Lunch Ideas for My Husband

Updated on April 03, 2011
M.F. asks from Youngstown, OH
25 answers

What do your husbands take in their lunches? My husband works outside all year round. He wants me to start packing him a lunch and I have no idea what to put in other than sandwiches and chips. He is no help he just says sandwiches and stuff! I used to pack him a lunch and he said I didn't pack a good one so I stopped.Its been about 4 years since I have made one for him. I am sick of hearing him periodically complain that I don't do anything for him and he is sick of watching all the other guys eat sweet lunches! He could have made his own lunch all this time but thats not what he wants to hear he wants to complain about me and I am no longer giving him little things to complain about. It's an experinment to see if he is nasty because of me or because he is a nasty person. ANYWAY this was not supposed to turn into a rant just a question. I do not however want advice on my marraige just lunch ideas so if you have no ideas pleas move on to the next question! Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Well thank you all for your ideas.
To all of you who said he should pack his own...I agree but I am tired of fighting,
He repairs bridges so he has no fridge and no microwave wich is why I am clueless when I worked I always had both or I worked in a restraunt
I did ask what a sweet lunch was and he walked out of the so he will be getting whatever I give him and if he likes it he likes it if he doesn't then we can go another four years of no lunches and he can spend all his money on takeout

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answers from Albany on

Maybe get a big ole thermos and send soups, chilis, stews?

Or hand him 5 bucks on his way out the door tell him to buy his own sweet lunch, psh!


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answers from Philadelphia on

I am lucky, my husband takes what i cooked for dinner the night before. His work has a microwave. My sisters hubands work outside. They have contests who can pack the biggest, best sandwiches for their! (they work together)

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answers from New York on

If you get a good thermos you can heat up leftover dinners and have him take that for lunch. If it's a good thermos the things should stay warm. Soups are great for the winter with a sandwich.

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answers from Boston on

Pudding snacks ~Sweet~ I bet thats what the other guys have in their lunch ;-) LMAO

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answers from Honolulu on

He can pack his own.
My Husband does.
He takes left overs, or makes himself sandwiches.
Or sometimes he does not bring anything and buys lunch.
It is up to him.
He is a grown up.
He is a Man.
My Husband, has no problem, making his own lunch. Its no big deal to him.

Your Husband... needs to do it himself.
He is not a child.
He is being mean about it, to you.
How dare he, compare you to the other wives.

Tell him, "I" said, that my Husband makes his own lunches.
HE is perfectly fine with that and mature.
He is a grown-up.

I think, your Husband is just nasty.
NOT because of you.
He has to grow-up.
Geez, what kind of example is he making for your kids???
If you have a daughter, I would NOT want my daughter, to think that all men are that way. Ugh.

As for lunch ideas... well your Husband is PICKY.
Nothing seems good enough for him.
And each person has their own preferences and tastes.
So, this is ground zero.
HE has to participate, in feeding himself.

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answers from New York on

You will need some important tools of the lunch from home trade. A hot thermos for food. You don't indicate if he has access to a microwave.

Today I made my husband wraps for lunch. Today they had turkey, honey ham and cheese. I made him two. You just take an Ortega tortilla, smear his favorite condiment in the middle of it, then the cheese, then the meat and the fold the ends and roll it up. Wrap in plastic wrap and the in aluminum foil. I have also done chicken fajitas for lunch and you can actually wrap anything in there and your seasonings and sauces help bring a different flavor to it. So you could do strips of steak or chicken with onions with salsa and that would have a very different flavor than black beans and cheese or lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, with blue cheese dressing and chicken salad on a tortilla. We also like pita bread for the same purpose but that bread is different than the tortilla but just as good.

Hot food thermoses are great because they hold the heat of the food. You follow their specific warming instructions, heat up the food, then put the food in there. It will stay hot for a long time.

Also make certain you have a lunch bag that can handle the weather. One that keeps hot things hot and cold things cold. some of them now have two separate compartments and you can add the frozen packet to help keep cold things cold.

My husband is fond of leftovers but I usually make him think there is none left and then surprize him with something delicious two days after he at it the first night. Makes him very happy along with how often I tell him and show him how much I respect him. It doesn't mean we don't have our squabbles or arguments but I shower him with respect and he showers me with love.

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answers from Lynchburg on

I pack my husband left overs from dinner the night before. When I cook, I make sure I make enough to pack him a lunch for the next day. When I don't cook the night before, I fix lunch meat sandwiches, subs, a piece of fruit, a slice of cake if I have made one, and bottle of water or soda (which ever one he wants, sometimes both).
Occasionally I surprise my husband with lunch. I show up at his work place with KFC or Hardee's. (The two places he loves the most). But that is on rare occasions.

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answers from Atlanta on

He sounds like he REALLY needs to pack his own lunch!

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answers from San Francisco on

I SHOULD SAY: I come from a big family, my two brothers are 10 and 12 year older then I. When I was 12-13 years old and my sister in laws were having children, I would spend summers with my brothers and because their wives needed rest and my brothers got up early (4:30 - 5 AM), I would get up, make coffee, fix breakfast and make lunches. I loved them so and all these years later, I still do and I love those mornings, when I got to spend time with just me and my brothers.

We celebrated my oldest brother and his wife's 50th anniversary last summer, and one of the sweetest things my sister in law said to me is that even though she had not always shown it, she really loved me. Sometime it just takes a long time...but that was OK with me, because I always knew my big brothers loved me.

When I was married, they both walked me down the isle!


Put one of those frozen ice packs in the bottom of his lunch container.

This is an INSTEAD of a sandwich lunch:

Fruit salad w/coconut and tiny marshmellows with a touch of mayo or miracle whip (something like ambrosia)

Couple boxes of yogurt (if he likes it)

Tuna salad, sliced roast beef, turkey, homemade meatloaf or some dried salami and cheese cubes and nice crackers (You know what he likes)

A tomato quartered, carrot and celery sticks w/some ranch dip or Itilian(or his favorite)- small container of cottage cheese (if he likes it)

A couple of hard boiled eggs

When it's cold a wide-mouth thermos of soup, chili or stew (again home made if you can)...if you can't there are plenty of good products out there.

If your man doesn't like that, he should be taking care of his own lunch.


Make sure you have salt and peppers, napkins, and utensils (I pick up real utensils and cloth napkins at yard sales, so it won't matter if he forgets to put them back in the bag.

Some nice cookies, a piece of cake or pie (home made if you can)

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answers from Spokane on

I give my hubby dinner's leftovers. I just make sure I make enough and packing his lunch is easy peasy :o)

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answers from Chicago on

Okay this made me chuckle a little bit! If you don't pack a good one then maybe he should pack his own :) Or, ask him what "sweet lunches" means.

I pack our family's lunches and it includes lunch and two snacks. The lunch is usually a salad with tons of vegetables and a protein (grilled chicken or beans), fruit, yogurt. The snacks are combinations of carb/fat/protein such as a cheese stick and almonds, a banana and peanut butter, cheddar cheese and an apple, hummus and green pepper strips.

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answers from Chicago on

left overs are a big hit. does he have access to a microwave at work?
i make these awesome asparagus and stuffing stuffed pork chops that are super easy and quick. and great for a packed lunch the next day.
just butte fly a thick pork chop, throw in some fresh asparagus and some stuffing, close and bake at 350 till finished. minimal mess too. or maybe walking tacos?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Simply ask him what he would like.
Otherwise, you're not a mind reader right?

Wraps, rustic bread for BIG sandwiches with lots of "stuff" on them. Cold fried chicken, cold meat loaf sammies, Macaroni/pasta salad, etc. All can be kept well chilled with an ice pack or two.

God Bless you--I packed my LAST lunch for my husband when our son made his appearance in the world.

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answers from Albuquerque on

I dont know if your hubby has a microwave avail, if he does try the hormel completes. They dont need to be refridgerated and only take 90seconds to warm up. ( my husband loves them) They also have premade burrittos & meals in the deli cases at the grocery store that are usually not too bad.
Good luck! I know how "helpful" husbands can be when you need them to make a decision about something

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answers from Rochester on

Well, even though I am totally capable of making my own sandwiches and everything else, I LOVE it when my husband does it for me! :) (Or sets up my coffee before he goes to bed, or surprises me with a note on the table saying he made me a turkey sandwich to take to work, or when he comes home with a few rolls of Smarties.)

You could just check with him about what is in the other guys' lunches. If I were bringing lunch that my hubby made, the things I LOVE finding in it include:

A basic "main dish," such as a hearty sandwich, a fruit and/or veggie (even if there are veggies in the sandwich), such as baby carrots, an apple, one of those Dole cups of fruit or the really yummy ones that have grapefruit or berries that have to be refrigerated, something slightly less healthy and crunchy such as pretzels, chips, a dill pickle, etc. and a small treat, like a few wrapped pieces of candy or small can of soda. To top it off, a dorky note is a great touch and can really make your day.

If you have small meal-size containers, you can send a leftover main dish (if he works outside it sounds like he might not have access to a microwave or refrigerator--is that the case?). I would stick to things he doesn't need to heat that stay cool on ice packs. Cold pasta salad would be good, chicken salad wraps with bacon crumbles and a slice or two of cheese are really yummy, or a soup thermos full of a favorite soup, heated up (those things usually keep things pretty hot and safe).

Anyway, I'm a huge fan of little treats and dorky lovey-dovey notes (nothing obvious that other people would find and read though) since they are a reminder that you have a family at home that loves you or is thinking about you. If you're frustrated with him, you could toss in a little quote from something to give him a pick-me-up for the day. When I've had a bad day my husband will show up with Smarties or Buttermilk or a Hard Lemonade for me, so whatever favorite little treats he has would be great to include. My husband works in a group home with developmentally disabled adults, so works evenings and they eat family style with the guys, so he never brings food. I don't get to do this for him. :(

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answers from St. Louis on

I know you said move on but I have to say, tell him to ask his buddies at work with the sweet lunches, who packed them. Perhaps after he finds out most of them pack their own he will stop complaining.

My fiancee packs his own lunch. He would love it and think it was cute if I packed him a lunch once in a blue moon. If I did it every day he would be embarrassed to tell his coworkers that his "mommy" packs his lunch.

I could tell you what Troy packs for lunch but I don't think it would help. After all he is not your husband, nor are you. Only he knows what he likes on site, what will carry well and perhaps heat well. Only he know the enviroment he will be in that day. You need to explain that it is not your lack of culinary skills that is giving him bad lunches it is your lack of knowledge about his day. If that doesn't work tell him there is this snarky lady online that will give you the menu she packs for her kids since he is acting like one. :)

What may be helpful is that Troy tells me which meals pack well and heat good so I cook more and he brings leftovers to work. Even out in the field he tends to find a microwave to heat stuff up. Otherwise he makes turkeys, slices it and freezes portions for when he knows he will eat cold.

Have fun, really!

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answers from San Antonio on

Ask him "What is in the other guys lunch that looks so tasty? Give me some ideas here."

One idea to keep his food cold: "Fridge to Go" -- Google it or search on

Food ideas that stay cold:
- chicken salad with crackers
- pasta salad with veggies/noodles/lunchmeat/cubedham/pepperoni
- pepperonis or summer sausage with crackers (imagine your guy with a huge log of meat and a knife. I bet the other guys would envy that).
- hard boiled eggs
- potato salad
- cold pizza
- tortilla wraps
- garden salad with lunch meat or cubed meat on top

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answers from Glens Falls on

Chicken wings, barbecue ribs, potato salad, deviled eggs or egg salad, any sandwich with bacon, 3 layer nacho dip (cream cheese, canned no bean Hormel chili, shredded cheddar)with tortilla chips, left over roast beef on a sub roll with horsey-mayo. And homemade cookies. Think protein...and dessert.

(But it does sound like he is challenging you which is kind of nasty for someone that is getting their lunch packed for them)

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answers from Los Angeles on

I deal with the lunch dilemma every day =)

Do you have a bread machine? If so, there are endless recipes for awesome breads and doughs you can make delicious things from. If not, no biggy. There are fun things you can make by yourself. My husband LOVES bread so I make a lot of breads and rolls and stuff. You can try cheesy bread sticks, a tapenade with mozzarella bread, a good salad, maybe make some cookies or a homemade pizza

Go to They have awesome and easy stuff on there!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Wraps (whole wheat tortillas) with chicken or turkey, clementines, string cheese, salads with chicken, turkey sandwiches, sliced apples, crackers with peanut butter...

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answers from Boston on

I have the luxury of not having to work outside the house so I always pack my hubbie's lunch. He always take leftovers from dinner the night before. BUT, he has a microwave at work.

One of his favorite lunches is when I make a big salad for him. Lettuce, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, the works. I put grilled chicken or lunch meat in a sandwich baggie too. I put the dressing in a tupperware midget cup. He pours the dressing on the salad and puts the lid back on the bowl and shakes it to spread the dressing around the salad. Just put a gel pack in the lunch to keep it cold.

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answers from Savannah on

My husband works in a suit and he LOVES certain foods like fajitas or whatever, but he doesn't like them at work. He doesn't want to worry about getting "messy" or something he has to put together at the desk.
He likes leftovers so that's something I'll often do. If that comes with a condiment (like the tiny bottles of tobasco for his red beans & rice), I pack one and he thinks that's cute. If it's a steak, pork chop, whatever, I know this sounds lame but I cut it up before putting it in the container because it's just sort of a pain to try and cut something in the container, and also it's not like he's bringing a steak knife to work. He really likes most leftovers but I save fajitas, spaghetti, messy things for dinner when he is home. Or any number of cold cut sandwiches (ham, turkey, roastbeef, whatever is on sale that week); I toast the bread so it doesn't get soggy, spread the mayo/mustard, put the meat on but then I pack the lettuce and tomatoes in a separate container so it's easy to handle but doesn't get the bread wet. If he's having sandwiches, I make 2 and cut them in half, and also include a piece of fruit in a papertowel. If it's an orange or tangerine, I peel it and put it in a little container so he's not dealing with it. (I do that because I noticed the oranges were never eaten....but when I peeled it "just to see", he commented that it tasted great). Empanadas, quesadillas with a snack size packet of guacamole from wholly guacamole and a little container of salsa, shredded chicken and vegetables in a pita with a little container of hummus. (I asked him to bring me back the little containers you put salad dressing in at the salad bar, that's what I use for things like salsa and hummus). He likes a cucumber-feta sandwich (toast bread, mayo on one side, slices of cucumber and feta) a lot, tuna or chicken salad with crackers, waldorf salad, veggie sticks, yogurts, sometimes I surprise him with his favorite oatmeal raisin cookies or some little treat. He loves and requests chili, gumbo, chicken tortilla soup, taco soup, gazpacho, minestrone, etc. If he's feeling a little under the weather, sometimes I'll make my easy homemade chicken noodle soup and a sandwich. Sometimes a favorite candy he rarely gets. A little jar of his favorite (jelly beans or the flavored tootsie rolls here) for his desk. I do like to write a little note in there (something silly or risque about the coming night, or night before, or a quick note to say have a good day, thanks for working so hard, we're thinking about you, whatever kind of note). Sometimes I put in a picture of the boys he hasn't seen, or now that my oldest is learning to write he'll write a 1 sentence note and his name, we found a great smooth stone and we painted "Daddy rocks!" on it, whatever. And finally: in the front zipper of his lunchbox, there is a travel thing of hand wipes, some hand sanitizer, and quarters for the vending machine if he wants sodas.
What I would suggest, even though you don't want advice, is to say "Once, you said I didn't pack a good lunch. I'd like to, but just not sure....what makes a lunch good to you?" (My husband had to tell me to toast the bread and pack the salad separately....I wouldn't have known that on my own. Sometimes, we just gotta be told what they like, just like we have to tell them what we like).
Sometimes there are days I don't pack lunch because he thinks he'll go get some Thai, but then doesn't have time and ends up really hungry. One day while visiting, I brought him a few Cliff bars (he likes those things) and a couple small bags of pretzels, a bag of dried apricots for those "just in case" days, and he stores those in a drawer.

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answers from Houston on

Okay, I usually only do maybe one lunch a week, but once my kid starts school I'll be making them more, so here are my things I do:

I usually do a sandwich, maybe a pita pocket or a tortilla roll. if I have leftovers, I'll put a container of soup or chicken or pasta from the night before (he has a microwave at work).

For sides, I try and include two: a baggie of pretzels, celery sticks with peanut butter, carrot sticks, a fruit cup, yogurt, cheese stick, hard boiled egg, orange. If I have a fresh batch of cookies or muffins, I throw one in.

But I always put a note in there, sometimes it's a quick "love you' on a napkin, sometimes it;s a card from the kids with stickers on it.

Sometimes, at the beginning of the week, I make him a large box to put on his desk. Crackers, lots of fruits, nuts, trail mix, cans of tuna with mayo packets, sunflower seeds, pretzels, chips and salsa... for those days when he misses lunch.



answers from Minneapolis on

My husband and I both take lunches. We usually pack our own or sometimes if one is making a sandwich they will offer to make the other one a sandwich too. We take a lot of leftovers and sandwiches.



answers from Philadelphia on

He wants a "sweet" lunch? PB&J, some of those mandarin oranges in a cup, a container of chocolate milk, and an apple. Would that be "sweet" enough? Do you know any of the other wives of his co-workers? Maybe they could give you ideas about what they put in their husbands' lunches. It must be frustrating to ask your husband what he wants, be told "sandwiches and stuff", then be told it's not good enough. Sit down with him and write out a list of specific things he'd like to see in his lunchbox. You're not a mind reader and making "sweet lunches" might not be your strength, so he needs to help you out a bit here with his own suggestions.

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