You have probably already heard that bringing your lunch can be better for both your health and your wallet. But you and your lunch-box toting kids may be getting tired of the same old, same old sandwich and fruit routine.
Packing a lunch that is both convenient and healthy can be a challenge, and if you want to have variety, that can make the task seem even more daunting. But here are a couple of my ideas for easy, healthy lunches that the whole family can pack up and enjoy!
Lunch Kabobs: Lace a couple wooden skewers with left over chicken or lunch meat, veggies (like cherry tomatoes, cucumber pieces, and round carrot pieces), and low-fat cheese cubes. Lace another couple skewers with all different colored fresh fruits. This makes for an easy and fun lunch that doubles as a great way to sneak in your fruits and veggies.
Dressed-Up Pasta Salad: Turn this stand by side dish into a filling main course. Take a traditional pasta salad (bonus points for whole wheat pasta) and add some magic to it by throwing in some protein (cooked chicken, tuna from a can or pouch, feta cheese, beans or pine nuts) and some veggies-or even fruit such as (blueberries, steamed broccoli, peas, or shredded carrots).
A Dipping Tray: Use one single serving container of hummus as the star of this lunch. Hummus is a great source of protein and makes a fun dip. Include pieces of whole wheat pita bread and raw veggies such as (broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and cauliflower) to use as dippers.
A Salad in a Bag: Make a tossed salad and put it in a large Ziploc bag. Include a protein such as chicken, salmon, or a hard-boiled egg, and plenty of leafy green veggies as well as colorful ones. For extra color and flavor, throw on some berries or a couple tablespoons of dried fruit. To add a little crunch, include a couple tablespoons of nuts. Put altogether in the bag and seal. In a separate container, pour a single serving of a heart healthy vinaigrette dressing. When lunch time arrives, pour the dressing in the salad bag and shake to toss. Pour out on a paper plate to enjoy!
Try a few of these options to see what brown (bags) can do for you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah-Jane Bedwell is Nashville's Nutrition Expert. A dynamic speaker, Sarah-Jane has educated and entertained over 50 different corporate and community groups throughout middle Tennessee.
She graduated magna cum laude with a major in dietetics and minor in exercise science from Harding University. Sarah-Jane completed her dietetic internship with an emphasis on Medical Nutrition Therapy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. As Nashville's Nutrition Expert, Sarah-Jane currently offers individual nutrition counseling, nutrition seminars and classes for groups, and serves as a consultant for the food and beverage industry.
Sarah-Jane has been recognized as an up and coming leader in the nutrition field, Sarah-Jane was awarded the 2009 Nashville District Dietetic Association's Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award. She has made numerous appearances in both the media and at live events, such as appearing on Channel 5 and Fox 17 News and at Nashville's Whole Foods Salud Cooking School.