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MAEBEA40 Posts: 260
7/30/12 5:13 P

These are some of the things I packed today. ( no cooler), Broccoli Salad, (broccoli, red onion, bacon bits,walnuts), kraft raspberry vinaigrette. (you can get plastic baby food containers that will not leak to hold dressing) Kashi honey almond flax bar, 2 oranges cut up in plastic container, for breakfast it was greek yogurt, strawberries, afternoon snack Quaker Quakes Cheddar Cheese, (measured out into sandwich bag), 24-almonds no salt (in snack bag counted out the night before). I have a Kashi trail mix bar just in case.

Edited by: MAEBEA40 at: 7/30/2012 (17:15)
ILOVEJIM851991 SparkPoints: (183,342)
Fitness Minutes: (108,989)
Posts: 2,053
7/30/12 5:13 P

I like to freeze a sandwich and water and then take yogurt fruit and trail mix in a cooler

7/30/12 2:08 P

The gopicnic stuff looks neat. If you bring a water bottle, you can freeze it the night before and pop it in your lunchbox. I usually bring the smaller bottles. One I freeze to keep my food cold and drink later in the day. The other is not frozen to drink earlier in the day.

7/30/12 1:55 P

We always pack a small ice chest..with sandwich fixings and fruit and water or seltzer and picnic somewhere we save money and calories and enjoy the view

KACIE209 Posts: 163
7/30/12 9:48 A

I am driving to see a friend and her family this week, getting a coffee and some oatmeal when I leave town... but would rather have something with me than stop at a fast food place when I need a break driving (it's a 4 hour drive). I plan on making PB and J sandwiches, and bringing some animal crackers with to snack on... something east that doesn't necessarily need to be cold. I froze some banansas this weekend (cut them up first), so I may bring them with too. I love road trip snacking, but I have been really good lately and know we'll be eating stuff that's more than what I normally eat in the 3 days I am visiting so it works.

SNOOPY-ACE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,071)
Posts: 267
7/30/12 6:09 A

I use a cooler and pack it with food that is healthy for me if I need to warm it up I can stop at a gas station and use their microwave. or take my egg poacher and pluge it into my car for a quick egg sandwich.

LUMPY15 Posts: 21
7/30/12 4:30 A

I like these:
They're good for you, easy to transport, you know exactly what you're getting, etc. You can also get them on Amazon. I take them in the car, where I spend a lot of time.

SUPERFLY101 Posts: 1
7/29/12 7:20 P

I've found a great little secret in Starbucks. They make Bistro lunches, which look great. I don't have a Starbucks by me and have not tried them, but I have replicated their idea. You take Hummus, pita bread or crackers, a type of meat (chicken salad, lunch meat or roasted chicken). You can create a theme like Greek, or Mexican, or a style like protein or vegetarian. Add some sliced veggies or fruit and a small piece of chocolate for desert and your done. I started making these for work and it's quick, easy and needs no microwave. I do use a insulated cooler to keep it chilled. It reminds me of a lunchable for grown -ups. The possibilities and combinations are endless.

PATIENCE29607 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,736)
Posts: 132
7/29/12 2:22 P

Tuna with mustard and wasa light rye crackers. Baby bell cheese and granny smith apple.

LCRUMLEY81 SparkPoints: (98,859)
Fitness Minutes: (13,575)
Posts: 871
7/29/12 12:22 P

PB and J on whole wheat toast
Crackers and Tuna Fish
Mix up a batch of home made muffins or sweet bread or homemade energy bars

MOLLYMOM1957 Posts: 207
7/29/12 12:06 P

thought I read canned salmon with a pop I said groase... emoticon

MOLLYMOM1957 Posts: 207
7/29/12 12:05 P

Sometimes I just cut the bananna in half.. spread the PB and eat it just like that without the bread... emoticon

LYNNRODRIGUEZ SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,495)
Posts: 638
7/28/12 11:26 P

peanut butter and banana sandwich

ANSWRGAL SparkPoints: (8,975)
Fitness Minutes: (5,476)
Posts: 42
7/28/12 12:38 P

What a great topic wilth many terrific suggestions! We have occasional power outages and some of my emergency supplies might work for you. Canned salmon (no salt added) with a pop-top (get mine at Trader Joe's) . Dry cereal with individual boxes of milk. There are almond and rice milks in individual servings too.

I haven't done it yet, but found recipes for making my own protein bars.

Thanks for a great topic! emoticon

7/28/12 10:30 A

If you can take a lunch, why can't you include a cooler pack? There are dozens of small lunch packs with freezer-sticks or -bars that can be used these days.

LITTLEBO Posts: 1,197
7/28/12 6:47 A

I was curious why you cculdn't carry a cool pack? I know your a college student. I sometime carry by cook pack in my backpack. There is a separate compartment in the one I carry to and from work. And one of the little coolers I have is soft sided and a little bigger than a brown papersack. I can fit lots of food with a freezer pack in there. I carry frozen cooked chicken a lot and don't need a freezer pack for that.

7/27/12 10:38 P

I am gone for breakfast/lunch/dinner about once a week. I also usually have to eat I the car while driving or scarf it down in a parking lot. I usually bring:
Fruit/veggie smoothie
Baby carrots
2 Hard boiled eggs
Yogurt with fruit and granola (big bowl, eat with a spoon, 400 calories. Great lunch)
Chicken on a stick- Grilled chicken on skewers that I just eat off of the stick... Makes it easy!
Dry cereal (healthy kind)

And that will last me the whole day!

TEACHERH Posts: 1,710
7/27/12 7:04 P

Several people have mentioned throwing a frozen bottle of water into an ordinary lunchbox. This works great under most temperatures, but if you are dealing with extreme heat and/or a hot car, you can still do this - just use extra frozen water bottles. Yes, that does mean sometimes half or more of the lunchbox is frozen water, but in that kind of heat I figure I need extra water anyway.

Great quick prep items are roll up sandwiches - and when I'm really in a hurry but want to eat well, I make double and eat one for breakfast as I commute. Leftover veggie omelet works great as a roll up filler too and has less salt than some choices.

I pretty much hate tuna salad, but I LOVE the real Italian Tonno in Olive Oil. Around here you can even buy it in pop top tins that are perfect for lunches, and is it so good you don't even need anything but a fork to go with it.

Also, just because you are packing in adverse conditions, don't rule out a green salad. If you dry romaine after you wash and tear it, add chopped or shredded carrot and red cabbage and a few grape tomatoes, that will keep beautifully as long as you don't add dressing until you are ready to eat it. Don't add cucumber or mushroom or chopped tomatoes if you can't reliably keep it cool though. Red pepper, as long as it is dry, usually does fine too.

Best of luck and happy healthy eating :)

DIET_FRIEND Posts: 737
7/27/12 2:10 P

I have an insulated lunch bag. I have those blue freezer cooly things that keep things cold/cool for quite a while and can be used over and over. Mine are sheets with blue pillows so they can fold--got them with flowers my husband sent to me via internet. I boil eggs and eat them about 2-3 hours later. I also keep yogurt and protein drinks cold in the lunch bag. I also like raisins and nuts and beef jerky. I don't like to have to use a microwave or refrigerator for lunch because they are sometimes nasty or crowded at work and I have very little time--if I don't have to go find my food or heat it up, I save time to eat and relax. I have also put lunch meat in zip-top bags that stay pretty cool in the bag. Also string cheese. I work in AC so maybe my system is not as stressed as it would be if stored in a hot car or outdoors.

CBARNES0828 Posts: 8
7/27/12 1:49 P

Wow, lots of great ideas.. Thanks for the forum

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (194,651)
Fitness Minutes: (253,855)
Posts: 2,243
7/27/12 1:39 P

You can make sandwiches & freeze them--then just pull out of the freezer in the morning, throw in an insulated lunch sack & away you go..........

LOVEMYLIFE1 Posts: 100
7/27/12 11:37 A

I carry natural peanut butter and ryvita crackers, nuts, seeds and dried fruit (no sugar added), whole fruits are great. I freeze water and keep it in a cooler though as then I get my water and it is cold.

7/27/12 7:38 A

you can always invest in one of those little lunch coolers and an ice pack. works great to keep sandwiches and wraps cold

HOTCOFFEEE SparkPoints: (6,877)
Fitness Minutes: (626)
Posts: 808
7/27/12 2:13 A

Beef jerkey or Turkey jerkey or smoked fish jerkey (make your own), any of the million prepackaged 100 calorie snacks that are out there, fruit that won't spoil if it's not cold (apple, banana, orange etc.), trail mix - if you want a healthier one, make your own, energy bars are always great. I make my own with oats, nuts, honey etc. Much more healthy that way. These are kind of what I call "nibbling food" but they will hold you over until mealtime. Good luck.

7/26/12 8:58 P

Mixed raw nuts, dried fruit, organic peanut butter sandwiches on homemade healthy bread, or
If you freeze some filtered water in Camel Bak water bottles or other plastic freezable bottles and put them into a cooler, you can safely carry a heathy salad, tuna, egg sandwiches, or anything ... the cooler and ice keep them cool all day, and you have ice cold drinking water for hydration. This works well for us.

BMCOLLEY SparkPoints: (83,269)
Fitness Minutes: (58,916)
Posts: 3,336
7/26/12 7:26 P

If you use a picnic basket (or its equivalent) and a freezer pack, you can basically carry anything. Make sure you freeze the freezer pack completely the night before.


SHEL_V2 Posts: 189
7/26/12 3:06 P

Making a sandwich the night before and freezing it can help add variety. It makes it safer to have tuna, egg salad, or turkey. If I'm getting by without an insulated bag, PB&J and sliced orange do okay and taste great.

7/26/12 2:32 P

And I have to make sure my children don't eat up all my healthy snacks or well I guess I buy extra for them so then I will have enough but I will still have to keep some of my healthy snacks tuck away for my appetite craving emergencies!

You are right YOUTHSALONS --- we must make sure we rinsed out the cup! emoticon

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (245,614)
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Posts: 14,860
7/26/12 11:28 A

if you can carry an insulted lunch bag, you can use a frozen water bottle, frozen smoothie, or frozen pack of Wholly Guacamole to keep things cool, and consume them when they thaw.

SUGARSMOM2 SparkPoints: (244,338)
Fitness Minutes: (215,449)
Posts: 10,929
7/26/12 11:18 A

the had me stumped for many years . now a quick trip to grocery store fixes fast . or the idea to carry stuff in truck so you will not starve if stranded lost a long way from help . carry bottle water also . change it every so often . yes it goes bad.

GOING-STRONG Posts: 6,998
7/26/12 11:13 A

Wow..some great ideas. These will really help when we take road trips as I would rather control what I eat than eat in a fast food place.

DAHOPPER1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (220)
Posts: 45
7/26/12 10:09 A

Great ideas - all! I like to keep the food I pack at my desk at work, just because it disappears in the fridge at work!

ROGERSBABE1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (29,390)
Posts: 5,351
7/26/12 10:08 A

I keep a jar of some sort of nut in my car and at work. I count out a serving and eat on the go. That helps me stay away from a lot of junk food. Tuna in a pouch with five or six triscuits. I also like sardines.

7/26/12 8:08 A

A bottle of water and power protein shake are good for the car...just don't forget to rinse out the cup=/

Edited by: YOUTHSALONS at: 7/26/2012 (08:09)
BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
7/26/12 1:31 A

What about a can of tuna with some crackers, and some fruit?

SOCDIRECTOR SparkPoints: (100,651)
Fitness Minutes: (96,086)
Posts: 773
7/25/12 10:17 P

WOW! These are great suggestions. I'm going to have to try a few myself. Now that school is starting back up, the easier, the better for a nutritious breakfast. Thanks for this great forum topic.

CINEMAVEN Posts: 338
7/25/12 9:32 P

Someone has already mentioned Bento and I so agree. There's a website called that has amazing recipes for real food you can pack in a bento box.
Also, there are such a amazing thermal lunch bags these days that you can keep your food safe for hours. I generally pack a few frozen bottles of water in the summer and that keeps me satisfied and my food cold :)

CARYLENE SparkPoints: (75,865)
Fitness Minutes: (63,776)
Posts: 3,593
7/25/12 8:36 P

I like a cup of greek yogurt or cottage cheese (about 20 gms of protein each) and I put frozen strawberries or berries. The frozen fruit acts like a cooler for the greek yogurt or cottage cheese so it doesn't spoil.

I also think boiled eggs would work. I also think you could use a freezer pack that you freeze overnight and take cheese sticks with you, so you could have a cheese stick, a couple of boiled eggs and an ounce of pretzels.

PB and honey sandwiches on whole wheat bread. Not a lot of protein in peanut butter, though.

Lunch meat has enough sodium in them that you should be OK until lunchtime, same with cheese. I would hesitate to use mayo, but you can use mustard.

They also make tuna salad kits, but to me those are a snack...I need 2 of them.

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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Posts: 3,526
7/25/12 8:23 P

when I was overseas (Japan) my "mother" used to pack me a bento lunch every day for school. I would leave the house at around 630 - 7 in the morning, and not eat lunch until 12:30 - 1:00 and my food was fine.

The staples were things like chicken, steak, pork, various steamed veggies, white rice (served with every meal) and usually fruit or some other type of "sweet"

Sometimes she packed me sandwiches, but more often than not it was my bento box.

I also agree with the tuna salad - they make a pouch of already made tuna salad that is delicious! I eat it straight from the pouch. They now make lots of flavors, so you won't get bored.

GO_REN_GO Posts: 28
7/25/12 7:05 P

I would recommend getting a Thermos or insulated food jar -- it'll keep foods warm or cold for hours. It's really handy, especially since you're looking for a way to eat more whole foods and protein. There are a variety of sizes and they're easy to find. Since they're durable and leak-proof, they also stand up to the rigors of being thrown around in a backpack or bag so you don't have to carry an additional lunch bag.

I've used my stainless steel Thermos wide-mouth food jar to make oatmeal (throw in regular oats, hot water, brown sugar, peanut butter and raisins and close the lid; it'll be ready to eat when you are); I imagine it would be equally useful for cooking couscous or other whole grains that you could mix with veggies, beans and/or meat. It also keeps stews, chilis and soups nice and hot until lunchtime.

I've also used it to keep things cold, like fruit salads and yogurt parfaits (I like Greek yogurt with fruit and chopped roasted nuts -- using roasted nuts is key so they don't get mushy). I imagine you could also use it for creamy salads, like chicken or tuna salad, so that it stays cold until lunch time and you could just eat it with crackers or bread.

Lastly, I also like the Fit & Fresh line of food storage; it's available at Target and similar stores. I have a "lunch on the go" set that includes a removable freezer pack and portion-controlled storage. It's a good size for me and fits a salad or sandwich, as well as two snack-sized portions of veggies or fruits. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Hope this helps and good eating!

Edited by: GO_REN_GO at: 7/25/2012 (19:09)
REDPEPPERS Posts: 18,889
7/25/12 6:44 P

Food should be unrefrigerated for no more than 2 hours. If your food will be outside in the summer heat, I wouldn't keep it out even 2 hours.

Are you able to carry a backpack or a messenger bag? I know you can't bring a cooler. If so, you could do as DRAMAJLN suggested and carry a freezer pack.

Edited by: REDPEPPERS at: 7/25/2012 (18:45)
KIM--POSSIBLE Posts: 3,201
7/25/12 5:42 P

I avoid processed food as much as possible. Here are some things I eat for lunches regularly.

- salad with baby carrots and apple slices dipped in peanut butter or other nut butter
- 1/2 bell pepper spread with 1/2 laughing cow swiss cheese wedge or hummus, topped with a slice of tomato, spinach or lettuce, and cucumber slices
- Arnold's wheat sandwich thin spread with nut butter, topped with apple slices
- spinach salad with lots of veggies and a hard boiled egg

for sides, I usually have a piece of fruit, and try to switch it up. I might have grapes and cherries one day, cubes watermelon, honey dew or cantaloupe another day. If I have fruit with my main course, I'll have veggies as a side. If protein is low, I also keep a protein bar in the front pocket of the cooler.

*Just reread the original post. Sorry, didn't realize that you couldn't even carry a cooler. I usually make it work to carry one for days when we travel for work, as I have to keep cold water on hand!

- protein bars with fruit that doesn't have to be kept cold?
- nut butter sandwiches, again with fruit such as bananas or apples that don't have to stay cold

Edited by: KIM--POSSIBLE at: 7/25/2012 (17:45)
KYLAR_STERN SparkPoints: (22,234)
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Posts: 1,053
7/25/12 5:10 P

how long could cooked chicken and pasta be ok at room temperature? Maybe I could just eat that plain. Another "meal" I've done is a whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter spread over it, then rolling a banana up inside. It's delicious and not bad for energy. Just hoping for more ideas, preferably with more protein.

EWL978 Posts: 2,021
7/25/12 4:49 P

You can even buy tuna and/or chicken in foil packages -- individual serving size. Lots of things come in that type of packette...however, keep in mind, the cost will go up. If you freeze grapes they will last all day in a wide mouth thermos. Once you start thinking along these lines, the idea grows by leaps and bounds. Good luck!!

7/25/12 4:35 P

I've been in the same situation a few times. Low fat jerky (buy it or make your own), and a can of unsalted veggies or a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread was my usual. Like another poster mentioned, canned tuna is a possibility, and there is also canned chicken breast. A variety of nuts and fresh fruit are other good options. You can also soak oats instead of cooking them and add nutritious mix-ins.

Otherwise, all I can think of is canned soup or meal bars, but most of those (as you mentioned) could stand to be better for you.

DRAMAJLN SparkPoints: (24,106)
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Posts: 14
7/25/12 2:37 P

It might be worth buying a small refreezable ice pack that you can put in your lunch box. Or they do make some small lunch bags that have a space for them. This would help keep meat sandwiches and yogurt cold enough until lunch. I usually make a turkey sandwich with mustard, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and hummus, and bring yogurt and fruit with me. This generally is a good lunch for me. I will also bring extra fruit or a protein bar with me for a midafternoon snack, especially on my long days.

KIRA97 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (110)
Posts: 10
7/25/12 1:49 P

I have been in your situation, and here's what I packed that kept me content and healthy:

An almond butter (1 tsp) and banana (half a medium one sliced) sandwich on a whole wheat pita.
A bag of baby carrots.
2 bottles of water.
A luna bar.

It kept me full until the next meal time, and kept well without refrigeration.

CHIHAYA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (8,249)
Posts: 434
7/25/12 10:05 A

We have traditional on the go lunch box called bento .

The idea is to pack everything into a single lunch box. We eat very different, wide variety of foods everyday, so we can pick up suitable food that lasts long enough for few hours. But generally, it's rice + meat or fish (often fried) + some veggies (often steamed, stir fried or pickled).

You may replace rice to oatmeal or pasta. Meat and veggies are your choice. Microwave? Of course it would taste better when it's heated, but you really don't need it once it is fully cooked. Just add little spice or extra salt so that you can feel taste.

Actually, what matters is a container. Separation is the key. You might find bento box container like
Yet, you could use single lunch box, by separating area using aluminum foil.

The only limitation is your imagination. It only has to last few hours. You can pack almost everything you eat.

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (245,614)
Fitness Minutes: (122,969)
Posts: 14,860
7/25/12 9:14 A

peanutbutter on whole grain bread

fruits & vegetables

vacuum packed tuna (or canned with the pull tab). I think they even make kits that include all the ingredients for tuna salad. I don't eat canned tuna, or anything with mayo, so I'm not sure.

whole grain crackers

spelt pretzels

KIND bars

trail mix

KYLAR_STERN SparkPoints: (22,234)
Fitness Minutes: (23,806)
Posts: 1,053
7/25/12 8:23 A

Hey there, I'm looking for ideas for good, balanced meals that I can eat on the go, that do not to be stored in a fridge (or cooler) and I won't have access to a microwave. I know this is a tough set of constraints. I mean, I could always go back to a banana, Cliff bar, and handful of almonds, but I'd rather have whole foods with high protein and good, complex carbs. Any ideas for those? There are times when I have to eat on the go becuase of my job and it doesn't allow me the convience of even bringing a cooler along.

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