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What do high schoolers use for their lunch?


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#1 MEmama

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 12:18 PM

DS is headed to the public high school and we have no idea what to get to organise his lunch. Ideas?

This feels like such a homeschooler problem. Lol
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#2 Tanaqui

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 12:21 PM

What sort of lunch does he plan to bring? If he likes hot lunches (but not school lunch) then the answer might be thermos foodjars. If he likes sandwiches, then Glad sandwich containers.


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#3 Night Elf

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 12:25 PM

My dd used a plain black lunch bag. She didn't want anything printed or fru fru. She also had two short thermoses like for soup or other hot dish. Even both fit well in her lunch bag if she needed both, but usually only used one. 

 

My ds now uses the bag for his snack at work.


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#4 Sneezyone

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 12:41 PM

Money. My kid's school (combined middle/high) offers a la carte lunch options so DD usually gets money to spread between morning snack options, lunch and after school snack (she stays after for activities/clubs). If I pack a lunch, it's in those meal-prepping containers, typically salad or fried rice and teri chicken. Her faves.


Edited by Sneezyone, 17 August 2017 - 12:42 PM.

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#5 mytwomonkeys

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:08 PM

Most kids here eat lunch that the school provides. My daughter hates school food so she packs a lunch. She has a cute insulated bag (it's for an adult and large enough to hold some tupperware) ... today she brough water, taco salad with a side of ranch & chips from home.
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#6 lewber

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 01:28 PM

DS just started as a freshman and took a plain paper bag and everything in it is disposable. I hate that. We had packed a mostly trash free lunch until now. I'm hoping he'll go back to that, but the first two days he wanted this until he saw what the scene was:)
A lot of kids take their lunches, evidently school food is not good, yet the lines still take too long to get served.
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#7 Pink and Green Mom

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:41 PM

At my son's high school it is brown bags if you aren't buying.  Most kids buy every day.


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#8 MEmama

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:23 PM

He won't be buying a lunch and will need a LOT more than a thermos provides. :). Disposables are a no-go. I'm leaning toward just filling up one of the pockets in his book bag for the first few days so he can see what other people do.

They have the weirdest schedules here. The best I can tell, he has lunch around 10:30 twice a week and at 12:30 the other days. So I'm constantly going to be wondering what day it is and what food combinations will work (he needs to eat certain things 2 hours before cross country practice). I can't figure out why they make the class schedules so complicated now!

#9 Sneezyone

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:27 PM

He won't be buying a lunch and will need a LOT more than a thermos provides. :). Disposables are a no-go. I'm leaning toward just filling up one of the pockets in his book bag for the first few days so he can see what other people do.

They have the weirdest schedules here. The best I can tell, he has lunch around 10:30 twice a week and at 12:30 the other days. So I'm constantly going to be wondering what day it is and what food combinations will work (he needs to eat certain things 2 hours before cross country practice). I can't figure out why they make the class schedules so complicated now!


Is there a reason why he's not doing this prepping for himself?
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#10 LarlaB

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:44 PM

My older kiddo doesn't like school lunch...she packs in an insulated tote and reusable containers. I make my kids pack their own if they opt out of hot lunch.

She likes to eat the same simple meals at school even though she's an adventurous eater, it's just easier for her to have food be a non issue.

Nutella and peanut butter sandwich
Cold pizza
Single serve salads (2 for $6 at Costco, so a rare treat)
Summer sausage and cheese with crackers
Tuna salad

And sides and drink. Pretty standard- Fruit, carrots, chips, crackers, naked juice (sometimes)

I do have a small wide mouth thermos designed for soup, Mac and cheese, beef stew etc. it stays REALLY hot and sometimes the heat creates too great of a seal LOL

They have microwaves accessible but she's not ready to venture out this year but planning on:
Frozen street tacos
Frozen taquitos
Mac and cheese
Leftovers
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#11 MEmama

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:46 PM

Is there a reason why he's not doing this prepping for himself?


Because I like to. :)
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#12 Wabi Sabi

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:53 PM

My middle schooler carries this lunch bag: 

https://www.amazon.c...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We have a variety of different sized Tupperwear-type containers that he uses on a daily basis. On any given day he might have anywhere from 2-4 different containers with different food in them. Today he had one container with a sandwich, a second container that is split down the middle to hold two items (cottage cheese on one side, cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumbers on the other side), another plastic container of cherries, and a thermos for his drink.

We also have a couple sets of these that are super handy as well: 

https://www.amazon.c...ords=lunch cube

 


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#13 Wabi Sabi

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:57 PM

Is there a reason why he's not doing this prepping for himself?


My son started school for the first time this year, and so far I've been packing his lunches as well simply because I enjoy doing it for him. He's perfectly capable of making a sandwich for himself if needed, but I think of it as a kind gesture and don't mind it at all.  :001_smile:


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#14 AppleGreen

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:11 PM

My rising 11th grader packed lunch in this pretty lunch everyday last year: 

 

https://www.planetbo...ant=20636119297

 

It is spendy, but we have had lunchboxes from this company for more than 5 years. The above linked box was purchased 4 years ago. It was not used everyday until last year, but it looks brand new.

 

I have also seen kids with little coolers, both soft and hard sided. According to my kid most kids don't pack lunch, but apparently a home packed lunch is a hot commodity. My kid fessed up to trading food (for junky cafeteria food) and even selling sammies occasionally.  :closedeyes:  :w00t: :001_rolleyes: I heard, "You buy really good food and people want it, Mom." about halfway through the year. 


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#15 DawnM

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:17 PM

My 11th grader and 7th grader (last year's grades) bought lunch everyday.  But we ran into some issues with 11th grader as he often bought the $2.75 lunch PLUS another $2-$3 of stuff a la cart!  So, this year we have had a talk.  I told him I will put in the $2.75 per day for each day.   He can use it how he chooses (he can buy half, take half, or take all and keep the $$) but I am not paying $5-$6 per day for his lunch.

 

So, we got him a small black lunch box.  He may end up asking for brown bags.  That is fine.  I just need him to not spend so much!

 

Chances are, he will take a sandwich or two, a fruit cup, a water, a small bag of cookies, and a small bag of chips every day.  Judge away, but the kid is a picky eater and packing celery and carrots is just dumb since he won't eat them.

 

 


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#16 wendy not in HI

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

In some schools my kids have attended, it is against the rules to carry a backpack around - just a thought as you are planning to put his lunch in his backpack pockets.

 

My teens often take lunch from home.  We have a few different lunch sacks that they use, along with some reusable containers, a freezer pack, and reusable water bottles.  Easy. Nothing to worry about.  

 

But I'd put the lunch in its own bag rather than try to just toss stuff in a pocket of his backpack, in case backpacks are not allowed in the lunchroom.


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#17 Heigh Ho

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:58 PM

Plain insulated lunch bags, whatever the discount or drug store is selling. Freeze a small.water bottle to keep cold things chilled.
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#18 MEmama

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:37 PM

In some schools my kids have attended, it is against the rules to carry a backpack around - just a thought as you are planning to put his lunch in his backpack pockets.

My teens often take lunch from home. We have a few different lunch sacks that they use, along with some reusable containers, a freezer pack, and reusable water bottles. Easy. Nothing to worry about.

But I'd put the lunch in its own bag rather than try to just toss stuff in a pocket of his backpack, in case backpacks are not allowed in the lunchroom.


That's a good thought.

There is a cafeteria, but he's more likely to eat outside or in another area. I'm guessing the cafeteria will be too loud for him. The approved areas are parts of hallways, so backpacks should be fine. But yeah, maybe we'll start with an insulated bag instead and go from there.

#19 MysteryJen

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:38 PM

Dd2 used one of those bags you put in the freezer overnight. It worked very well as she packed lunch and lots of snacks, because she was starving mid morning after practice. She didn't get a locker as she was out of town on the required day, so she carries her backpack all day.

All her friends packed lunches.
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#20 Tap

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 09:53 PM

DD18 would take a plastic food container with a sandwich on one side and a fruit/veggie on the other.  She always had a water bottle.  And snacks like Luna Bars, pepperoni sticks etc for protein. She didn't want an extra bag to mess with so she used the pocket in her backpack.  DD18 qualified for free lunch (due to dd10 being on Medicaid) so she could eat the school lunch if she wanted, but usually chose to take her own. 

 

 

DS22 had a locker near the lunch room.  He took a lunch in a lunch box. 


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#21 Tanaqui

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:01 PM

He won't be buying a lunch and will need a LOT more than a thermos provides.

 

Is there a law against having more than one? Oh dear. I was planning, for the older kiddo as she enters high school, to plan on having two and also a salad and a piece of fruit.

 

(I should edit in here and point out that there's a good chance she'll come home at 6 or so many days. This gives her a snack if she doesn't want to head home.)


Edited by Tanaqui, 18 August 2017 - 11:02 AM.


#22 2squared

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:38 PM

At our school, most kids buy the school lunch.

 

My 15yo dd uses a soft sided insulated cooler with reusable plastic containers. She might pack once or twice a week, mostly to make sure she gets a prime seat at lunch.

 

The only boys who pack lunches are the ones who have allergies, so my 13yo ds has never considered it. He does buy seconds most days. He doesn't seem to have issues with where he sits, but that might change with the new school year.

 

All kids at our schools have to eat in the lunch room at lunch tables. They have about 25 minutes for their lunch period. It is loud and chaotic.

 

Both kids take snacks to eat before their sports practices.


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#23 Diana P.

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 05:31 AM

Allergies here. My kids all used insulated lunch boxes or bags. Took lunch everyday. They had big backpacks and stuffed the lunch box in the backpack.
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#24 HomeAgain

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 06:01 AM

Mine took a Laptop Lunch box. He removed the inner containers and packed it full of food.  It had two advantages for him: it was insulated, and it was slim enough to fit in his backpack like a book.  He didn't have a locker.

 

Many days he came home for lunch, but when he did take one he used that.


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#25 wapiti

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 09:36 AM

Insulated lunch boxes.  They put the lunch in their backpacks.  (There might also be microwaves in the cafeteria, though there might be long lines for them.  And there are definitely long lines to buy lunch.)


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#26 JudoMom

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:19 AM

You reminded me of something.  Several years ago, my group of about 5 homeschooling friends decided to try out an enrichment program at the public school.

All of the kids (about a dozen) came home that first day shocked, and with at least half of their lunches left.  We forgot to mention they'd only get a short time to eat.  They all tried eat lunch homeschool style, without any tight time constraints.
 


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#27 SKL

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:30 AM

I agree with seeing what the other boys are doing.  He doesn't want to be the only boy carrying a certain kind of bag.  :p

 

Brown bags are usual, and you can re-use them to reduce waste.


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#28 TechWife

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:34 AM

Is there a reason why he's not doing this prepping for himself?

 

Is there a reason he should be? Different strokes for different folks. For all you know, he isn't prepping his food himself because he is tired from working late at night. Or maybe he has no arms. Or maybe his mom just wants to do it because she loves him. Or maybe his mom just wants to intentionally spoil him rotten. Who cares?  This is not relevant to the conversation at hand. Unless someone specifically asks about how to teach their child a specific skill or something related to that, please, let's just give each other a break. 


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#29 TechWife

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:34 AM

Because I like to. :)

 

:hurray:  :hurray: You go, girl! 


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#30 AppleGreen

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:35 AM

 He doesn't want to be the only boy carrying a certain kind of bag:p

 

Or maybe he does. 


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#31 TechWife

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:36 AM

My son started school for the first time this year, and so far I've been packing his lunches as well simply because I enjoy doing it for him. He's perfectly capable of making a sandwich for himself if needed, but I think of it as a kind gesture and don't mind it at all.  :001_smile:

:hurray: Right on! Shower these guys with love! 


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#32 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 03:21 PM

When DD started high school we loaded up a cash card for her lunches, and we told her that we would give her enough to do that every month but if she brought her lunch from home she could keep the money for whatever she wanted.  Her choice.  When she carried lunches she used the outside pocket of her school backpack and put food in Tupperware or canning jars.  Then she would buy drinks at school.  Sometimes she would buy lunch there.  Their Cookies Of Unusual Size were particularly good, I understand.


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#33 KungFuPanda

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 03:33 PM

Dd used an Edgar Allan Poe lunch box. I'm not kidding. It was metal. She carried it by the handle and everything.
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#34 Sneezyone

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 03:36 PM

Is there a reason he should be? Different strokes for different folks. For all you know, he isn't prepping his food himself because he is tired from working late at night. Or maybe he has no arms. Or maybe his mom just wants to do it because she loves him. Or maybe his mom just wants to intentionally spoil him rotten. Who cares?  This is not relevant to the conversation at hand. Unless someone specifically asks about how to teach their child a specific skill or something related to that, please, let's just give each other a break. 

 

I didn't know. That's why I asked. It's a question out out of curiosity not an attack. It's unusual for high school students to have their parents packing their lunches everyday. I'm pretty sure kids whose parents don't pack their lunches are still showered with love.


Edited by Sneezyone, 18 August 2017 - 03:41 PM.

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#35 MEmama

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 05:29 PM

Dd used an Edgar Allan Poe lunch box. I'm not kidding. It was metal. She carried it by the handle and everything.


Awesome! :)

#36 Catwoman

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 05:43 PM

I didn't know. That's why I asked. It's a question out out of curiosity not an attack. It's unusual for high school students to have their parents packing their lunches everyday. I'm pretty sure kids whose parents don't pack their lunches are still showered with love.


It's so interesting that you say that, because among the families I know whose high schoolers aren't homeschooled, it would be unusual for the mom not to pack the lunches if their kids didn't want to eat the cafeteria food. :)

My ds has always homeschooled, and I still make his lunch at home. I'm not sure if I'm being nice or if I'm just a crazy control freak. I figure it could go either way. ;)
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#37 Jen500

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 05:51 PM

My high schoolers use plain black insulated lunch bags. 

They pack their own lunches. Mainly because they want to choose their own lunch foods. (If I packed them they'd both get the same lunches :) )


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#38 slackermom

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 06:36 PM

My kid uses this one. It is slim, so it can slide into a backpack, or the full strap allows it to be carried over the shoulder. That was a big plus when they were in a wheelchair, and then on crutches, and then broke their arm (last spring was a rough semester).

 

https://www.containe...ductId=11000111


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#39 Catwoman

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 06:53 PM

My kid uses this one. It is slim, so it can slide into a backpack, or the full strap allows it to be carried over the shoulder. That was a big plus when they were in a wheelchair, and then on crutches, and then broke their arm (last spring was a rough semester).

https://www.containe...ductId=11000111


That's a nice bag -- very slim and sleek -- and the price is reasonable, too. Sometimes things at the Container Store seem over-priced, so I was pleasantly surprised at the $12.99 price tag!
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#40 Sassenach

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 09:40 PM

I think ds is going to buy every day, and I'll send him with snacks. Last year at the middle school, lunches were $7 a day (they went with the most over the top fancy company). Ds brown bagged it all year long, with a sandwich, fruit, protein bar, dried fruit, and nuts. He's a kid who rips through calories. He was really sick of sandwiches by the end of the year.

 

The high school lunch is only $3.50. At that price, it makes more sense to have him buy. I'm sending him with a variety of snacks, too. 


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#41 Sassenach

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 09:41 PM

Dd used an Edgar Allan Poe lunch box. I'm not kidding. It was metal. She carried it by the handle and everything.

My eldest had an old school Care Bears lunch box. 


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#42 Sassenach

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 09:44 PM

In some schools my kids have attended, it is against the rules to carry a backpack around - just a thought as you are planning to put his lunch in his backpack pockets.

 

My teens often take lunch from home.  We have a few different lunch sacks that they use, along with some reusable containers, a freezer pack, and reusable water bottles.  Easy. Nothing to worry about.  

 

But I'd put the lunch in its own bag rather than try to just toss stuff in a pocket of his backpack, in case backpacks are not allowed in the lunchroom.

I've never heard of this. It seems especially strange at a high school. Do you know why they have rules against backpacks? I'm curious.


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#43 wendy not in HI

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 11:29 PM

I'm not totally sure why the no backpack rule. Kids were able to bring a pack to school, but not carry it around. I think it was because the hallways were crowded and packs get in the way and bump people. The kids at that school used lockers and stopped in between classes. It was a school with odd/even days,so there weren't even all that many books. There were bunches of students (7-12th grade).

At the middle school my son just graduated from, backpacks were not welcome in the library, I'm assuming due to theft. At the same school, reusable water bottles were not allowed, I think because too many had opened and spilled on books. Backpacks were also not welcome at the lunch tables due to tripping hazard. The few kids carrying a backpack at lunch stashed their packs at the front of the cafeteria.

These are not high crime or inner city schools. Between my 4 kids, we have attended 8+ different middle schools and high schools. Each school has its own crazy rules,mostly just confuse the new kids . Don't even get me started on graduation requirements!!
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#44 Margaret in CO

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 01:52 AM

Mine had a freezable plastic thing, with little containers that hooked on it. She had a whole collection of bags: one for orchestra, one for swimming, one for classes, one for piano. Fortunately, she had a locker at the pool and could stop at her car between classes and work and practice. Now if she's not at the dining hall, she's eating MREs!


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#45 Pen

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 12:03 PM

Insulated zippered lunch box. It also is a bit padded due to insulation, which helps keep food from being smashed as things get tossed around a good bit it seems. Or if in bookbackpack may get book squished otherwise. Inside: A couple sandwiches, or slices of pizza, etc.--wrapped in wax paper, or in stainless steel reusable www.newwaveenviro.com clamp container (was expensive, I think, but if not lost, will last and last and is probably better for both health and environment) -- (we have a stainless steel tin from another company too, but I like the newwave better) sometimes both containers go on same day to keep different items separated. Plus some cookies, granola bars or similar. If the regular lunchbox is missing / dirty / forgotten in locker, then some available bag such as an empty bread loaf bag gets used. Also if sandwich is done on a baguette sometimes have to use something like this if it won't fit in the regular lunchbox.
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#46 Quill

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 01:36 PM

My DS got a LARGE insulated lunch box. It is BIG. IT's about the size of the famous red Igloo coolers. The lid portion has a separate compartment for drink(s)/ thermos. This has been ideal for him, especially when he is doing sports and needs lunch and a sort of second lunchette before practice. We have a Kleen Kanteen food thermos he sometimes wants soup, chili or mac n cheese in. Most often, sandwiches, especially on a subroll since they are more substantial. I try to have some homemade cookies or brownies in there, but I am not always supplied with them. I buy the little packages of chips, much to my chagrin; never thought I would "sink" to that, lol. Sometimes he has nuts as a snack (pistachios, cashews), sometimes trail mix or carrots.

ETA: it's very similar to this: https://www.amazon.c...ding=UTF8&psc=1

Edited by Quill, 19 August 2017 - 01:38 PM.

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#47 SKL

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 05:00 PM

I have friends from other cultures who pack their kids' lunch as long as they can - into college and beyond if it comes to that.  If it makes everyone happy ....  But don't ask me to do that ... and don't suggest I love my kids less if I don't.  :p


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#48 MEmama

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 05:05 PM

My DS got a LARGE insulated lunch box. It is BIG. IT's about the size of the famous red Igloo coolers. The lid portion has a separate compartment for drink(s)/ thermos. This has been ideal for him, especially when he is doing sports and needs lunch and a sort of second lunchette before practice. We have a Kleen Kanteen food thermos he sometimes wants soup, chili or mac n cheese in. Most often, sandwiches, especially on a subroll since they are more substantial. I try to have some homemade cookies or brownies in there, but I am not always supplied with them. I buy the little packages of chips, much to my chagrin; never thought I would "sink" to that, lol. Sometimes he has nuts as a snack (pistachios, cashews), sometimes trail mix or carrots.

ETA: it's very similar to this: https://www.amazon.c...ding=UTF8&psc=1


Awww, someday you are going to miss buying those individual packages!

I'm sooooo over all the mom judgement (not on this thread! I mean in general). We all just do the best we can, no matter what we used to think was " best".

I loving the image of such a huge lunch box. Yay for active kids! :)
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#49 Pen

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 07:26 PM

Oh. And adding, ds's lunchbox itself came from LLBean 10 years ago when ds started Kindy. It is in excellent shape, but getting a little small for him now.  It is  red which helps to keep track of it, but he'd probably prefer black or grey.  I tend to get plain colors of such things because they seem to work longer instead of seeming like they are out of fashion or dc past that stage.  We also have Kleen Kanteen thermos.

 

I've not been aware that lunch box is a big deal here in terms of fitting in with the other kids (not like clothes or hair styles or shoes seem to be). But it is probably not the place to display Sponge Bob etc. at age 14.  And probably go with a darkish color that won't look stained and awful in no time.

 

 ???Or maybe a bleachable white. Or, maybe, perhaps, a conversation starter picture on it for a long term hobby, like a bike?, could bo ok???

 

 

Anyway, it should fit what he will want to eat / what you will pack for him to eat.  And should fit circumstances of travel etc.  Mine does not like heavy stuff to carry, tends to toss his over fence before jumping over himself (instead of opening gate) and so on, so obviously something like a glass container would not be a good idea. Nor fruit that bruises.  This year mine may be biking, but last year he took school bus and often wanted to take something to eat on bus in addition to for lunch.


Edited by Pen, 19 August 2017 - 08:00 PM.

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