Packing a Healthy Lunch for You and Your Children

With November beginning, we are in the full swing of fall. That means school and work getting busier. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the simple things in the movement of your day. One of those things could easily be lunch! But lunch is incredibly important to feeling good and performing throughout your day.

It’s not easy to make lunches that are both tasty healthy lunch 01and healthy. It can be tempting to throw some snacks together, but taking just a couple of minutes and doing some planning can help improve your daily lunch. Brining a nice healthy lunch to work can also save you a lot of money! If you have children, they are counting on you to provide lunch as well, and building healthy habits starts with healthy lunches.

This month, we will first dive in to some general tips on creating healthy lunches. Then we’ll go over some yummy recipes you can try for yourself and pack for your kids!

Thinking Healthy and Frugal

It takes time to prepare healthy lunches. But with a little planning and a few great tips, you can improve your diet and save your budget by doing so.

Keep your nutrition needs in mind

healthy lunch 02It’s important to think about all of the nutrients you’ll need to keep yourself going throughout the day. If you eat the right dose of lean proteins, whole wheat carbs, and vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, you’ll feel better throughout the day without being bloated! 

Check out my earlier post for what you need to know about nutrition

It’s important to think about all of the nutrients you’ll need to keep yourself going throughout the day. If you eat the right dose of lean proteins, whole wheat carbs, and vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, you’ll feel better throughout the day without being bloated!

Use those leftovers! Cook ahead of time

Make an extra serving of each dinner and you’ll always have healthy lunch 03a lunch for the next day. If you’re taking care to make healthy dinners, why not take your effort one step further and use some extra ingredients to make a nice lunch while you’re at it.

You can also make some healthy batch meals over the weekend and create portions for yourself or your family to bring for lunch throughout the week. How about some chili or soup in Tupperware containers? Or try rice and beans and pack them up for the go.

Keep some staples at work

You might have to rush out the door without making a lunch if you’re especially busy, or maybe you’ll have to stay late and need something to keep you going. It’s a great idea to have a few staple items at work that you can eat if need be.

Canned soups and granola bars won’t go bad and can be used when needed to give you that extra boost. You can also keep a plate, silverware, salt, pepper, or whatever else you might like to have to enhance your lunch experience.

Here are some more great tips for packing healthy lunches

Healthy Lunch Options: Check these out!

Sandwiches

healthy lunch 04There are lots of variations you can use to create healthy lunches and keep it fresh so you’re not always eating the same thing. Try some fresh romaine lettuce and sliced tomato with a nice lean protein. Substitute some spicy mustard for mayo to save calories! The choices are limitless, as long as you keep nutrition in mind.

Your kids might not like the same sandwich ingredients as adults, but don’t be afraid to get creative. Ask your kids what they like and key in on the healthy choices. Children will appreciate the variety and being included in the decision.

Salads

healthy lunch 05You can also try lots of different types of salads to have a nice variety of healthy lunch options. Experiment with different ingredients! Try adding some walnuts, goat cheese, and baby greens. Maybe throw in some arugula with pear and toasted walnuts. Why not add some green beans with a spicy soy dressing? There are so many different types of fruits, veggies, and nuts that all can be combined to create delicious salads. Avoid creamy dressings to keep your salads on the lighter side.

To keep the kids eating fruits and veggies, pack easy-to-eat fruits like apples and bananas. Add some sliced green peppers or carrot chips!

Soups

healthy lunch 06

 

Soups are another great lunch option. These are especially good because you can make them ahead of time and portion them out for your week to come. You can reheat them in the microwave at work, and pack them in a thermos for your kids at school.

 

Here’s a few great healthy soup recipes from CookingLight:

  • Roasted Chestnut Soup with Thyme Cream

Roasting bottled chestnuts brings back fresh-toasted flavor. The vibrant color of this soup is sure to be a treat to the eyes as well!

Click here for the recipe

  • Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

Take it slow. Let chili simmer slowly—the flavors will meld as the liquid thickens, intensifying the overall taste. For a three-alarm chili, leave the seeds and membranes in the jalapeños. The sour cream has a cooling effect, but you can seed the peppers or use less for a milder result.

Click here for the recipe

  • Roasted Corn, Pepper, and Tomato Chowder

Grilling the vegetables heightens their sweetness, and blue cheese provides a pungent counterpoint in this soup. Substitute crumbled goat cheese or feta, if you prefer.

Click here for the recipe

Click here for some more great healthy lunch ideas!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy November,

Dr. Rogena Johnson