- Be creative! Try not to make the same thing every day. If you have a sandwich on Monday, bring a salad on Tuesday. Variety is the key to not getting stuck in a rut.
- Skip the processed foods (like single serving packs of chips) and opt for fresh ingredients, like sandwiches and salads that are made with in-season herbs, greens, fruit, vegetables, and cheese. Nuts, sliced carrots, and popcorn are great for snacking.
- A sandwich may be a fast and convenient lunch option, but what goes into your sandwich should be carefully planned. Load up on veggies, swap mayo for hummus or a different lower-calorie spread, and use whole-grain bread.
- Turn last night’s leftovers into a whole new dish. If you had steak and potatoes for dinner, throw slices of steak and chopped potato into a pita with mint, tomatoes, and store-bought hummus. Have chicken and veggies? Toss leftover chicken and veggies with cooked pasta, herbs to make a hearty pasta salad.
- You may think that your can of thin soup is a healthy move, but if your lunch leaves you starving just minutes later, you can become susceptible to chowing down on a less-healthy afternoon snack. Make sure your lunch contains a good balance of protein and fiber to help you feel satisfied for longer. Throw in a piece of fruit with your lunch for added fiber and add a cup of yogurt for protein.
Some more tips:
- Instead of deli meat , pack sliced tofu, roasted meat, or grilled chicken : They’ll offer protein without added sodium and fat.
- Instead of regular chicken salad, pack low-cal chicken salad: Use Greek yogurt instead of mayo for extra protein.
- Instead of one whole-wheat wrap, use two slices of whole-wheat bread: A wrap might offer fewer calories, but the whole-wheat bread is a great source of protein and fiber.
- Instead of mayonnaise, use avocado: To save on saturated fat and increase the fiber, spread avocado on your sandwich instead of mayo.
- Instead of croutons, use sunflower seeds : The sunflower seeds will add the crunch you’re after in your salad as well as protein and healthy fats.
- Instead of wheat thins, use triscuits : Triscuits are made with whole-wheat flour instead of enriched flour, so they offer more fiber per serving, plus fewer calories.
- Instead of cream cheese on a bagel, use natural peanut butter on a bagel: The nut butter might offer more calories, but it’s also higher in fiber, lower in saturated fat, and higher in protein.
- Instead of orange juice, pack a whole orange: Opt for the actual fruit to increase your lunch’s fiber content and save you liquid calories.
- Instead of regular pasta, use whole-wheat pasta: Whether it’s your kid’s mac ‘n’ cheese or lasagna for yourself, always opt for whole-wheat pasta for added fiber.
What’s your secret to packing the perfect lunch?