Whether its for you, your significant other, or your child/children it is important to pack a healthy lunch. Buying groceries and packing your lunch is a great way to cut down on additional food cost and help you control exactly what you are putting into your body (calorie, fat, sodium, etc.). Below are some key points to remember when packing your lunch.
- Remember your fruits and veggies! It’s recommended to consume 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day. So take advantage of your lunch to really rack in some servings.
- Remember to include lean sources of protein.
- Remember your carbs! Don’t shy away from carbs because you need them. Do keep in mind quantity and quality. For quality, you need to choose whole-wheat, whole-grain options (more frequently or most of the time) versus plain white bread or pasta.
- Drink water! Remember to drink, not only with your meals, but all day long. Water is the best drink for you and it’s guilt-free (zero calories).
– A salad is an easy way to score big on veggies, with fresh greens, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, or any vegetable you want. You can also add some dried or fresh fruit and you will be feeling good. You’ll be scoring big for your health without having consumed a lot of calories (remember veggies and fruit are very nutrient dense, meaning you get a lot of nutrients and small amount of calories and fat). However, keep in mind to pick an oil-based salad dressing and to remember to lightly pour it on… you don’t want to drown your salad in dressing.
– A veggie sandwich (on whole-grain bread, tortilla, or pita of course!)
– A pasta salad (with whole-wheat/grain pasta) with veggies can go great here, too.
– Pack some fruit. Grapes, an apple, banana, strawberries or whatever you desire. Pre-wash or pre-cut your fruit at home to make it more convenient to eat as a snack or at your lunch break. The more convenient it is the more likely you’ll be to eat it.
– If you’re staying with the salad or sandwich theme, add some sliced turkey or chicken to it. Remember portion size is important. For you vegetarians, try adding beans (chickpeas/garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc.) to your salad or wrap/sandwich.
– Don’t forget the nuts! It’s recommended to eat a handful of nuts a day, so why not add them to this nutrient dense salad or sandwich to make it a powerhouse, nutrient dense lunch? Or, simply pack them in a separate bag and enjoy them when you want.