First Things First: The Golden Rules for Field Trip Lunches
Gone are the days when you could pack up pretty much any snacks readily available at home and call it a field trip lunch. Schools are getting increasingly strict about what your kid can and cannot bring on their lunch box — and with good reason. Here are some unspoken rules for field trip lunches that will spare you unnecessary headaches if you plan ahead.
Avoid Food Allergens
Field trips are supposed to be fun, and nobody wants allergens to ruin the day for anyone — or everyone. When packing a boxed lunch for your kid, skip items that could put them or other children at risk. You can check with the school in advance if there are any food allergen bans and work around them. This will ensure everyone's safe and happy during their big day.
Keep Things Cold
For safety reasons, field trip lunches need to remain cold. Be sure to place an ice pack in your child's lunchbox so their food will last through the day without getting spoiled. If you don't have one, you can freeze a couple of water bottles. Just don't forget an unfrozen one so your kid can stay hydrated.
Use Disposables When Possible
Field trips are the perfect place to lose the house's fancy food containers and bags. Besides, bulky plastic Tupperware is not the most practical way for children to carry food around when they're out and about. Use resealable or paper bags to store your kid's lunch. Teachers and chaperones will appreciate not having to keep track of what every child needs to take back home with them.
Lable All Items With Your Kid's Name
Because kids are unlikely to bring a recognizable lunch box to a field trip, lunches could look pretty much the same. You need to put your kid's name on everything to ensure they don't misplace their lunch or end up eating somebody else's. The same goes for any plastic containers, thermos, or utensils you don't want to lose.
Pack Some Power Snacks
Don't forget to pack some small snacks to keep your kids energized in between lunch breaks. Here are some ideas:
- Protein Combo: Include a cheese stick, turkey, and nuts (if not banned by school anti-allergen rules). If you don't have a picky eater, you could add some olives too.
- Greek Yogurt Parfait: Another great source of protein your kid can enjoy on the go is Greek yogurt. You can put some in a plastic cup with some toppings on the side. Think honey, berries, granola, and raisins.
- Fruit and Dipping Sauce: You can also pack a banana or some apple slices with your kid's preferred dipping sauce. Try something healthy like almond butter.
- Veggies and Hummus: A baby carrots and celery combo with hummus goes a long way. You can also add bell peppers to the mix.
- Store-Bought Snacks: If you're in a rush, you can always turn to your kid's favorite prepackaged snacks. Some good options: SqueeZ Fruit, fruit strips, Teddy Grahams, Oreos, roasted chickpeas, pretzels, trail mix, and Cheez-Its.
Pro Tip: Don't forget to pack napkins, paper towels, utensils, and anything else your kid will need to eat and enjoy their food.
Boxed Lunch Packing Tips
Field trip lunches are more about practicality and less about presentation. However, it's best to keep all food items protected and organized so your child can enjoy their meal. If you believe sending stuff in a plastic or paper bag will be an issue, here are some other ideas you can use:
- Bento Box Style: You can use a container with multiple dividers if your kid's particular about their food touching. This will help you give them a mess-free eating experience and enough space to serve up veggies, deli meat, cheese, crackers, and even a dipping sauce.
- Plastic Mason Jar: This container can be useful when packing salads, yogurt parfaits, and more. It will help prevent wet ingredients from spilling.
- Thermos: When absolutely necessary, you can keep certain foods at the right temperature by serving them in a thermos. This container is also great for avoiding food spoilage.
Planning ahead also plays a huge role in your field trip lunch success. Leaving things to the last minute could result in a poorly packaged, improvised lunch that won't get your kid through the day.
Easy Field Trip Lunches You Can Make at Home
Now that you know the basics of field trip lunch prepping, you can get down to business. Here are some delicious ideas to keep your children well-fed and happy during their next school trip.
Leftovers: You can always go with an old trustworthy and send your kids leftovers for lunch. Pizza is a great alternative since it can also be served cold, and kids love it!
PB & J Sandwich: This will keep your child's tummy full while giving them enough energy to carry on with their day. However — and we cannot stress this enough — check with the school if there's an issue with your child bringing peanut anything along.
Pasta Salad: Drained pasta with veggies and a protein source is a balanced meal perfect for a warm day. You can add a dressing on the side for added flavor.
When in Doubt, Get a Preordered School Lunch
The field trip lunches above are perfect for any out-of-the-classroom activities. However, if you want to save time and effort making lunch, try preordering school lunch.
Boonli allows you to get your child's field trip lunches ahead of time so that you don't have to worry the night before. Our platform makes your life easier by allowing you to order on the go and manage your kid's profile from any device. If you want to learn more about Boonli's preordering service, visit our site today.