Field Trip Lunch

Cheese sandwich, apple, carrots, cookie


The end of the school year is the perfect time to head off on class field trips. Students get on buses to go to museums and zoos, but many go on walking field trips to the fire station, local parks, other schools, and local businesses. Walking field trips are often accomplished in just a half day, but usually what and when to feed the kids for lunch has to be considered regardless of the length of the trip.

Some kids take pride in bringing a special lunch from home for excursions outside of the school. Usually those “special” lunches are Lunchables. Here’s how I feel about Lunchables: 1) Processed 2) Super high sodium 3) Can be made at home. Kids who are brand-conscious may not like homemade lunchables very much, but it would be easier, cheaper, and potentially less packaging waste.

The picture above is taken of a school-provided field trip lunch. It consists of a cheese sandwich, an apple, a bag of carrots and a cookie. Hello, I’m a fan, at least on face value. I’d take this over a Lunchable any day. In fact, I think this could be a perfectly acceptable regular school lunch. It contains fresh fruit and veggies and the packaging has been reduced. I think a cookie on a field trip is a nice touch since it’s a special outing. Grilled cheese? Well, I’d need to know the ingredients to make sure there isn’t a paragraph of stuff in there.


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18 thoughts on “Field Trip Lunch

  1. It looks ok but just doesn’t seem like enough food to me…even for little ones. I am a teacher and I got my kids a sack lunch at the end of the year for a walk to the park. I felt so bad when the kids opened their sandwiches. The obviously processed cheese was more like a semi liquid. It was a so gooey and gross and the meat was slimy and this was on a white hoagie bun. Everything else was ok…apple, carrots, cheese stick and a cookies (which I agree is a okay for sack lunches because it is a special event). Maybe some peanut butter to dip the apple and carrots in would be good and of course whole grain bread.

  2. Don’t forget summer camps too! My husband and I saw a camp group eating lunch the other day. It was a sandwich with white bread, ketchup and bologna. Gag! Then they had chips and could choose either carrots or a couple of strawberries. To drink they had a small dixie cup with some koolaid. Some of the campers were asking for more to drink and were not allowed to have any. It made me sad for the kids!

  3. This is the type of lunch our schools have for field trips. It’s also the lunch that is provided for kids who don’t have money in their lunch accounts. I’m not a big fan of cold cheese sandwiches but due to nut allergies they can’t serve peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes for field trip lunches they do get a meat sandwich on a hoagie roll, which I think is a better choice.

    1. Sadly, processed meat probably has more added ingredients than processed cheese.

  4. Every 5 year old I know would eat the cookie and that’s it. Period.

  5. As long as it is real cheese on real whole grain bread and a cookie without 47 ingredients then it looks like a good lunch to me. Actually, it looks a lot like the lunches my mom packed me in elementary school

  6. I am with you on the lunchables. I refuse to buy those for school lunches even special ones. My youngest daughter used to beg for them, but has since given up and now takes great joy in packing her own lunch for fieldtrips.

  7. I keep the ingredients for home-made lunchables in the house at all times, along with cute little containers to put them in.

  8. It’s a good lunch. I would need to know the ingridients of the sandwich to make a fair judgment as to whether or not I’d eat it or send it with my kids. Whole wheat bread (if made at home, even better), good cheese (ie, not a Kraft slice), and veggies would make it all the better.

  9. My children won’t eat lunchables (on a bet I’ve bought them one and I won the bet. They thought the lunchables were nasty). My kids get the same lunches on field trips I send on regular days. I save different containers and we pack them bento style for field trips (regular reusable containers for normal days). Hummus and crackers, homemade pizza, grapes, apple wedges, carrot sticks…all easy to pack and quick the ideas are endless.

  10. When I was in middle school (early 90s), some kids would occasionally bring a Lunchable for lunch. Just a couple kids, maybe once a week each. But there was this one kid who would always point out how processed the things were. He’d tell us to read the ingredients list. His dad owned a restaurant, so I don’t know if that had something to do with it. The Lunchable eventually became the subject of ridicule. You were uncool if you were eating a Lunchable. It’s not like we were a health-conscious group – we were nerdy teenagers. Maybe we were ahead of our time, in terms of backlash against an unhealthy lunch.

  11. Depending on the quality of the sandwich this could be a decent lunch. I would rather have this than most of the so-called “hot lunches” you had last year.

    I normally pack my kid a thermos of cooked food with fruits and a home-made baked item, but when I don’t have any leftover cooked food or if he’s going on an outing, I either give him home-made pizza (he doesn’t mind eating cold pizza as long as it’s home-made) or a cheese sandwich, since we aren’t allowed to do peanut butter and he doesn’t like processed meats on sandwiches. I use cream cheese and sharp cheddar. Sometimes I use 100% whole wheat bread from the supermarket, but on lucky days he gets home-baked bread. Tonight I have some dough rising in the oven as we speak, so tomorrow will be one of the lucky days! I have to pack him food for the whole day (2 snacks plus lunch) so I will add a boiled egg for some protein, 3-4 fruits, a couple of oatmeal squares that I made at the weekend and a small salad of romaine lettuce with red bell pepper slices. He has always liked red peppers and he has just discovered that he loves lettuce, so I am taking advantage of that and offering him salads whenever I can!

    I didn’t grow up with lunchables so I’ve never eaten them, bought them or given them to my kid. But it doesn’t seem to me like something I would consider buying; I would rather just cut a few slices of cheese and put them in a container with some crackers!

  12. After going on my son’s field trip, my thoughts are: #1, lunches were not refrigerated, they were left in a box in the caf. Gross. If they had been left on the bus they would have been colder! I wonder how many kids get sick from not having access to refrigeration at school and on trips?#2, Kids with braces can’t eat a whole apple. Child asked me if I had a knife(!) to cut it. I swapped my brought from home sliced apple for her whole one.

  13. I understand why parents are more willing to send a lunchable for a field trip because it is all there. They just have to hand the kid the box with a drink, ‘meal’ and dessert and they can go. It seems like that would be easier than trying to make sure that there is a paper sack for the lunch because more schools really don’t want a lunch kit taken on a field trip because it is one more thing to keep up with.

    I think it would be a better idea to have had a different option than a whole apple because most kids can’t eat a whole apple but that one does looks like it is kinda small so they might be able to.

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  15. I have only been out of school going on four years now. I have to say that the lunches you are complaining about and saying so many things are wrong with are better than any of the ones I enjoyed as a student in school. I loved school lunch and while it may have been high in calories, those that are getting it free usually need those extra calories. However, I would have been pleased myself to see the things you have said something about on the menu. I got the same thing week in and week out. Dried up lettuce and cheese to pick from, fake hamburgers, that sorry, DO NOT CONTAIN MEAT, usually without the option of a slice of cheese to help the taste, spaghetti (noodles and tomato paste), country fried steak (that unidentifiable meat that has been deep fried and battered, and occasionally chicken nuggets that the students fought over bc they were the best thing on the menu. Our pizza – a wedge of bread with almost no sauce and white cheese with the occasional pepperoni, but usually just cheese, had no flavor and the crust was thin and hard. Go back five years and you would be even more appalled than you are not about what we were beign served for lunch.

  16. I personally have tried the lunches because I (of course) go to school. The cheese sandwiches have no flavor, and they are drier the the sahara desert. The snacks are disappointing (except the cookie). I hate the lunches at school. (The only ones I like are the golden mountains, taco salads, and pizza)

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