Meals | Lunches

Fully Disposable Sack Lunches – Ideas for Kids

Summer camp and field trips often call for fully disposable brown bag sack lunches. Our daughter enjoyed all the activities they do at her preschool and has made a few friends, so we signed her up for summer camp a few days a week that year. At that time, we decided to switch one of her days to Wednesday. We did not realize that requires us to stick to fully disposable sack lunches. This might have been a huge mistake since she is a picky eater… but fingers crossed it works out okay!

On Wednesdays, the kids are required to wear their special school t-shirt. (That means you better not fall behind on laundry or misplace the shirt!)

They are also required to pack fully disposable brown paper bag sack lunches with no heat-ups. The point is to get them into a habit for when they go on field trips when they are older, since they won’t be bringing their lunches home.

I get the point of fully disposable brown bag lunch ideas and I understand it’s probably a good thing. This is just tough since my toddler is picky and doesn’t tend to eat sandwiches, unless they are made on pretzel rolls, and even then it is a 50/50 chance you’re taking whether it ends up in the trash.

I learned that the preschool will refrigerate the bags if something is at risk of spoiling. So that’s good.

But packing a school lunch is hard enough when you have a picky child. Now we have to avoid anything that needs to be stored and served in a container or heated up.

Also, any unfinished foods are tossed in the trash, so there goes my strategy of packing an extra item or two so my daughter actually eats something. No sense in feeding the trashcan.

Sack Lunch Scramble

Last night we got home around midnight from a quick trip to Cape May, N.J. with Natalie’s cousins and some of our family. Disposable brown bag lunch ideas were the furthest from my mind.

Today we had to not only scramble to pack our first fully disposable, non-heatable, brown paper bag lunch, but also had to prepare for summer class picture day 1. Tomorrow is individual picture day, so I imagine it will be a similar scramble but at least a well-rested one.

In the quick scramble, I drew a beach scene on Natalie’s lunch bag. (I am no artist!)

I sliced up half a pear and tossed a few chicken nuggets in a bag. She likes them cold. (Thank goodness for small favors!)

I also packed Fritos, which she recently found a fondness for, and a homemade sugar cookie shaped like a seashell from a batch we made together. Not the healthiest lunch but what are ya gonna do the morning of, after a long drive and a weary sleep, with numerous rules to follow in packing said lunch…

Fun Tip: I partially froze her juice box to help as an ice pack until she was ready to drink it.

Some Ideas for Fully Disposable for Sack Lunches

Brown Sack Lunches - Bag Lunch Ideas with a frozen juice box

  • Bagel with cream cheese
  • Chicken nuggets, tenders, or chicken bites
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Leftover pizza
  • Stromboli
  • Sliced fruit
  • Raw veggies
  • Sandwiches, if your child will eat them
  • Homemade trail mix
  • Lunchables
  • Crackers with cheese, if agreeable
  • Soft pretzel
  • Yogurt meal

I’m anxiously awaiting pickup to see how she did with her lunch.

Of course, I may never know since anything left over gets thrown out. I will continue to build out this list of fully disposable brown bag lunch ideas as I discover more things I can pack in plastic bags or wrap for safe, unheated consumption.

It feels a bit stressful now but we’ll see in a few weeks if it gets easier, if we last that long.

Special Tip: Get plain white paper lunch bags! You or your child can design the outside of the sack lunches each day with fun drawings, stickers, stamps, and more.

Is anyone else struggling with fully disposable sack lunches? Please share your frustrations, your tips, or your thoughts in our comments below!

Also, if you’re looking for regular lunches and quarantine meals, you might enjoy another post, 7 Quick Cheap Lunch Ideas for Quarantine.

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