Got Teens? Will they take a packed lunch to school?
“Lunchboxes are so dorky!”
“Mom! No one brings a lunch box to school. That is SO 4th grade!”
“No way am I carrying a lunchbox to school.”
Sound like your kids?
Teens, especially teen boys, are often quite resistant to carrying a home packed meal to school. It can seem way cooler to buy lunch in the cafeteria; to not have one more thing to carry when you’re already lugging around an 8 lb. chemistry book and a whole lot more.
But what’s more important for a growing kid than good nutrition? If you’re struggling with either HOW to pack for teens or how to CONVINCE them to take a packed lunch, keep reading….
Inspiration from the experts
I went to my network of lunch packing bloggers, many of whom pack for teens, and asked them for their tips, observations, and words of wisdom. Here are just some of their replies:
“…my son’s appetite trumps all else and he would rather have an edible home packed lunch than take his chances with the school lunch. He also doesn’t much care what others think. Another reason why he takes his lunch is that their lunch period is pretty short and the school lunch line is pretty long. With bringing his lunch, he gets to eat his whole lunch without rushing and can still goof around with his friends. His lunch line friends are in a constant rush to get their lunches and inhale them before time’s up.” – Tracie of Lunch, Snack, and Sninner
“My oldest is in 11th grade this school year and has always brought his lunch to school. Simply because I knew if I gave him money, he would buy pizza, soda and fries every single day. This way I know that he’s eating food that is much better for him than what they serve at school. The food offered in our district’s school cafeterias leaves a lot to be desired taste and nutrition-wise so I feel better knowing exactly what goes into his lunch each day. To my knowledge, he’s never had any issues with other kids giving him a hard time about bringing his lunch. In fact, he’s the only one in his group of friends that brings a lunch. We use the ELB Brights and he’s even taken the pink and purple lids on several occasions last year. I asked him if he wanted me to get him the Go Green lunchbox system this year and he said he was fine with the ELBs.”– Cassandra of We Should be Folding Laundry
“My son is in middle school this year… He prefers my lunches since he simply hates the cafeteria food here and asked me to keep packing. He loves the EasyLunchboxes but prefers the yellow or green from the Brights set. So, we will be packing, and in ELBs 🙂 Oh, and all my kids have lunch accounts. They buy on certain days (pizza day or salad bar) BUT, on those days they come home starving! The food portions & quality of the cafeteria food is so terrible that my kids love a fully packed ELB or other lunchbox that sustains them throughout the day!” – Nina of Mamabelly Lunches with Love
“I didn’t want to put words into P’s mouth so I went in to his room and asked him about his lunches. My 9th grade boy sat there with his Dr. Seuss pajama bottom clad legs propped up against the ladder of his loft bed ladder, popping bubble wrap…pondered the question. “Why don’t you mind when I pack you fun lunches?” He screwed up his face and said “Because they’re fun?” No, I know, but so many boys your age would rather die than have their mom pack their lunch. “You’re kidding, right? I don’t care what people think about my lunches!” – Lauri of Welcome to the Bensanity
The EasyLunchbox System is great for athletes with a big appetites
“Kelly – your question brings back high school memories… yes, girls it didn’t matter, but the guys rarely packed lunch UNLESS you were a wrestler or football player – haha they would BOTH bring AND buy a lunch because they were eating and cramming as many calories as they could! It was always a spectacle to watch.” – Keeley of Keeley McGuire Blog
“I have some special teenage boys in my life. Their school day is long with sports practice and games after school. They were my consultants and testers for all of the lunches and snacks… My teenagers bring a packed lunch and snack everyday. Some teenagers may not want to bring a packed lunch to school. The opinion of my teen consultants is that when you bring food from home you can count on something good to eat.” – Kathy of Eclectic Lamb
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Left on their own, most kids can pack an enviable lunch. Here’s a croissant bento lunch packed by a middle schooler. Get the DETAILS on BentoLunch.net.
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And what about the lunch BAG??
“Be square with me folks… What kind of lunch bag can I send my son’s lunch to school in (for middle school) without embarrassing him? I think I’m good with containers but unsure on the bag.”
– Deb Jordan of iPackLunch
While my EasyLunchboxes cooler bags may work for most kids and adults, I realize teenagers are probably wanting something that looks less like, “I’m carrying a lunch box” and more like, “You don’t know it’s my lunch cuz I’m cool that way.”
You can never have too much help! Even more resources for teen lunch packing:
Even more lunch box ideas for work (teens will enjoy too!)
3 healthy school lunch ideas [VIDEO]
And the MOTHERLODE:
pic above courtesy of Tracie │ Lunch, Snack, and Sninner
If you’re packing for teens, share your best tips (or war stories) below! Links to even more ideas are welcome 🙂