Who Said Lunchboxes Are Just For Kids??

22 08 2014

One of the biggest barriers my clients face is meal planning for work days. Tight schedules, long commutes, getting kids ready for school, and just wanting that extra 5 minutes of sleep canCathy head shot totally derail their ability to pack a simple, but healthy lunch. This often leads to eating fast food or vending machine fare—definitely not a good strategy for maintaining a healthy weight.
When folks have finally figured out that spending 10 minutes to pack a healthy lunch really helps their health, AND their wallets, they wonder why they never thought of it before! Lunch box meals can be simple and fast. I bet you can find everything you need in your own kitchen right now!

Want to create a 5 star lunch box meal? Here are some tips to help you:

1. Choose a protein source like: tuna fish pouches, hard boiled eggs, peanut butter, leftover grilled chicken, hummus, beans, cottage cheese or lean sliced deli meat
2. Choose a whole grain like: whole wheat sandwich round, whole wheat pita pocket, brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa, barley, or a whole wheat mini bagel or wrap.
3. Choose a vegetable like: salad greens, leftover cooked veggies from dinner, raw cucumbers, carrots, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, red/yellow/orange/green peppers…the more color, the better!
4. Choose a fruit like: apples, bananas, grapes, raisins, dried cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, fruit cups packed in water or 100% juice, squeezable applesauce, or unsweetened frozen fruits.
5. Choose water or dairy: plain low fat yogurt or Greek yogurt, cheese stick, skim or low fat milk, water or, even tastier, water infused with fresh fruit.

Want to make it even easier, and more fun? Try these tips:

1. Prep fruits and veggies as soon as you get home from the store. Wash, cut, and store in plastic containers or ziplock bags. Go one step further and portion out into single servings to grab quickly for your lunch box.
2. Put snacks into single serving baggies at the beginning of the week. Portion out nuts, granola, and whole grain crackers to grab and go.
3. Keep single servings items on hand if they are more convenient and in your budget. Things like mozzarella cheese sticks, squeezable applesauce, fruit cups, microwavable veggie cups, 4oz cottage cheese cups, etc.
4. Cook and freeze meals: Prep your favorite meals to pack and freeze. Some great ideas are homemade chili, vegetable soup, crock pot salsa chicken, and simple leftovers.

5. Make salads in a jar: layer dressing, toppings, and finally greens in a mason jar and top with lid. It will keep for a week in the fridge. Just dump out on a plate and enjoy. See how here:
http://www.superhealthykids.com/blog-posts/salad-jars-teen-lunch-solutions.php
6. Best tip ever: ALWAYS PACK THE NIGHT BEFORE!
7. Buy a really cool lunch box….you will want to show it off! Who said kids get all the cool stuff?

For lots of great examples of lunch box meals for you (and your kids too ), check these out!
http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1620&page=4#_a5y_p=1049337
http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=easy_school_and_work_lunch_ideas

how to pack your lunch

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