Busy people should make a conscious effort to prepare a healthy lunch and meal, but that could get difficult when you don’t have much time. Life usually involves running around errands and adulting. Anything that’s an instant grab is the go-to for most individuals these days. Good thing, you can always prepare in advance. All it takes is planning, and grabbing the ingredients you’d need for your menu.
So, if you are a parent who needs to pack a lunch for your kid or a working person who needs to keep up with a tight schedule, developing the habit of putting out your meal would help you stay on a healthy diet. Sure, it sounds like an adjustment, but, once you are used to this, you’ll be able to save more time and money for the food that you eat regularly.
Why Healthy Snacks for Lunch
Your food choices have a great impact on your energy for the day. However, everyday challenges may make you rely on typical food that’s the most convenient, but without substance. Hence, ensuring that you are going for the right sustenance is one of the reasons why you should prepare your food in advance.
The easiest path is the soup, sandwich, or salad selection, but you can only do so much and this may bore you at the end. After all, there is a wide array of alternatives you can explore to pack an exciting lunch. For as long as you are nurturing your body with the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, you’ll be in good form for sure.
Thus, if you are still adjusting, or even starting, and you’re clueless about where to begin, we hope that this blog helps you get the right footing. So, how do you pack a healthy lunch?
Plan your healthy lunch
Just like anything you do, planning is the key to succeeding in packing a lunch. You can make a list if that’s easier for you to stay on track. You should also make it a priority to include the ingredients of your packed meals in your regular grocery. What else should you load in your fridge regularly?
1. Whole Grains
Millet, whole-wheat pasta, barley, brown rice, quinoa, soba needles
Turkey or chicken breast, cooked lentils, roasted tofu, eggs, almonds, greek yogurt, lean beef
Leafy greens are the best (wash, dry and then wrap them)
What food can you pack in the cold? These are the safest:
- Peanut butter
- Crackers, bagels, bread
- Unopened fish and meat cans
On the other hand, foods that should be hot like chilli, stew or soup need an insulated container so that they don’t contaminate too, or this is a way to keep them fresh until lunchtime. Tightly seal the container so that it won’t lose its heat.
Pack your healthy lunch
As you do your meal prep, the goal is to make it satisfying and nutritious. You should include an appropriate amount of protein, vegetables, and grain. Incorporating fats is okay, just control it and only do so for flavoring.
The presentation and choices you’ll make would also be the important elements of packing your lunch. The proper balance of the crucial food groups would be enough for the body to maximize its full potential. Practice a variety of colors and textures!
How to pack your healthy lunch
Now, we are in an integral part of the preparation – packing your healthy lunch.
There is a simple formula to this: half of the lunch box should include colorful vegetables or fruits. Go for these three types. One of the quarters should have whole grains, and then the rest is for your healthy proteins. It’s okay to sneak in some fats in there like dairy for that will make your meal tasty. It’s also a boost if you have an active lifestyle.
Simplicity is the key
If you want to be consistent in packing your lunch, you shouldn’t be scared to make your preparation simple. You can secure your go-to protein options like pre-cooked or frozen chicken, canned beans, or even veggie burgers. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can also consider pre-chopping your ingredients!
Stick to the food you enjoy
In building a routine of meal prep, you should be true to the kinds of food you enjoy eating. What’s the point of putting together a healthy lunch that you won’t eat? It should be the meal that you look forward to eating at school or work, but of course, the healthier. Even if you have guilty pleasures when it comes to food, you can always do swaps and alternatives.
Save healthy food for emergency
It wouldn’t hurt to have non-perishable foods in your place. They’ll be the easiest to grab. Among these foods are fruit cups, light tuna, cereals, trail mix, cereals, granola, or crackers.
Ensuring food safety
When making your food, safety is a priority. The last thing you’d want is to contaminate it. For instance, you make your lunch before you go to bed, chill it in the fridge and secure it in an insulated lunch bag as you bring the meal to work or school.
Cross-contamination is common. This happens when you don’t use food wraps, aluminum foil, or plastic bags in packing. How can you avoid foodborne illness? You can start by discarding your used paper bags and food packaging materials.
Healthy food for healthy living
At the end of the day, the main goal here is to create a healthy meal that will nourish your body. Focus on the quality of your diet and you’ll not go wrong. Mixing up your menu would excite you in doing more meal preps.
When you put primary focus on the quality of your food, no matter which meal it is, you are promoting a healthy and balanced diet for yourself and family. In fact, you’re also somehow influencing your colleagues when they see how much thought you put into preparing your packed lunch for work.
Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute believes that with better food (that includes a healthy packed lunch!), you can enjoy a healthy and quality life. If you’re working remotely, having a healthy packed lunch means you don’t have to go longer than four hours without taking a bite. Plus, it’s a good and healthy bite, too!
Go on! Try these tips or get inspiration from these recipes and let us know how it goes! Bon appetit!