Your stomach drops as waves of horror wash over you. What awaits you before your eyes is disgusting, appalling and frankly unacceptable. Your classmates stare, shocked, as you remove this great American tragedy from your lunchbox: a squished sandwich. Okay, fine — a disheveled entrée is not going to ruin your life, or probably even your day. But it’s an undeniable fact that some lunches hold up better than others after four periods of hard work (or hardly working), so offered here are some tips on how to make the best of your meal.
1. Do bring an ice pack. It may be annoying to have to remember to put it in the freezer every night, but it’s well worth it for the way it can expand your lunch options. From cheese sticks to peaches to pudding cups, an ice pack can make anything taste fresher.
2. Don’t take anything with avocado. I love a Tupperware full of guacamole or a rich sliced avocado just as much as anyone else, but avocados always seem to rot in a lunchbox at an inconceivably rapid pace. If you really must bring one, I suggest spritzing it with lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown.
3. Don’t bag your sandwich. First of all, disposable plastic bags aren’t environmentally sustainable, so your APES teacher may or may not be glaring at you as you extract your sandwich from its shiny clear enclosure. Furthermore, bagging a sandwich will make it misshapen and squishy about 72 percent of the time (no, I definitely didn’t just make up that statistic). A much better option is one of those square-shaped, reusable sandwich containers that will maintain your PB & J’s shape while improving wildlife protection. I guess one might call that saving two birds with one stone.
4. Do invest in a quality thermos. I know a thermos is not entirely necessary, but it makes leftovers much more appealing and expands the range of food options you can explore. Opening your lunchbox to find a thermos full of chili or fried rice is one of the best ways to keep you going throughout the school day. You could also fold up a leftover slice of pizza, keep it in your thermos, and eat it like a calzone during fifth period.
5. Don’t bring a bag of candy, like M&Ms or even something like a Hershey bar that’s divided into distinguishable pieces. Why? One friend will undoubtedly approach you to get a piece, and then once he or she has his or her fix, an entire swarm of people will come over to mooch off your snack. Avoid the dessert harem and stick with a Milky Way, or a Ferrero Rocher if you’re feeling particularly ostentatious.
6. Do take vegetables, perhaps with a container of hummus or dressing. I don’t mean to sound like your health teacher, but students are so busy with school and extracurriculars that they don’t exercise or consume enough nutrients during the school year. Even if you can’t be bothered to get your cardio fix, you can at least do something for your health by enjoying a few carrots or green beans. Your future self will thank you.