Tips & Tricks for Healthy Lunches
Packing a lunch box for your children or for yourself to take to work, it can be challenging to find that balance between a lunch you want to eat, and a lunch you feel good about eating.
Fortunately, your in the right place, we have plenty of tips and tricks to help!
Preparation Is Key
We all know it's smart to eat nutritious foods, but the easiest way to have it stick, is to make it a no-brainer! This means prepping for the week. For example:
. Pack up the Food: It's simple to cut up fruits and vegetables and store them in containers in the refrigerator. Not only is pre-cut Food easier to eat, but it's simple to pick and choose and throw in a lunch box.
Tip: Toss cut fruit like apples with a little lemon juice to prevent browning, and cover carrot and celery sticks with a dampened paper towel to keep them crisp.
. Build a Bowl: Grain bowls are all the rage these days, and they are packed with nutrition if you use the right ingredients! Make sure to keep pre-cooked grains like quinoa, bulgur and millet and legumes like chickpeas, black beans and cranberry beans on hand. Other fantastic additions are leafy greens, blanched vegetables, hummus, olives, grated cheese and tahini sauce.
. Go Whole Grain: Take a look at your usual lunch choices: is there room for an upgrade? It's easy to make simple swaps such as whole wheat bread for white bread, or whole wheat pasta for traditional options.
Soup is a fantastic lunch and easy to fill with nutritious ingredients like vegetables, beans and more.
Tip: Use one of these amazing soup mixes:
Bean Free Quinoa Chili - This gluten free, soy free soup is vegan and filled with quinoa, tomatoes and vegetables.
Tortilla Soup with Red Lentils - Tortilla soup is a favorite, features delicious red lentils and black beans. Just pack the tortilla chips separately!
Monggo Bean Stew - This rich and flavorful stew is made with mung beans and enhanced with onion, garlic, ginger and coconut milk.
Now that you've got the perfect lunch, you just need to keep everything at the proper temperature. This is especially important if you or your child doesn't have access to a refrigerator or microwave. No one likes lukewarm soup! Here's how to get started:
. Invest in a vacuum-sealed container : These are so efficient at keeping soup and pasta warm!
Tip: Fill with boiling water and let sit for 10-15 minutes before draining and filling, to keep things as hot as possible.
. Find an insulated bag: These sometimes come complete with ice packs, but if not, at least find a bag that will fit a cold pack with your other containers.
Tip: Freeze a juice box or water bottle: instant ice pack!
. Consider partitioned lunch boxes: It's a great way to keep sandwiches and salads separate from fruit, yogurt and other items. Plus you don't need to use any plastic bags! Tip: Metal bento boxes are also quite popular.
Enlist Some Help
Many hands make light and more enjoyable. This is where your prep really pays off. Plus, letting your kids help decide what they eat will generally ensure that they eat more of it.