Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Packing Healthy Lunches

Is packing healthy lunches a struggle for you?  Are you scrambling through your kitchen looking for something to throw in your lunch bag at 6:30 in the morning?  Do you just give up and go out for lunch?

I've been through this many times.  Although, I'm a teacher, and there's no going out for lunch.  It's pack something or go hungry.  I've been a lot better this year about preparing my lunches ahead of time.  Key word: preparation!  It's not a last minute thing as I'm walking out the door anymore.  In fact, when I'm making my dinner the night before, I also pack my lunch for the next day.

One of the things I find most helpful, is to make big containers of lunch foods so they're ready to scoop out for lunches.  For instance, I'll cut up a big salad and then put it in a small container each day for work. I also do this with fresh fruit. It lasts about 3 days. Or, I'll mix up my own trail mix and scoop out 1/4 cup to go with lunch.  Actually, I do this for my husband.  I teach at a peanut/tree nut-free school.  So, I just eat it when I get home.

You can always be creative and change your salad toppings each day.  Cranberries and slivered almonds.  Strawberries and toasted walnuts.

I mixed peanuts, almonds, cashews, dark chocolate covered raisins, and dark chocolate covered edamame to make a trail mix.

I also like to take yogurt for lunch or a snack.  I prefer soy yogurt over regular yogurt. You can dip apple slices in it.  I like to add a small amount of orange juice to my bag of apple slices to keep them from turning brown.

I have recently become fascinated with this "Salad-in-a-Jar" lady.  She prepares lettuce for the week in mason jars and vacuum seals them, then adds her toppings at work.

I like this idea, but I think I would prefer to have most of my salad ingredients already in the jar.  So, I think I like this idea better, even though it's just salad for the day and not the whole week.

You just shake the jar and enjoy! I found this idea on websites called Bureau of Betterment and Well Vegan.

I hope this is helpful to you as you're trying to pack healthy lunches.  What other healthy lunch ideas do you have?


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