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Pack Your Lunch Day: In 1935 Mickey Mouse Became The First Licensed Lunchbox Character

National Pack Your Lunch Day

National Pack Your Lunch Day is observed by many people across the country on March 10th of each year.   It is a day to pack your own lunch and take it with you to work, school, on a picnic, to your friend’s house or wherever you are spending the day and enjoy what you have made and packed yourself.

Packing your lunch has benefits you may not expect.  It can help you make healthier meal choices.  Instead of choosing fast food or something from the vending machine at work, you have a chance to plan ahead to add a fruit or vegetable that might not be available on those other menus.
People have been bringing their lunch to work with them forever. There has always been a need to take time out of the day to recharge energy with a bite to eat. Through the years this has changed in appearance as convenience has given way to planning and preparation. It is known that those quick options are not very healthy. Making the choice to eat out at lunchtime (as well as other times too!) has helped to add to the waist size of adults and children. Pack Your Lunch Day helps to remind us of the many advantages of making your own lunch.

By packing your lunch, you also save money.  Depending on the menu item, you can save several dollars by packing a lunch instead of ordering off a take-out menu.

  • Mickey Mouse was the first licensed character to appear on a lunchbox in 1935. In the 1900s, the tin box was appropriated by early-adopter kids wanting to emulate their dads. The first commercial version starred Mickey Mouse.
  • lunchbox

    The 1950 Hopalong Cassidy lunchbox was the first lunchbox based on a television show. In the 1950s through the 1970s, decorating lunch boxes with pop-culture idols became a marketing staple: a child might be enamoured by Hopalong Cassidy one year and the Lone Ranger the next, so they’d want to update accordingly.

  • The concept of bringing a meal to work dates back to the mid-1800s. The historical facts about lunch reveal that farmers and industrial workers, who couldn’t come home at noon, stuffed food, such as hard-boiled eggs, veggies, meat, poe and coffee, into old cleaned-out tobacco tins or sturdy dinner pails.
  • In the 1960s-1980s, the metal lunch box was abandoned in favour of vinyl-covered and plastic boxes that were cheaper to make. The Barbie line was one of the most successful of the bunch.
  • In the 1990s and 2000s, the soft insulated polyester lunch bag took over the market and remains the lunch container du jour.