Lunchbox Dilemma

Is it a bad idea to put salmon in a kid’s lunch box? She wants it but my sister says it’s rude to put things with a strong aroma in kids’ lunchboxes, especially since they eat in the classroom and not a cafeteria. On the other hand, 5-year-olds are too young for social stigma to attach to this kind of thing. I’d never do it if she were 11. But 5?

It’s rare that Klara eats fish, and I want to use any opportunity. Her window of acceptable foods recently shrank dramatically, like it happens at this age, and I feel like an idiot packing endless portions of buttered pasta.

I have 9 hours to reach a decision, so please help.

Yes, I’m very fussy about these lunchboxes because I feel like I’ve attained my purpose in life by packing them. It’s a small enough foible to have.


16 thoughts on “Lunchbox Dilemma

      1. I had a thing for salami sandwiches at that age. My mom dutifully packed them in my lunch. The smell was pretty bad, but I don’t recall any of the other kids ever even noticing. They had much more to say about the dried seaweed snacks, which look like green paper. And they were curious and interested, not grossed out.


  1. It’s funny you asked this today, because just this morning I made salmon sandwiches from some left-over cooked salmon for my 6-year old to take to school 🙂 I did put a cool block in with her lunchbox to try and keep it cool (and also therefore less smelly). If Klara likes salmon, she should have it for lunch – it is such a healthy food for a young kid!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Does cool cooked salmon really smell that much??

    Wrap it in several layers of plastic wrap and then put the wrapped fish in a Ziploc bag. The rats in the walls of the kindergarten room might still smell it, but most humans won’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have an unusually strong sense of smell. I guess other people don’t perceive it as I do, which is good. It was so weird to lose my sense of smell during COVID.


  3. I give my daughter leftovers, including fish often. She doesn’t use the microwave at school so it’s not going to smell up the classroom. Does Klara? My daughter also requests tuna fish sandwiches often, which her dad happily makes her. I hate canned tuna so I refuse to make that. Canned tun has a strong smell, and she happily gobbles it up at Klara’s age or older so I vote send the fish! Even if she doesn’t eat it, she will just have a bigger snack at home I’m assuming.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think it will smell too strongly, as long as she doesn’t eat it microwaved — so just make sure it’s a dish she’d normally eat cold. I would send it with a good ice pack and, if her classroom has a refrigerator for lunches, have her store it in there.


  5. Cold salmon shouldn’t really smell that much, so I wouldn’t worry about that. However, elementary-school kids often don’t have a lot of time available for lunch, so I recommend packing something you know she will eat cold (as someone said above), that has plenty of protein and/or fiber so she stays full till longer, and that isn’t complicated to eat (so things that she can hold in her hands are easier/faster to eat than anything she needs to use utensils for).


  6. “I feel like I’ve attained my purpose in life by packing them”

    I’m just gonna throw this out there… so keep an open mind…. two words…. are you ready?

    Ukrainian Bento

    Your business empire awaits…..

    Liked by 1 person

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