Lunch ideas for outdoor workers is honestly such an annoying issue. Most days it genuinely feels like you have 2 options: 1. Fast food, or 2. Sandwiches. While I’ve mastered quick and easy sandwich lunches (click here to read about that), lunches in the winter are even worse. Your food freezes while you’re working and you freeze while you’re working.
After packing my husband’s lunches for over 20 years, working on sites myself for 7 years, and now helping my kids pack lunches for their construction jobs, I have come up with a few solutions for even the pickiest eaters.
Working outside in Canadian winters can leave you pretty cold. There is honestly nothing better than eating a hot lunch to warm you up.
This is doable thanks to thermos‘. If I have leftover soup, chilli, or stew I quickly reheat it in the morning, throw it in a thermos and have a yummy lunch that will be hot waiting for me at lunch. If you don’t have time to reheat it in the morning, I found this travel crockpot I use that I can plug in at the site or in my car.
Fav Recipes I use are:
- Turkey Chilli
- Chicken Stew
- Creamy Turkey Wild Rice Soup
- Chicken and Potato Chowder
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Beef Stew
I have an electric lunch box that’s a game changer. I’ve also seen a few guys bring this amazing portable oven to work. I haven’t personally used it, but I do plan on purchasing it this winter. Again, you just plug it in a few hours before lunch and it heats up your meal so you have a warm lunch waiting for you.
Things you can bring in it:
- Quesadillas (Chicken or beef)
- Meatball sub (great option for leftover spaghetti dinner)
- Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Greek Chicken Bowls (I separate the chicken and rice from the veggies)
- Hamburgers and hotdogs
- Shepherds pie
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Add some homemade muffins and cookies to your lunch, and you’ll be good to go!
Honestly, there are options out there. The only real issue I have found is sometimes the temps get so cold that these devices can’t warm up. My suggestion to counter that would be to place your lunch close to the batteries that you are charging with a heater. Once your lunch kit starts to warm up it will actually help your batteries too. When it gets stupid cold we empty our gang box and put all the batteries, chargers, lunch kits, and heaters in them to warm them up.
Do you have any lunch recipes or devices you use in the winter? I’d love to hear about them in the comment section.