Jul 31, 2009

Good Housekeeping, 1955: Box Lunches, Part 1

(If the following words don't convert you to preparing box lunches for your loved ones, well, I just don't know WHAT will.)

Box Lunches

The same food for lunch day after day will make anyone's appetite lag, particularly if he must take his lunch with him to school or work. Here's how to keep him always eager.

(See what I mean? Lagging appetite? Don't let it happen. Keeping him always eager? I won't even comment on that one.)

When You Plan

Plan ahead--not just for tomorrow but for several days if you can.

Think first of what your lunch toter should have and would like to find in his lunch box, bag, or brief case.

For the sake of his good health, see that each lunch box includes:

  1. Meat, eggs, poultry, cheese, or fish in sandwiches, salad, or main dish.
  2. Vegetables--at least one--in sandwiches, salad, or main dish, or as raw relish.
  3. Fruit--at least one--raw, cooked, frozen, or canned, as is or in salad or dessert.
  4. Breads--varied from day to day.
  5. Milk--to fill out the day's quota--as is, as a milk drink, in soup or dessert, etc. To pack in extra nourishment, add a beaten egg or tablespoon of nonfat dry milk or molasses to a milk drink.

(As regards #5, I might do the molasses, but the other two choices are not considered healthy.)

Keep the box lunch in mind when planning dinner the night before. (I am the queen of leftover dinner becoming the next day's lunch.)

Speed lunch box packing by doing all you can while cleaning up dinner the night before.

  1. Unpack, wash, and scald lunch box and vacuum bottle. Dry thoroughly. Let lunch box air.
  2. Wash and refrigerate raw vegetables, salad greens, and fruits.
  3. Make up, wrap, and refrigerate or freeze sandwiches the night before. Then pack into lunch box the last possible moment--especially if lunch box cannot be refrigerated.
  4. Plan servings as generous as those at home.

My husband is a paint contractor. There are many times when he is not near a kitchen--no microwave, no refrigerator. The above tips are especially useful for me.

Number 4 is interesting. I realized that I do NOT pack as generously as I would serve at home. I guess I've got the idea that lunch should be smaller with dinner being bigger. Really, that's backwards. I will do my best to rectify this!

After all, I DO want to keep him always eager, right?


The Glamorous Housewife said...

I had not thought of freezing a sandwitch before. Might be worth trying. I try and follow a schedule: pb and j on Monday, cheese sandwich on Tuesday, fake chicken nuggets on Wednesday, pasta on Thursday, and Friday is pizza day at school so I don't have to pack a lunch. Yay! Then everyday they have at least one fruit, usually and apple, one veggie, usually carrot or cucumber sticks, though sometimes I do ants on a log, and maybe one snack like nuts, chips, or cheese crackers.

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Packrat said...

Old tip (that we started skipping to cut back on calories): butter the inside of both pieces of bread. This helps keep the bread from getting soggy. And a reminder: don't freeze sandwiches with mayo (or Miracle Whip) on them.

Isn't it interesting that using the old four food groups (protein, grains, dairy, and fruits and vegetables) to plan meals still seem to work best?

Anonymous said...

I have a question--why is adding a tablespoon of non-fat dry milk to your milk drink unhealthy? The reason I ask is because I have osteoporosis and this is a way I have been advised by my doctor to add extra calcium to milk without extra fat.

Packrat talked about buttering both sides of the bread to keep it from getting soggy--that's also the trick with peanut butter and jelly! Mayo and such can be put into a small container for spreading. And I recommend doing that also for 'wet' spreads such as egg salad and tuna salad or you will have a soggy unappetizing sandwich.

Aren't these all great ideas you've found! It makes me hungry just reading it. :)

Roxanne said...

Jeannie--regarding the non-fat dry milk, I've read many places about its possible negative nutritional value. Here's what Wiki says (especially the second paragraphy):

Nutritional value
Milk powders contain all twenty standard amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and are high in soluble vitamins and minerals[6]. According to USAID[7] the typical average amounts of major nutrients in the unreconstituted milk are (by weight) 36% protein, 52% carbohydrates (predominantly lactose), calcium 1.3%, potassium 1.8%. Their milk powder is fortified with Vitamin A and D, 3000IU and 600IU respectively per 100g. Inappropriate storage conditions (high relative humidity and high ambient temperature) can significantly degrade the nutritive value of milk powder[8].

Commercial milk powders are reported to contain oxysterols (oxidized cholesterol)[9] in higher amounts than in fresh milk (up to 30μg/g, versus trace amounts in fresh milk)[10]. The oxysterol free radicals have been suspected of being initiators of atherosclerotic plaques[11]. For comparison, powdered eggs contain even more oxysterols, up to 200μg/g[12].

Also, if you copy and paste the link below, you can read a pamphlet about milk in general. On the first page toward the bottom, they echo the same Wiki information:


It just seems that the more we process things, the worse they are for us. Whole foods, properly raised, properly prepared are the best for us.

I'm trying my best to fall somewhere in the middle!

Roxanne said...

Thanks everyone for the additional info about freezing sandwiches.

Glamorous--Sounds like you already knew about balancing the lunch items. I like your schedule!

Packrat--I agree. The Four Food Groups seems to be a much better balance than the pyramid.

One of the things I'm covering in homeschooling this year is nutrition. I'm going to do the unit using the Four Food Groups!

Mary at Civilla's Cyber Cafe said...

Saw your blog on retrohousewife. You might be interested in my remembrances of the 50's or posts on dressing in 1964.

Click on "1950's Housewives" and "Secrets of Loveliness" on my sidebar!

in company with sparkles said...

I love this, thank you for sharing! As a young lady, I enjoy thinking about putting together nice lunch boxes for my husband someday in the future (complete with dessert and notes).

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