Category Archives: Lunch Boxes

Homemade Lunch: No Communal Refridgerator Required


I have been a full-fledged, card carrying member of the work force for about ten years now. I have to say, being an adult and having a job is not nearly as scary as they made it sound in the brochure. However, there is one thing no one tells you about. It is the one thing that can make you fear for your life and run for the door. It is just as likely to be found at a fancy law firm or doctor’s office, as it is in the employee lounge of a grocery store, or post office. What am I talking about? None other than the communal refrigerator.

Almost anyone who has held a job outside of the home has encountered the communal refrigerator; if you have not, count your lucky stars. Communal refrigerators are notoriously icky. They are usually stuffed full of items that expired during the Clinton administration, and there is almost always an unidentifiable sticky substance lurking at the bottom of the drawers. The freezer is the safest place for your food, but everyone knows that, so good luck squeezing your lunch in there.

The communal refrigerator at my current job isn’t that terrible, but I am still not inclined to use it. Even if I was, the staff lounge is a tight squeeze for my wheelchair, plus the fridge is a side by side, so I can’t reach all the shelves. For me, it is much easier to just keep my lunch with me at my desk, but then there is the concern of keeping it cold. Avoiding the communal refrigerator is pointless if I get myself sick with warm mayonnaise.

I tried a number of lunch coolers before I found one that met all my needs; big enough for my breakfast and lunch, actually kept my food cold and fit in the backpack I use on the back of my chair. But finally the fourth one I tried fit the bill. This lunch tote by Thirty One, holds a lot of food, but its soft sides and shape make it fit easily in my backpack. This bag is also the only one I have found that will keep my food cool until lunch time without the hassle of an ice pack.

So if you are sick of eating out every day just to avoid the horrors of the communal fridge, try this cute little cooler. It can be found in several colors, so you can also stay fashionable while your food stays cool.

Back To School!

It’s hard to believe that we are beginning Labor Day weekend. It feels like I just cleaned up from the Fourth of July party. Oh wait, I did just finish cleaning up from that picnic. Oh well, I never claimed to be a good housekeeper!

With Labor Day approaching, all efforts in my house are pointed towards the same goal. I need to get my son (who is entering the second grade) and my husband (who is a teacher) ready for the new school year. It’s safe to say that neither are terribly excited about their vacations coming to a close, so out of respect I’m trying to keep my elation to a minimum.
This year my son will be attending a new school, which means that he is allowed to pack his lunch for the first time. It will be nice to pick him up knowing that he has eaten a good lunch. Last year I was able to predict the days he would not eat based upon the provided menu. Neither one of us enjoyed the “I’m starving” afternoons!

Wanting to make lunches so delicious that he would refuse trading with a classmate, I set out researching containers and lunch boxes. I came upon this fantastic lunch box kit from Rubbermaid. The containers are the perfect size for treats and goodies, and nothing crumbles or crushes because it is protected within the hard plastic. The containers click into an icepack so everything stays cold until it is time to eat.

Knowing my own limitations when it comes to cleaning, I decided to be proactive and bought two kits. I also ordered the salad kit for my husband, hoping to save him (and our bank account) from the daily visits to the salad bar. Of course, now that I have all of the containers I am going to have to figure out how to fill them. I wish that solution would be as easy to find!

With the lunch box conundrum solved, I have moved my focus towards the traditional “Yes, I’m an amputee” presentation I give to my son’s class. I have found it helpful to address the issue quickly, encouraging his classmates to ask their questions at one time. I don’t want his new friends to be fearful of my prosthesis, and I have learned that talking about it from the start helps to make everybody more comfortable.

Although talking about prosthetics and amputees is the norm in my house, it is completely unknown for many children. I begin the talk by keeping it as simple as possible. I try to strike the balance between providing enough information to quell their curiosity while not overloading them to the point where they become fearful.

I usually explain that I had an accident and the doctors tried to fix my leg. When they couldn’t fix it, they decided to give me a new one. Taking off my prosthesis and encouraging the students to hold it, try it on and ask questions at the beginning of the school year goes a long way towards demystifying the disability. By talking about the prosthesis and answering all questions at the beginning of the year, I quickly become just another Mom in their eyes.

I’m hopeful that exposing these children to limb loss at an early age will encourage them to grow into accepting adults. I have come to accept that I won’t change the world, but I haven’t abandoned trying to change my little corner of it.  I wish everybody a happy, and safe, Labor Day weekend!

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.


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