Lunch boxes with sparkles and superheros may be reserved for elementary children, however packing a lunch is an important task for adults too.
Packing your lunch everyday for work is a great way to stay on track with your eating habits.
It ensures that you will get a delicious, balanced meal in the middle of the day, which is essential for your energy level and metabolism. At lunch time, it is important to keep your metabolism going with quality fuel from vitamin rich foods. Eating a lunch midday also helps us avoid that mid-afternoon drop in blood sugar and eventual crash. These small, frequent, planned meals help to prevent overeating at dinner time, whether at home or in a restaurant.
Here are a few lunch ideas to get you started:
● Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with a side salad or bean salad.
● Instead of using mayo on your sandwich, try pesto or hummus. You could even make your own pesto mayo! Recreating your favorite gourmet deli sandwich will save some calories and money!
● Top that sandwich with your favorite combination of tomato slices, arugula, spinach, or part skim mozzarella cheese.
● Want to ‘bag’ the sandwich idea? Well as long as you have access to a refrigerator or insulated lunch bag, there are still plenty of options. Add a frozen bottle of water to help keep your lunch cool, and it will also provide some extra hydration midday.
● You can make a fruit salad or veggie salad. You can top your veggie salads with fruit, hard-boiled eggs, or sliced lean meat from last night’s dinner. Just pre-portion your dressing (on the side) and voila!
● Speaking of last night’s dinner, try making a double-batch of your favorite healthy meal, then pack up a portion (or two) for your lunch that week.
Try making your own bento box with hard boiled eggs, grapes, mixed nuts and baby carrots, or a hearty bowl of greens, quinoa/brown rice, chicken, beans veggies, avocado and a tasty dressing such as hummus, avocado/cilantro/lime or tahini. Be creative with how you mix and match whole grains, proteins and veggies. You can also consider different flavor profiles such as Mexican (beans, salsa, lime and avocado) or Mediterranean (cucumbers, tomato, kalamata olives).
The next time you prepare and fill your kid’s lunch box with healthy items, do the same for yourself.