Disclosure: I received products and payment from Genuine Thermos Brand as compensation for the post, and Genuine Thermos Brand did not influence any opinion of this product. All views and opinions expressed in the post are my own and no other compensation was provided.
Whether you work in an office, go to school or stay home with your kids, chances are – you eat lunch. And if you’re one of the millions of Americans who are skipping lunch or packing the saddest of Sad Desk Lunches, after you read this post you will have absolutely no excuses anymore!
More & more people are realizing the benefits of packing their lunches at home. Aside from saving money, chances are, when you’re making your own lunch, you’re less likely to binge on unhealthy foods.
My husband is pretty bad about making sure he gets lunch at work because he’s just too busy. On days he hasn’t packed his lunch he typically comes home starving & not to mention, a liiiiiittle bit cranky. If he does happen to hit up a local lunch spot, he either ends up eating way too much, getting fast food or being left with dismal pre packaged choices from a convenience store.
Without a doubt, making a healthy packed lunch is the best way to ensure you are eating well & also feeling well!
My best tips for a healthy packed lunch
1. PLAN YOUR ATTACK
Don’t hit the grocery store without thinking about your lunch options for the week! There’s nothing worse than coming home to realize you probably covered breakfast & dinner but your lunch options are sparse. Plan into your grocery shopping opportunities to choose healthy lunch items, if that means you’re buying more fresh fruits & veggies or extra ingredients for dinners. If you are the type of person who writes out weekly meal plans, make sure to account for a full lunch. It’s a great idea to rely on dinner leftovers but some nights, there might not be any!
2. SKIP PRE-PACKAGED ‘LUNCH ITEMS’
Marketing geniuses have bamboozled the general public to think that pre-packaged, lunch-sized portions are the only way you can pack a lunch. Good thing you’re smarter than that! Not only do those pre-packaged portions create way more waste (simply because of extra packaging) they typically always cost way more per ounce & chances are they’re really just glorified junk food. Don’t be deceived by snacks full of preservatives, artificial colors & additives! You are way better off packing your own nut butter, salad dressings & home-made trail mix.
3. MEET YOURSELF HALFWAY
Once you’re home from the grocery store, make some time for weekly prep! Boil eggs for the week, cut up plenty of fresh veggies, wash fruit, make some egg muffins or meatballs, make a big salad, prep some chia seed pudding. All of these items will be easy for you to grab throughout the week & I guarantee you will be eating much healthier. Why do so many people eat fast food? Because it’s easy! Make your own fast food at home so you won’t be tempted by chain restaurants. Your body will thank you for it!
4. GET CREATIVE
Instead of thinking of lunch as a sad sandwich & chips, start getting creative! Thinking of your mid day meal as any other meal gives you way more variety & options. Suddenly omelettes, frittatas, steak & brussels sprouts are your new noon day companions! Literally anything you can think of will be a perfect lunch option. Plus, the more creative you are, the more likely it is you are varying your fruits & veggies. How many fresh ingredients are in a sandwich & chips? If you’re like most people, not many. Create a beautiful food palate by enjoying fresh, colorful ingredients that will keep you full & satisfied the rest of the afternoon.
5. USE THE RIGHT CONTAINER
Gone are the days of plastic baggies & brown paper sacks. Now you have so many options to keep your lunch fresh! When looking for a good lunch container there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll definitely want something sturdy that holds up to lots of wear. There’s nothing worse than having to replace a lunch container after just a couple uses. I am loving this new Dual Compartment Food Jar from Genuine Thermos Brand! Not only does it keep cold food cold (up to 7 hours) it will keep hot food hot (for up to 5 hours). That way you can say good bye to a sad sandwich & say hello to hot soup & a refreshing salad & more! It also comes with a foldable spork (how clever is that) & because of it’s compact size, it’s easily packable while also being able to hold quite a bit of food. I was honestly surprised with just how much food I could fit into this container! Another hand feature is, of course, being dishwasher safe. My husband has this rule about how I am banned from buying hand wash only containers. But seriously, who has time to hand wash lunch containers every single day?
6. ENLIST A FRIEND
They say people with support are even more likely to maintain healthy habits so why not enlist a friend to keep you accountable? Planning to pack a lunch with a friend will keep both of you away from the vending machines, plus you can swap ideas on healthy lunch options. You could even create a shared Pinterest board where you can pin your favorite healthy recipes that would be perfect for lunch packing!
7. STAY CONSISTENT
I’ve read that a person needs to do something at least 21 times to make it a habit. We all know what it’s like to go on vacation or a long weekend. It’s so challenging to get back into that healthy routine! Instead of letting that vacation get the best of you, challenge yourself to stay consistent for at least 21 days (less than a month)! 21 days of packing a healthy lunch from home will help you get into the right frame of mind. You’ll find you start thinking of those packable lunch foods automatically at the store. Sundays will become prep days where you’re making time for yourself & your food! And before you know it, you’ll never think about hitting the vending machine or fast food restaurant again!14