In the spirit of the back-to-school season and settling into new routines, I find myself thinking about lunch a lot these days! So, I’m curious whether more people buy or bring their lunch. I looked for published statistics on this but didn’t find any. I’m still wondering.
I usually carry cold leftovers to work and then heat them up later in the microwave. Some people prefer purchasing a warm meal. Others like a quick, cold sandwich or snack that they pack. Bringing lunch to work or school can be a money saver. However, some people prefer treating themselves mid-day to a favorite comfort food or escaping the office scene to go out to eat.
Kids, in particular, have a strong sense of what they want to eat—maybe even too much! In fact, many kids, especially elementary school age, are perfectly content eating the same lunch foods every day. Younger students get excited over fun, colorful lunch bags and accessories. The bento box (Japanese for home packed meal) is becoming a popular way to jazz up the tired brown bag concept! It certainly keeps paper and wrappings out of the landfill.
Packing lunches for teens can be a bit more challenging due to the “uncool” factor—or so some think—involved with carrying a lunch bag or box to school. For teens I suggest sending prepackaged items with “cool” branded packaging (like Lucy’s!) directly in the backpack; certainly not in a lunch box! Maybe sneak an apple or an orange in there, too. I get it, I was a teenager once!
School lunches are a hot topic on the national scene these days, too, thanks to the efforts of high-profile individuals such as First Lady Michelle Obama (with her Let’s Move! campaign), food guru Rachel Ray, and Food Revolution TV show host Jamie Oliver. There has been a real movement to improve the quality of food, both in terms of nutrition and taste, offered in school cafeterias across the U.S. So, maybe school food isn’t so bad after all!
But, getting back to my question, I would like to hear from you. Which do you prefer—buying or bringing your lunch? Do you have any favorite lunch ideas or wisdom that you’d like to share. I’m gathering my own lunch statistics since I couldn’t find any on the Internet.