For many people, lunch time can be a struggle when it comes to eating habits. During busy days at work, at school, traveling, or otherwise on the go, it can be hard to plan meals that travel well and satiate you with adequate nutrition. Some people find themselves eating microwave meals and fast food lunches because they just do not know what to eat for lunch.
Other people get stuck in a boring routine of eating the same thing every day – foods like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, or cans of soup. By following a few easy tips, you can spice up your normal lunch routine whether you are at home or on the go.Read More »
Lunch Tip #2: Embrace different the foods that are eaten by different cultures other than your own when preparing lunch. This is especially fun to do when you have the time, space, and materials to cook at lunch time. If you do not, it is a good idea to prepare the lunch ahead of time to bring with you. For example. Asian inspired bento boxes are easy to prepare ahead of time as a lunch option. While these might be an everyday lunch option in Japan, they are sure to add some variety to the lunch routine of anyone who is not accustomed to eating them. One good idea for implementing this tip is to pick a different country each week or each month and do some research about foods commonly eaten there for lunch. Then, you can pick an approachable lunch option from that country to try to add to your routine.
Lunch Tip #3: Re-work leftover items. Leftover meats like chicken, steak, ground beef, and ground turkey often find their way into the lunch routine- so do whole grains and vegetables from previous meals like broccoli, rice, pasta, green beans, peas, lentils, or mushrooms. Instead of microwaving leftovers and eating them in the same form as the night before, try switching up the way that you utilize these leftover ingredients. Add freshness with herbs, fruits, and veggies wherever possible. For example, leftover meats make delicious lettuce cups when served in butter lettuce with a peanut sauce or thai chili dipping sauce. Leftover ingredients of all kinds can be added to salads and buddha bowls as well. By adding some herbs and a unique sauce like a tahini based sauce or a green goddess dressing, the leftover ingredients will take on a whole new flavor profile in your delicious lunch dish.
Lunch Tip #4: Re-create a favorite restaurant or food truck recipe. If it was possible, some people would prefer to go out to eat for lunch every single day. For most people, this is just not feasible. It is financially irresponsible, ineffective time-wise, and not so conscious from a nutritional standpoint either. By re-creating favorite meals that you eat while out, you can use healthier preparation techniques and also save money. This is a great way to brighten your work day with a special treat without breaking your diet or spending extra money. It is also a great way to learn new recipes.
Lunch Tip #5: “Skip” lunch and or snack is to your heart’s desire. Skipping meals is never a good idea or healthy solution. If you are sick of your usual lunch options, however, a snack box can be a fun lunch choice. It can also help you to avoid skipping meals when you do not have a full appetite all at the same time. Pack things like veggies and ranch or hummus, fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, organic cheese cubes, protein bars, celery with peanut butter, or whatever else you desire. Make sure to include protein, whole grains, and fruits and veggies no matter how you make your lunch. The USDA My Plate guidelines can help with this.