5 Easy Ways to Pack a Healthy Lunch
Are you scheduled to go back to working from the office? We understand that after about two years of staying at home, and having access to your kitchen all the time, eating, and getting the right amount of essential nutrients for your body was way easier and simpler as compared to packing a lunch box. Packing a healthy lunch needs a little bit of planning, and with our usually busy mornings, the first thing to go in the wayside is cooking at home and packing a healthy lunch.
Lunch is just as important as breakfast. A healthy lunch will help re-fuel our brain with energy and provide essential nutrients to our body, thus helping them work efficiently through the afternoon and rest of the day. A study revealed that children at school between the ages of 6 and 17 who were eating less nutritious food, like sugary beverages, candy, and snacks during school hours were associated with low grades, scoring an average of 53.4 out of 100 points. This analysis was made in research conducted by the University of British Columbia. While this transition of going back to school or office will not make it easy to pack a healthy meal for you or your children, we are here to help you re-learn how to prepare simple, easy, and healthy lunches with these 5 ideas that will help you meet all your nutritional needs.
1. The Plate Method
Canada’s Food Guide recommends the ‘’plate method’’ to promote healthy eating habits at their place of work, home, or school. This method recommends that half the plate should be filled with vegetables and fruits, one quarter of the plate be filled with whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal, bulgur, etc), and the remaining one quarter be filled with protein foods (lean meat, eggs, yogurt, cheese, etc). Adopting this method while packing your lunch will help you meet your daily nutritional goals and promote consumption of a variety of healthy foods through your meal.
2. Meal Prep
A surprising 40 percent of Canadians say they have no time to cook, eat out for convenience, or do not like to cook. Meal prep is a great idea to having healthy and nutritious meals on hand, and helping you avoid making unhealthy food choices when your weekdays are overwhelmingly busy, leaving you no time to cook. You can choose to cook and prepare meals for the whole week on Saturdays or Sundays and store the food in smaller containers by placing them in the freezer or fridge. This way, you could just grab your lunch and go, every morning! Meal prepping also helps you make good nutritional choices since it requires you to plan your meals ahead of time.
Snacks are a great way to fill your stomach and keep you energized; in case you have packed a small size lunch. Also, you will need more than one snack to maintain your energy levels, during your full workday which is generally about 8-9 hours. Some go-to snack options include boiled eggs, veggies, fruits, protein bars, and Greek yogurt.
Leftovers are here to save the day, if you do not have time to cook for lunch! You could cook bigger portions at dinners and pack the leftovers for the next day’s lunch. You also have the option of turning your leftovers into many dishes. For instance, you can always make a chicken salad from your leftover grilled chicken and add in some vegetables. Or you could also make a lunch bowl by having the chicken with some brown or white rice.
5. Have the Right Tools
Investing in good quality food storage containers will help maintain the hygiene of the food, prevent leakage, prevent bacterial growth, and make it easier to pack a variety of meals. A decent size, microwave-safe lunch box will help you pack leftovers from dinner easily, which can be heated before eating. Also buy a lunch bag big enough that can fit in all your essential items such as lunch box, snacks, water bottle, etc.
Learn more about Canada’s dietary guidelines, healthy food recommendations, and online food guide resources on Canada’s Food Guide website here.
If you want to learn more about meal planning, healthy eating, and the true potential of food, book an appointment to speak with a healthcare provider by phone through Meira Care’s virtual care clinic. Call 877-251-0077 between 8am – 9pm Eastern Standard Time, 7-days a week.
Disclaimer: The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.