Let us face it; it is tough to prepare packed lunch every day. It is even tougher when you have to pack yours, your spouse’s and your kids’. Nevertheless, the health and economic benefits of packing lunch to work or school outweigh the hassle you go through every day after supper.
Although packing lunch is tasking, there are ways you can make it interesting and easier. Frequently, you need to remind yourself why you need to pack healthy meals for your family to stay motivated enough to prepare the meals every day.
Read on to learn more:
Best Foods for Packed Meals
You can pack almost anything in your lunch box as long as you can keep it fresh until lunch. However, some foods are better as packed meals than others. Some of the best foods for packed meals include:
Fruits: Fruits will stay fresh whether you refrigerate them or not. Fresh and tinned fruits are some of the best choices. You can have dried fruit bars and straps as they have high sugar content and low fiber.
Vegetable salads: Vegetables can stay fresh for a day even when you do not refrigerate them. Mixed vegetables, crisps, and vegetable sticks are great when you are packing lunch.
Drinks: You can pack fresh fruit juice, milk, yogurt, or custard. When carrying these drinks, freeze them overnight and then wrap them in a cloth when packing. If you carry fruit yogurts, ensure you keep them in an insulated lunch box.
Dips, Cheese, Bread, and Biscuits: Cheese and crackers are great especially when you are packing for children. Biscuits are also great especially when they are low in sugar. Ensure you keep sweet dips and oven-baked savory biscuits.
Different Fillings: To make the lunch sweet and enjoyable, you need to vary the fillings. You can use, among others, peanut butter, tuna, egg, sliced cold meat, carrots, baked beans, and cheese. You should avoid fatty meat, honey, and chocolate.
Cakes and Muffins: If you want to have more fruits and vegetables, make your cakes and muffins at home. When doing so, include fruits and extracts such as sultana, zucchini, carrot, pumpkin, and banana.
Observe Health and Safety
The main reason why you might want to pack lunch to work is to stay healthy at all times. You can, therefore, stay motivated by prioritizing your health goals at all times. To stay healthy, pack more fruits, vegetables, fewer calories, and less fat.
You will feel great when you eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you are on a diet, you will appreciate packing your lunch even more. As long as you find a way to stay motivated, packing your lunch will never be a problem.
Another way to stay motivated is to consider the amount of money you save when you prepare lunch at home.
Prepare Tasty Meals
A homemade lunch should taste better than store-bought lunch. Otherwise, you will not enjoy it and neither will your children. To make the food tasty and appetizing by using a good looking lunch box, packing different meals every day, ensuring the food is not too dry, make the food easier to eat by ensuring it is not too fiddly or sticky, and consider food likes and dislikes.
Make Good Use of Leftovers
It is easier when you pack leftover food from supper for your lunch. You can start by making enough food so you will always have some left for lunch. You can add the filling or different types of food so you can enjoy your meal.
If you are to use leftovers for lunch, ensure that you pack them right after dinner. This way, you will not have utensils to wash up in the morning.
The food should be easier to eat whether you are on the road or in the office. If you on a road trip, for instance, you need food that is easy to eat and stays fresh for long. Besides ensuring that you have a great radar detector on your car to avoid speed traps, a good lunch box and the right food should be your priority. If anything else should go wrong on your road trip, even with a radar detector, at least ensure you have good food.
Eat What You Like
You need to consider the food items that you love. However, you need to consider that the foods are healthy. If you will be packing for your children, also ensure that you consider their likes – as long as the foods are less sugary and have less fat. If you love grapefruit, then you need to add grapefruit in your packed lunch.
If there is a food item you wouldn’t eat at home, do not pack it for lunch. Even if the food item is healthy, you should not force yourself to take it as that will make your lunch boring.
Create a Weekly Packing List or Prep Foods on a Sunday
It is challenging choosing the foods you will eat every day. To make the process easier, create a menu for every lunch on Sunday. This way, you will shop for the ingredients you need on time. When creating a regimen for the whole week, ensure that you list the food items that you will need to carry every day of the week so you do not forget some food items in the morning.
You can also prepare food items on Sunday and freeze them ready for eating. This will save you a lot of time and ensure you have all the food items that you need to take you through the week.
If you are serious about packing lunch to work or to school, invest in a quality insulated lunch box. This way, your food stays fresh all day.