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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH is away from home 20 hours a day and is nearly too tired to eat when he comes home to sleep. He will be on this schedule for another week and then will be home 19 hours for the rest of the month. Unfortunately, this is the way things have to be right now so I need some help!<br><br>
He can get meals at low-cost through his employer but the food at his school is either rotten or unaffordable, so he goes from 5AM until about 8PM without eating! I need to change this. I want to pack some food and snacks in a brown bag, and I want to be able to pack them in advance, several at a time. So far all I have come up with is some corn muffins with pickled or dried veggies in them (edible, but not yum) and a fruit, usually a banana. I've made him a few days worth of yogurt and fruit smoothies with some of that green superfoods juice.. gah I can't remember the brand, tastes like fruit (looks like puke)... that he can pour himself a glass of and drink it on the way to school so he isn't rushing out (obviously he can't wake up for breakfast when he's only getting 4 hours of sleep <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: ) without some nourishment. I'm about to go grocery shopping tomorrow, I plan on getting some popcorn so he can munch between "meals", he likes unsalted unbuttered. We are also VERY low on cash, we were so lucky that he got this job when he did but the first check won't come for another two weeks and even then it won't pay rent. We are strapped until next month so "on the cheap" is appreciated!<br><br>
The period of time between times when he can choke something down is too far to take anything refridgerated (And it is HOT in his car, we live in phoenix and even the drive to school will bake anything that should be cold so coldpaks dont work) so it has to be pretty close to non perishable.. thats the trick.<br>
Thank you so much in advance, I really want to help him out and make this as easy as possible for him!
 

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That's tough. My DH always keep a couple granola bars and fruit snacks in his bag. I don't really like those but will eat them if I'm starving. Maybe try some dry cereals in ziplock bags, those finger-food kind like wheat squares and corn balls. Little fruit cups and small boxes of raisins are convenient, too. Or get a bag of assorted dried fruits and separate them into several small bags. Apples and mandarin oranges shouldn't rot too quickly in warm places. Bread and bagels don't go bad too fast, either if they're packed fresh. I usually freeze them and put the frozen ones into lunch bag directly. Honestly lots of stuff are OK not refridgerated for just one day. If you can figure out how to pack it, even a slice of apple pie will be fine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Just check out stuff you usually keep in the pantry or on the counter and start from there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I agree with the PP that you can probably send lots of things that don't need to be super-cold. Nut-butter sandwiches, any kind of muffin or quick bread, cut-up veggies, dried or fresh fruits, pasta salad (with a vinaigrette or non-mayo-based dressing) or leftover rice pilaf, pretzels, granola, trail mix. Even quiche would work. Some things (fruit salad, sandwiches, smoothies) you could stick in the freezer overnight and let him take them frozen -- they'd thaw enough to be eaten midday and still be cool.<br><br>
Also, have you thought about one of those little coolers that plugs into the cigarette lighter of the car? They're not terribly expensive, and if it lets you send him with leftovers or cold meals that he would eat, it'd be worth it. Try the drugstore/mart-type store -- I know I've seen them at larger drugstores.<br><br>
HTH.
 

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Can he bring a cooler? Even here in the Phoenix area I can keep food cool in a hot car for at least 6 hours in a cooler. (maybe more- still some ice left at 6 hours) I use a bunch of frozen water bottles for cheap cooler packs- sometimes even putting a big cooler in the car and freezing gallon bottles (milk jugs work).<br><br>
As for snacks, I like protein snacks so beef jerky, bags of nuts, string cheese, hard boiled eggs. Any kind of dried fruit is good. A jar of peanut butter and crackers to dip in it.<br><br>
But seriously, with a good cooler it may be possible to pack more perishable things. I make sure any available space is filled with frozen water bottles and then lay a beach towel over the top of the cooler to further shade and insulate.<br><br>
what a stressful schedule for him, he must be exhausted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for all the suggestions. I picked some of them up tonight.<br><br>
A cooler wouldn't work, we have tried, it works for the A.M. (breakfast or brunch) since he leaves when its still "cool" out, but for snacks or lunch or dinner it doesnt, not even with ice (and neither of us have time to pack it every day). By the time lunch is scheduled the ice is melted and hot (we've considered leaving a frozen pizza on the dashboard to bake LOL, I have gotten burns on my hands just from touching the steering wheel!), even in the shade <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> If I was going that route Id keep trying out lunch bags with the coolers built in that he can bring into the AC with him, but like I said, money is tight. I've been watching thrift stores for them though.<br>
He is terribly exhausted, but seems to really love the smoothies in the morning (I didnt think he would, but he does! He's requested a smoothie dinner for tonight, even.)<br>
I didn't think about cut veggies, thats small enough to keep in his backpack. Dried fruits are really expensive here, but I'm going to see if theres some way to make them in the oven from fresh, thats better than nothing, I know he likes trail mix but it's hard to find them without a bunch of junk in it so if I can make it myself that would be great! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Any suggestions on what else I can put in it?<br>
Thanks for everything so far, keep it coming!
 
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