Tuna Sandwich in the Lunchbox

Updated on August 16, 2011
E.J. asks from Lincoln, NE
13 answers

My son loves tuna fish sandwiches and wants one in his lunchbox tomorrow for the 1st day or school. If the tuna salad is premixed and kept cold over night (tuna and mayo) do you think it will stay good until lunch? Or should I have an ice pack or something in there by the sandwich? I'll pack it at 7:30 and they eat at 11:30.

Thanks mamas!

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answers from Washington DC on

anything with mayo/egg/dairy - i put an ice pack in the lunch box...if he has one of the new fangled lunch boxes that are insulated...i would put that in the freezer overnight to help keep it cooler too!! :)

So glad to hear my kids aren't the only ones that like tuna fish sandwiches!!

EDIT: ONLY Put the lunch box in the freezer - NOT the food!!

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

Do not freeze mayo. It separates. The tuna lunch packs do not contain mayo. It's a similar dressing that does not contain egg. It's probably salad dressing which looks like and tastes similar to mayo. It's shelved next to mayo.

I just read an article that suggested using an insulated bag and include an ice pack. My daughter has several small ones that she keeps in the freezer just for this.

If the classroom is cool I think a tuna sandwich would be OK without the insulated bag and ice. It's heat that spoils the mayo. I think, but am not sure, that mayo style salad dressing is safer in the heat.

One brand of the alternative to mayo is Miracle Whip.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I would put an ice pack in it. Whenever I pack anything that is normally refridgerated in my son's lunch, I put an ice pack in because it can't hurt!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Stick an ice pack in there - just in case - and give him his sandwich.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

id put a small ice pack in with it to be on the safe side

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on


For tomorrow, just put his sandwich directly on top of the cold pack. That should keep the mayo from coming to room temp during the morning.

While this wont help for tomorrow, I just picked up a 3-pack of these containers to take camping for around $10 - at the office supply store of all places. Only the lid has freezer gel in it. They are the same size as the Gladware plastic and will fit a nice sized sandwich. I was able to fit 2 cups of blueberries in one container. Yes, they really work. The gel stayed frozen in the icechest for more than 24 hours. On their website, it looks like they have containers with coolant in the bowl as well.

This lid fits very tightly and is of course pretty stiff since it's frozen. You may want to give your son a little coaching session the first time he uses it to make sure he doesnt crack the lid. It would be hard to do, I think, but it couldnt hurt.

I also saw this one specifically for sandwiches on the website:


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

They have those tuna lunch kits that have mayo thats not cold, so I would guess a sandwich with just an Icepack should be fine

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think an ice pack would be fine - or cut the sandwich up in pieces and store it in a thermos overnight - the thermos will probably keep the cold in longer. I think mayo is more of a concern in the heat for long hours, not in a classroom. Sounds like he has a great appetite :). I used to have turkey and mayo sandwiches all the time for lunches in elementary school.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

We make the sandwiches and freeze them! If she's using an insulated lunchbox, I take the sandwich from the freezer when I get up in the morning and we pack it all up when she's up. If, like summer break and Y field trips, they need to bring a lunch bag that doesn't have to be carried around, the sandwich is only taken out just before packing the lunch. Either way keeps the tuna cold/cool and safe to eat!

I've not had the mayo separate, but then we do use Miracle Whip (none here seem to care much for mayo). And tuna sandwiches were frozen for me many years back - remember when some lunchrooms served 'mystery meat?' ...*L*

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Everything depends on the lunch box. If there is no insulation I would put the sandwich in the freezer for a couple hours before school and put an ice bag in with it too.

If there is insulation then just freezing it for a couple hours will be fine.

Two hours in the freezer will not freeze anything it just brings the temp down low enough that it will not warm up to the danger zone before it is eaten.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Definitely use a cold pack, place it on top of the sandwich.

Consider making a mayo-less tuna salad with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, black pepper and grated parmesan, safe because there's no mayo, and good.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Personally, I'd put a small ice pack in with it.

Or at least freeze a juice box/pouch and put the sammy on top of that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I make my husband tuna salad sandwiches for lunch at least twice a week. I've learned not to put the tuna salad on the bread, it makes the bread soggy. I've also learned not to make the tuna salad any earlier than the morning I pack his lunch or it does one of two things: gets very runny or it dries out. Of course, I use Miracle Whip in his, he hates mayo.

And, Mayo is NOT going to spoil in the time it will be in the lunch box.

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