Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Hungry, Hungry PoPo

My husband usually works a 10-12 hour shift (not including overtime) and it never fails, when lunch hits and he is able to come home, he is starving! Dinners have never been a big issue for me because I love to cook, but lunches and snacks have never been my forte. I am a stay-at-home mom and I take my role seriously, like a full time job. In the same way completing an inventory count or successfully managing staff makes an employee feel fulfilled, nothing makes me feel better than knowing my family is warm, full of good food, and safe...and that includes my husband when he is on shift.

I've been trying to find easy, cheap, and hearty snack/lunch ideas for my husband to take with him on shift. In the detachment my husband works in, there are times where he is called to the pass between Idaho and Montana for crashes. There are no services there and often times he is too busy to stop for a snack at a gas station. Not to mention gas station food is usually expensive and unhealthy. It's hard to make healthy choices when a glistening hot dog is rolling on the cooker, or the pop machine is calling your name. Especially when he works nights, there is no place to get food if he is too far from home, or too busy, to eat. The town we live in is so small we have no fast food...anywhere. My new mission has been to figure out something awesome for him to keep with him for fuel. Besides a granola bar and water.

No soggy sandwich bread here!
As most of you know, bringing food for a shift in a patrol car is a lot different than food in the break room at a job in a building. My husband does not have a locker room or real break room, but rather, works primarily out of his car. So whatever I pack him also has to be mess proof (no assisting a crash with mustard down his front) and it has to be able to fit in his duffel, not need refrigeration, and actually give him enough nutrition to last through half of his shift. So...internet searching began.

I found tons of article for kids lunch ideas, but pretzel sticks and a pb&j won't satisfy a late twenties, 6'5" dude with the appetite of a teenager. BUT persistence prevailed and I found an awesome site for lunch ideas for grown ups. The link has ideas for all sorts of packed lunches and snacks, all of which would be great for my husband, or even myself. Maybe some ideas would be perfect for you as well!

Check out for easy work week lunch ideas. Below are a few of the ones I'm going to try for my messy dips allowed! :)

Easy Breakfast Sandwich. This sandwich has an egg on top which would be perfect for a little added protein. When I make it, I'm going to add more meat as my husband prefers a more equal ratio of protein to bread (bagels can be heavy). Love the idea of fruit, you could even add veggie sticks or fruit leather. 

I know my husband would like this one...he is a big tuna fish salad fan. We never have pita around (this might be a reason to, though) so I would use tortillas instead. And any variety of fruit, an applesauce cup or chips on the side.

I posted this because of how easy it would be to take these ideas and alter them for diet and taste preferences. Not to mention it's a great starting point for a basic idea that has so many possible variations. Waldorf salad instead of Tuna, oatmeal for the morning, soup cups for the long night shifts. So excited to try these...I will let you know how it turns out. If you try any of these ideas, please leave a comment! I'd love to hear how you made it work for you!



  1. I am touched that you featured lunches from my blog! I'll strive to generate more good ideas! :) Thanks so much!

    1. Deb! They have been a life saver! Thank you for your awesome ideas!!!

  2. Deb does have an awesome list of delicious ideas for lunch! Your hubbie is one lucky man having a lunch packed from home. I can't wait to see what you do for lunch! Make sure you share and I will be back to check them out!

  3. Such good ideas! I never thought that there could be something as easy as pbj and I feel bad for packing him boring food. I need to go grocery shopping!

  4. For my police officer husband we make huge batches of burritos or breakfast sandwiches and freeze them. To pack his lunch all he has to do is take one out of the freezer and put it and ice packs in his insulated lunch box. He uses gas station microwaves to zap them. Obviously this would be difficult in places without access to a gas station, but it's one way we've found that he's able to have easy, healthy, and relatively cheap lunches for work.