A Flight Attendant’s Tips To Efficiently Packing Multiple Meals in One Bag

A few weeks ago, I was shopping and saw this product from Rubbermaid—Lunch Blox. I thought to myself, this would be perfect for flight attendants with our constantly-on-the-go lifestyle. I bought the sandwich and salad kit blox right away. You should try cramming 4 days worth of food into a lunch bag some time—it takes serious skill! I’ve gotten numerous tips and tricks from more veteran flight attendants, and the key(s) seem to be organization, variety and temperature control.

Organization

Anyone who knows me knows how much of an organization nazi I am. I have plastic bins, color coded and neatly labled for storage. I get rid of huge bags and boxes full of my belongings if I haven’t used or worn something in 6 months. I have a notebook full of important documents/bills/receipts, etc organized by date, type, and level of importance (thanks to mom for teaching me this one!) The same attention to detail spills over into my life as a traveling woman who is constantly busting a move (land, air or otherwise!)
It all comes down to this: efficient use of the space in your lunch box or bag is paramount to being able to pack a decent supply of food. For the flight attendant, it is a game of edible Tetris; maximizing the space for vittles inside the lunch box’s spacious yet limited surface area.
If all the little compartments fit together in a “block”, you can much more easily make this happen.

The TravelPro Large Lunch Cooler

The TravelPro Large Lunch Cooler

Variety
Simply put, no one wants to eat crackers and peanut butter all day every day when they’re on a trip. It’s unhealthy and all around unpleasant. Going out to eat every day while on a trip is far too expensive. I usually allow myself one meal out, if I’m somewhere really cool or historic. But, generally, it makes far better sense to plan ahead and pack food.

Some of my favorites:
Uncle Ben’s microwaveable rice packs
Baby carrots
frozen Go-gurt
Miso Soup Bowls
Tapioca Pudding cups
Cheese Heads string cheese
slice green bell peppers
sugar snap peas
Red Bull
Nutella on-the-go packs
Uncrustables PB&J sandwiches

Temperature

A lot of delicious, healthy foods such as fruits, dairy and veggies will not keep (for very long or very well) in the heat. Fruits shrivel, dairy goes sour, veggies get brown, and lettuce crumples up and goes limp like a piece of paper.
It’s also a challenge to find travel ice packs that cool your supplies sufficiently AND are not too bulky or too small to make a worthwhile accessory. Those little midget ice packs only last for a few hours, and the big ones take up too much space which could be filled with more food.

Enter Lunch Blox.

image courtesy of Rubbermaid

image courtesy of Rubbermaid

7P94-inuse-large

image courtesy of Rubbermaid

7P96-microwave-large

image courtesy of Rubbermaid

LunchBlox-Sandwich-Kit

 

Not only does it comes with the Blue Ice packs which are custom made to keep your food cool, they last forever and snap on to the little individualized compartments (see above.)

There are lots of similar (and cheaper) products to the ones Rubbermaid makes, so it’s a matter of preference really. I liked this particular brand because the products from the Salad Blox or the Sandwich Blox, for example, are interchangeable. So, I can mix and switch the little containers and snap them together as needed to personalize meals for my appetite that day.

Plus! They currently have a coupon for $1.50 off any of their products in this family.

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