Emergency Sack Lunches (for grown ups, too!)

When lunch plans take last minute or unexpected turns, you can be ready to throw together a kid-friendly or sophisticated sack lunch. Maybe your kid needs a quick lunch to take to the zoo with his class. Perhaps you need a grab and go lunch for a last minute bike ride with friends. Or your friends just invited you to a picnic dinner and outdoor theater. Selecting delicious and favorite foods ensures everyone enjoys a filling meal. Choosing the right food items and storage protects everyone from serious food borne illnesses. Stocking the right foods in your pantry can turn a dilemma into a dream. Here are a few suggestions for stocking up this fall:

Cupboard Items:
  • Peanut butter singles - They cost a little more but they make peanut butter to-go easy.
  • Tuna pouches or pre-made tuna salad - My family loves tuna, so having it to-go is a hit. Remember to throw away what's not eaten right away unless refrigeration is available.
  • Nuts - Almonds and walnuts taste great and supply energy. Many come in flavors and single serving packages. Remember that some people have peanut restrictions. Pistachios in the shell or cashews are a hit with adults.
  • Crackers - Try savory herbed flavors, whole grain, or plain varieties for easy snacking.
  • Juice Boxes or bottles - More nutritious than soda, juice can be the perfect portable snack.
  • Horizon (or other brands of shelf-stable) Milk Boxes - Aseptic packaging and ultra-high temperature pasteurization keeps consumers safe since these don't require cold storage. Note: These do taste better cold and some don't prefer their flavor. Think about sampling these ahead of time or buying chocolate flavored packages.
  • Bottled Water - Make sure to stay hydrated when you are out and about. Include enough water to accommodate weather and activity.
  • Aseptically packaged wine - We call it boxed wine when it's a larger package. Many outdoor venues don't allow glass or cans. Don't forget disposable cups - stemmed or not.
  • Apple sauce or fruit cups - A great variety of flavors are available for your fruity pleasure.
  • Dried fruit - Whether it's good old raisins or dried apricots and cherries, these sweet snacks will be a perfect dessert.
Fresh items to keep around the house, just in case:
  • Apples - Crisp, juicy apples are totally portable and quite refreshing.
  • Grapes - Refreshingly sweet, grapes are also packed with antioxidants.
  • Cheese - A few slices of cheddar with apples, crackers, or alone can dress up any meal. Some cheeses are shelf stable until opened, others recommend refrigeration.
  • Sausage - Many hard sausages are shelf stable (over the short term) until they are opened. If you intend to slice them ahead, bring home left overs or endure very high temperatures, remember to take ice. 
What to carry your meal in:
  • Kids may prefer a paper sack or an insulated character lunch bag. Many paper bags and plastic zip bags come with kid friendly decoration, too.
  • These days, adults can find some appropriately mature or delightfully whimsical lunch totes, too. Or take a small cooler and a few extra beverages.
  • Re-freezable blue ice packs come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate your needs. Try freezing one of the bottled waters if you need a more disposable option. (You can drink it as it thaws when lunch time is over.)
  • An old fashioned picnic basket or any old basket can add a festive picnic appeal to eating al fresco.
  • Don't forget plates, cups, napkins, and utensils.  Check location rules for items like knives, alcoholic beverages, cans and bottles, and coolers.

No comments:

Post a Comment