- Food and Cooking
Top Teacher Lunch Box Choices
What Is Your Personal Preference
What do you do for lunch?
I think if I have a good breakfast, I could go without food for the rest of the day. I think that until about lunchtime."
Today I packed a fantastic lunch which included all the proper nutrients for a healthy body: tuna on whole grain bread, an apple and orange for fruit, carrot sticks with lite Italian dipping sauce and a gluten-free oatmeal cookie for dessert. Too bad I forgot to bring it with me to work! Now, I am forced to hike over to the cafeteria between classes to scarf down a quick bite. Twenty minutes passes too quickly.
I read somewhere that teachers are most likely to gain weight due to their sedentary roles, high stress, and poor eating habits. For this reason, I pack a lunch. My thoughts are that I can control my food choices and calorie intake if I bring my own meals from home.
I took a poll on lunch box choices from teachers across the country as to what they preferred during break at school. For the most part, educators do choose to pack instead of purchase food when at work due to time constraints. And, unsurprisingly, the sample of foods chosen are quite nutritious.
The Challenge of The Profession
In some schools, teachers may have to dine with their students and as a result they eat from the same menu. As Dolores from Texas states, "95% of the cafeteria lunch program is government issued and you get what you get. The meals can be boring and bland." Even so, she believes the time spent dining with students is valuable and socially connects both teacher and student.
As a teacher, she is fortunate enough to have an hour for lunch separate from the class. This enables her to store a small refrigerator in her room holding salads, fresh fruit, water, steam veggie packages, soup, and leftovers from home. Her child also attends the same school so they eat together most days in her classroom. This is a blessing for any teacher.
All In One Meal To Go
Meals of Convenience
From the bread basket of the Midwest, Liz prefers to pack her lunch each day. Her busy schedule keeps her from dining in the lunch room and eating at her desk works best for her. Most days she chooses to bring a garden salad loaded with veggies and topped with a light dressing. On occasion, she will tote take-out from the night before or leftovers from home when she is pressed for time.
Liz has seen an increase in the salad in a jar option among her peers. They love the convenience of taking the jar right out of the refrigerator to place it in their lunch bag. Its simple and one can make a whole week's worth of meals at a time.
Portable Lunch Bag Resources
Gourmet Is the Way
If cooking is your delight, lunch break is a highlight of your day. Luiza, from South Florida, varies her home cooked meals so that she packs a good balance of interesting food choices. Her favorites are tortilla chicken wraps, pot pies, and baked chicken and rice. Her husband, who is an excellent chef, provides her with delectable Spanish cuisine which makes her the envy of her colleagues.
Some home-cooked foods I have found convenient as a next day lunch meal are:
- pasta salads
- chili, soup, or stews
These can easily be reheated by microwave or kept hot in a thermos. You can probably think of other food items packable and suitable for a quick meal at work.
When bringing a meal from home, it is best to pack it in a container or bag that will keep your food fresh until well past noon. Today, you can find a variety of insulated lunch totes with additional pockets to hold utensils, a beverage, and even your cell phone.
Summary of Top Teacher Lunch Box Choices
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Veggie & dip
V8 juice-type product
Places to MeditateClick thumbnail to view full-size
Feed Your Body and Mind
No matter what your lunch box choice is, regular lunch breaks will keep your mind alert, boost your energy level and strengtehn your focus. Studies show that only one of four people in the US take a lunch break and one out of three eat at a desk. The reasons for this is people believe it will save them time in the long run and keep them from working overtime.
As a teacher, your performance is directly impacted by the amount of nutrition your body and mind receive. Energy levels are higher and one is able to concentrate when they get away from work for just 15 to 20 minutes. Eating lunch, whether away from your desk or not, stimulates the brain activity and provides oxygen which in turn reduces stress levels. Studies show that elevated stress levels increase cortisol leading to the over accumulation of fat in the brain. Not so good.
If possible, getting away from your classroom and dining at the cafe or teacher lunch room will be a most welcome benefit for your overall well being. Some instructors consider eating in the cafe a last resort. However, the average noise level in the cafe serves to promote creativity as your brain processes thought. This is good. So, make lunch break an important part of your day!
© 2014 Dianna Mendez