ourselves? Do grown-ups need lunchboxes, too? Here are some handy ideas for “grown-up lunch boxes” that will make your days easier, healthier, and more fun.
One of the advantages of devising your own grown-up lunchbox is that you will no doubt have better quality lunches. When we're intentional about planning lunch, we usually choose fresh ingredients, a variety of food groups, and get to include our favorite dishes (great leftovers or made just for lunch) that beat a burger and fries any day. Why not plan your lunch menus the way you plan dinner menus? Try some new recipes along with some old favorites. Lunch doesn’t need to be a sandwich or soup, bring that favorite casserole, some pasta salad, or use it as the perfect reason for buying the best of the in-season produce.
Enough adults prefer to bring their lunch with them that there is now a great market out there for insulated lunch bags and boxes designed to coordinate with your purse, briefcase, or business backpack. Everything from basic black to matching fabrics can be found. These are not your grandparents’ brown bags!
Waxed canvas business backpacks and crossover bags can be great for carrying everything from your laptop, papers, wallet, and your lunch. When shopping for a business bag, keep in mind all the personal items that you will want to have space to transport whether it’s a small makeup bag, a change of shoes, or an insulated lunch bag that will fit easily next to your laptop sleeve. Many professionals prefer the “everything in one bag” approach. Make your commute as pleasant and easy as possible. If you are a professional who needs to carry a significant amount of stuff, consider a briefcase on wheels similar to a carry-on bag. The right one can save your shoulders.
If you have special dietary needs or just want to avoid all the sugar and processed food that is out there, bringing your lunch is the way to go. From fresh vegetables to gluten-free to vegan options, it’s up to you. No more scanning through the drive-through or take-out menu to look for the one item that is kind of okay for your body’s needs. If you are sticking to a special diet, make sure to make it as flexible as possible and include some variety. Think about what snacks or desserts would work well with your chosen food plan. Maybe bring some herbal tea bags to keep the beverages interesting. Water is one of the best things that we can do for our health, but the right hot tea can be just the ticket come midafternoon and might help you to stay away from those vending machines.
“Lunchboxes” aren’t just for commuters. Having on-the-go meal and snack options when you are traveling can make all the difference in your experience. Taking a road trip with the family? Skip the questionable food at the gas station and enjoy your own pre-prepared food. Does everyone want junk food except you? Maybe going through that drive-through and opting for something better for yourself is a good compromise (road trips are always about compromise—lol).
Especially if keeping drinks cold is a must, your lunch bag can come in handy once you get to your destination, too. Any outside venue from zoos to botanical gardens to sporting events can be a great place to have a lunch bag. Just check the rules first with respect to bringing in your own snacks and the sizes of totes that are allowed. You don’t want to have to run back to your car to put it away.
Do you enjoy hiking? Don’t just pack that water bottle, have some healthy snacks handy to give you the fuel you need to enjoy the entire hike without ending it famished. Don’t overdo it on the food while you are exercising but staying hydrated and getting enough calories to keep you going are just as important as wearing good hiking boots and wearing sunscreen. Great hiking snacks can include dried fruit, nuts, ready-made, or homemade trail mix, along with energy bars and fresh fruit. Give yourself a healthy protein and sugar boost when you need it.
Yes, a great picnic basket or cooler is helpful for the gang, but chances are there will be some smaller dishes or individual items to include as well. A smaller insulated carrier (i.e., lunchbox will work well as part of your organizational ensemble. A canvas tote bag not only makes a great lunchbox, but also a great carryall for picnic blankets, beach towels, and jackets, too.
No matter what size, style, or color, find a grown-up lunchbox that works for you.