4. Stock up on a variety of foods so that you are less likely to have to rely on restaurants or cafeteria foods. Keeping non-perishable foods in the pantry (like dried fruit, nuts, granola bars), the fridge (keep fruit in the fridge to double its shelf life!) as well keep some meal ideas in the freezer (frozen fruit, homemade “tv” dinners). You can’t throw it into your lunch if its not in the house.
Sometimes convenience trumps $$. Buying foods that are pre-washed, cut up and wrapped can help to save lots of time and help you eat better. Some examples are:
-veggies that are “naturally” packaged are mini carrots, sugar snap peas, mini cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.
-of course, the same can be said for some fresh fruit like bananas & oranges
-fruit cups, individual yogurts, cheese sticks, soy-milk tetra-pak
-bagged salad or pre-washed lettuce
-individual containers of hummus or salad dressing
Sandwiches are always a popular choice. Mix things up by using tortilla, pita, English muffins, lettuce leaves or even rice paper instead of bread.
Here are some interesting fillings for sandwiches that are a bit out of the ordinary but are reminiscent of the classics:
-chopped leftover chicken mixed with salsa, corn and sour cream
-grated apple and carrot, minced nuts, raisins and cream cheese
-slices of beef, with salsa, avocado, sliced tomatoes and lettuce
Kids love to eat with their hands and combine creating with eating. Meals do not have to be the traditional hot lunch or sandwich. Why not make your own “lunchable” meal by including sliced cheese, sliced meat or pieces of leftover meat, crackers and cucumber slices? Veggies and dip like hummus can also be a great hit. Less prep at home and no more waiting in the microwave line wasting precious time.
The Bento Box has become popular in North America. The idea behind it is to have a variety of colors and textures all packaged neatly in a “box”. It not only stimulates the eyes but also the appetite.