It’s easy to put the same old thing in your lunchbox every day, you don’t even have to think about it! Getting bored with the same old lunchbox ideas increases the chance that you’ll skip it, or head to the closest drive thru for a meal that isn’t good for you at all. Mixing things up in your lunchbox might take a few extra minutes, but, it’ll keep your midday meal fresh and inviting, and a varied diet helps you get all the daily nutrients you need to stay healthy. Mix and match your favorite lunchbox ideas and you’ll look forward to lunch every day.
If you gravitate toward the buffet table at get-togethers, take that idea and transfer it to your lunchbox. Just make sure you keep portions small to prevent overdoing it on salt, sugar, fat and calories. Take a few crackers with a slice of cheese, some sliced vegetables with dip, a couple of pieces of rolled turkey and a piece of fruit. Or, have a small handful of dry cereal, some raisins, a string cheese and a few cucumber slices. Make mini quiches in a muffin tin, put them in your lunchbox with some crudites and apple slices. Take leftover sliced chicken breast with crackers, grapes and sliced bell peppers.
If slapping together a sandwich is your lunch of preference, broaden your lunchbox ideas list by taking a different type of sandwich each day. You won’t have to put in any extra effort, but you won’t get tired of the same peanut butter and jelly either. Try a whole-wheat tortilla rolled around slices of turkey pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and sliced basil leaves. Pile turkey, sliced avocado, tomato and sprouts on whole-grain bread. Or spread a mini bagel with pizza sauce and microwave shredded cheese on top for a twist on take-out pizza. Goat cheese and roasted red peppers, and ham with horseradish and tomato slices, are other different, tasty options. Eat your sandwich with baked potato chips, or a fresh, fruit salad.
There’s no rule that says you have to eat a sandwich for lunch, pack a plastic container with your favorite cereal, and carry a cup of milk in an insulated cup. At lunchtime, pour the milk over your cereal, top with sliced fruit and enjoy. Or, bring a packet of instant oatmeal and heat it in the office microwave when hunger strikes. Top oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts for a filling and healthy lunch. Make a batch of breakfast burritos stuffed with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese and salsa on the weekend and bring one to work for lunch. Leftover pancakes spread with peanut butter and applesauce also make a filling and healthy lunch.