Lunch... for Teachers?

Hey everyone,

I'm starting my first year of teaching in a month! I don't yet know when my lunch hour will be or how long it will be... but I know I don't want to eat frozen meals every day! I would love to hear all your suggestions. I also plan to look through other posts on the message boards, but I thought I'd start a new thread, too. (The search function on here really stinks.)
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Replies

  • cchardy82
    cchardy82 Posts: 26
    First, ask your school if they cook special meals for the teachers. My elementary school offers salads and baked potatoes for us.

    On Sundays, I cook chicken or other lean meat and put it in the fridge. Every day I will take it with salad fixings and eat a salad or just eat the meat with some cheese and fruit.

    I also like Zone bars and Atkins bars. They are good options for those days that you are too busy to eat or your kids will not let you get a decent lunch LOL. I work with first graders and many times I miss lunch because I am so busy helping them get everything opened!

    I also keep healthy snacks like almonds, whole wheat crackers and so on in my desk.
  • Hi Sam,

    First, congrats on your first year of teaching! My first two years of teaching, I would alternate between making my lunch at home (hotlunch) and paying for the (WORTH IT) salad bar and opt for tuna salad on top of mixed salad and fruit, cottage cheese combos. Depending on the school lunch quality, you could consider that.

    I kept water on hand and nuts like almonds in my desk always. Don't be caught unprepared. Hunger often strikes in the form of stress, especially for teachers.

    BEWARE: The teacher's lounge, teacher appreciation week, teacher treat days. So often, "appreciation" is in the edible form.
  • Kristen_nicole95
    Kristen_nicole95 Posts: 112 Member
    I like to take a sandwich popcorn and some kind of fruit to work with me, but then again we don't have a microwave so i have to bring cold foods. (I pop the popcorn at home and bag it)
  • scookiemonster
    scookiemonster Posts: 175 Member
    Will you have access to a fridge and microwave?

    I basically never use the cafeteria. We have a decent sandwich counter, which I've used if I don't have time to pack something, but the hot food is pretty nasty and not particularly healthy.

    I generally pack a few pieces of fruit, a yogurt or cheese stick for a morning snack, and either a sandwich, salad, or leftovers for lunch. Whatever is in the fridge. In a pinch, I keep a few microwaveable soup things for when there's nothing else in the house. Just be sure to bring healthy snacks - you're on your feet all the time, and I get hungry throughout the day. I gained a lot of weight my first year teaching because I'd be so exhausted and starving by the end of the day that I'd stop off for fast food on my way home just to keep myself going until dinner. Now I bring extra fruit and lara bars instead.
  • jsmith2377
    jsmith2377 Posts: 221 Member
    I've only ever worked in schools in which teachers must bring their lunch. I usually bring a sandwich, a veggie (carrots, celery, broccoli), a fruit (strawberries, etc.) and babybel cheese or string cheese and some chocolaty thing. I also bring almonds to snack on throughout the day. Sometimes I bring leftovers from the night before, but it depends on the time I will have for lunch that day. Sometimes I have 10 minutes (no time to nuke it) and sometimes I have close to 40 minutes. Check out your schedule and plan to bring quick fix foods the first few days until you are used to your schedule. Congrats on your new job and good luck!
  • jsmith2377
    jsmith2377 Posts: 221 Member
    . In a pinch, I keep a few microwaveable soup things for when there's nothing else in the house. Just be sure to bring healthy snacks - you're on your feet all the time, and I get hungry throughout the day. I gained a lot of weight my first year teaching because I'd be so exhausted and starving by the end of the day that I'd stop off for fast food on my way home just to keep myself going until dinner. Now I bring extra fruit and lara bars instead.

    I also do this. I like to keep foods handy for when I forget my lunch (and you will). I always have some packets of oatmeal in my desk and keep granola bars handy.
    I also like to keep deodorant in my desk for when I forget, but that's not for eating.
  • MySlimGoals
    MySlimGoals Posts: 750 Member
    Hi, I'm about to start elementary teaching as well and this thread is excellent. My school does not provide lunches although students and teachers can order in the occasional subway. There is a kitchen in the staff room with a fridge and microwave.
  • Synapze
    Synapze Posts: 499
    Im not a Teacher, Im in the Trades, but my lunch is fairly the same every day (with the occasional leftovers), fills me up for a good 4-5 hours (im over 100kg), packed with protein, simple to prep for the week and takes 1.5mins in the microwave to heat up.

    To break it down to a daily serve i have-

    Tuna 150g
    Peas 60g
    Cheese 15g (just for flavour)
    Dry Pasta 40g (i use shells )

    440cal, 41carb, 8fat, 50protein

    + Fruit ")
  • christianteach
    christianteach Posts: 593 Member
    I work for a small private school without food service. I take the same thing almost every day: Dannon Light & Fit Greek 2X protein, salad or raw veggies and fruit. I also bring a snack for after work, usually either fruit or a protein bar. I also bring plenty of water. Congrats on your first teaching job!
  • shutupandlift13
    shutupandlift13 Posts: 727 Member
    Deli meat, Greek yogurt, cheese cubes, veggies, peanut butter, nuts, chocolate, chicken/tuna salad kits...

    I don't take much time in the mornings to pack something for my job. I have precut/preweighed baggies of lunch meat as well as cheese and nuts, throw them in my backpack and head to the jobsite.

    I don't eat much during the day though. We don't get a "lunch" time really, we work through it usually. Or I'm underground and its just grungy down there. I drink tea throughout the day to fend off the occasional hunger pangs but most of my cals are consumed with a HUGE delicious dinner when I get home and I can play around in the kitchen.

    Intermittent fasting can be a wonderful tool for people with busy or hectic work days. :)
  • cheesyrunner
    cheesyrunner Posts: 84 Member
    I'm starting my first year of teaching in a month! I don't yet know when my lunch hour will be or how long it will be... but I know I don't want to eat frozen meals every day! I would love to hear all your suggestions.

    1) I pack a little container, inside a large mug, to save space. The little container holds some dry foods (nuts, goji berries, dried fruit), along with 2 green tea bags.

    2) I usually scope-out if I have lunch duty or not + the availability of fridges/microwaves... Depending on findings, I bring one container with a high caloric meal (w/ utensils inside it, obviously lol). It could be a sandwich, leftover stirfry, etc. but it’s usually something that won’t make a mess of your hands, like fruit.

    Quick and easy is usually a go. Good luck!!! :flowerforyou:
  • slkehl
    slkehl Posts: 3,813 Member
    I've always packed my own lunch. Sandwich, fruit, leftovers, cheese and crackers, ect...

    Not so much for health reasons but because I'm way too poor to eat out for lunch.
  • ltkasmala
    ltkasmala Posts: 109 Member
    I was in grad school (subbed for 1.5 years so my schedule varied from day to day sometimes) and started a regular teaching job back in January. My suggestion is to find recipes you like and cook 2 or 3 on the weekends. In all honesty, it sounds like a lot of work but I have found a number of them that I like and once I get everything together can usually have it all done in under 2 hours! Then you can portion it out and just grab one for lunch each day. I add a yogurt and/or some fruit. I taught high school and didn't usually eat until 12:45 so having a lunch ready to go was helpful! Not sure if you are single like I am but this way there is always something ready for dinner when you get home too! This keeps one off the fast food route on both counts! :)
  • kimi131
    kimi131 Posts: 1,062 Member
    I'm a teacher and, sadly, 95% of the time I end up with a frozen dinner.They're not very appetizing and leave me unsatisfied and still hungry, but we only get 25 minutes to eat so there isn't enough time for a good meal anyway. What does leave me the happiest after lunch is a good sandwich, a salad, soup, sometimes a special quick meal I made specifically for lunch (I save most leftovers for dinner).

    Check out the teacher group on MFP:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/groups/home/350-teachers-take-charge
  • Nicolee_2014
    Nicolee_2014 Posts: 1,572 Member
    I was only ever allowed a 30 minute meal break at my work I always took in my own things that I had made either the night before or on the weekend. They were frozen meals in the sense that I'd make a big batch & then take them out for the week. Can you do that?
    Wraps, salads, soups. Anything is an option.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,583 Member
    I usually do salad prep (chopping veggies or making tuna salad) on Sundays and then just put two handfuls of salad mix with a cup of my pre-cut veggies and lunch meat or tuna salad in a container the night before. Add a piece of fruit and lunch is made. I also keep almonds, and south beach diet protein snack bars in my closet, and cheese sticks and diet soda in the fridge at school. Sometimes I bring a banana or yogurt to eat as a snack.
  • Redbird99ky
    Redbird99ky Posts: 305 Member
    When I taught, I would brown bag it. Our staff lounge had a fridge
  • jody664
    jody664 Posts: 397
    I'm not a teacher, but I pack my lunch (and breakfast and snacks) every day. I bought a soft-sided cooler with a couple of ice packs, so I know the food will stay cool. Here is what a typical lunch bag looks like:

    Breakfast:
    *Coffee
    *Yogurt
    *Fruit

    Snack #1:
    *Nuts

    Lunch:
    *Leftovers from dinner the night before
    *Carrots or sliced cucumber

    Snack #2:
    *Grape tomatoes
    *Fruit
    *String cheese or other pre-portioned cheese
    *Turkey pepperoni

    I also keep instant oatmeal and a box of protein bars in my desk for emergencies.
  • Morgaine_on_the_move
    Morgaine_on_the_move Posts: 230 Member
    I only have about 30 minutes, too, like 99% of the teachers I know...less time if I have to talk with students or other teachers. I bring a variety of stuff: indian spiced lentils with greek yogurt, black bean and chicken wraps, soup, leftovers, salads, etc....anything I can keep reasonably cold with an ice pack and heat up in the microwave.
  • DawnieB1977
    DawnieB1977 Posts: 4,248 Member
    I'm a secondary teacher in England. We get 30 mins for our lunch break, at 1:35, and we also have 30 mins for break at 11:10. Of course, by the time the pupils are dismissed and you've tidied up a bit, you've used a few minutes, and then at the end you need to go set up for next lesson, so we usually end up with 20-25 mins.

    I take a salad usually as we have a little mini staff room in our teaching area with a fridge and kettle. I just do lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and chicken or tuna. I sometimes take some rice cakes, or a banana, or a yoghurt, things like that for snacks. And coffee of course!