The Power of the Packed Lunch


My fridge on Sunday evenings :).

I pack my lunch everyday, and have for the majority of my life. My mother ensured that my brother and I had healthy, well-rounded lunches from elementary through high school. In fact, my brother often had people bribe him at lunchtime, wanting to trade their money for his lunch! Through college, I packed my lunch and have continued this tradition into employment. My mom definitely taught us the importance of eating well during all meals, and so I want to shine a light on the beauty of a packed lunch.

It’s true that packing a lunch takes time. But when you consider the amount of time and money that it takes to drive somewhere in the lunchtime rush, wait in line to order, wait for the food to be prepared, and drive back to the office, I definitely come out ahead by bringing my lunch with me each day.

Currently, my packed lunches include: salad made with spring lettuce mix, tomatoes, garbanzo or pinto beans, cucumbers, and mushrooms. I add a bit of light dressing (Greek or Balsamic) when I’m ready to dive in! Eating the same thing each day can get tiresome, so I change out my salad toppings based on what’s on sale at the grocery store.

I also pack Greek yogurt or a cheese stick, crackers or almonds, a granola bar, and a piece of fruit to eat either at lunch or later in the day for snack.

On Sunday afternoon I spend 15 minutes assembling my salads and divvying out the yogurt. That’s it! I’m done for the week. There is no possible way that I could only spend 15 minutes a week getting lunch if I went out each day.

More importantly, bringing a lunch contributes to healthier eating. I control my portions, fat and sodium intake, and incorporate multiple food groups. The best part is that I no longer feel guilty over vegetables! Before switching to vegetable-packed salads, I struggled to eat enough of this most important food group. It definitely helps me to keep peace of mind when my Chinese-take-out cheat day arrives :).

Pre-pack most of your weekly lunches at one time to make your life easier. To do this, invest in a large variety pack of Snapwear. If you’re planning to microwave food, you should also consider buying glass containers for safe heating. If your office doesn’t have a fridge, there are many lunch boxes that come with cooler inserts, or you can throw in an ice block. Finally, keep a snack stash at your desk so that you don’t have to worry about packing dry foods!

P.S. If you’re looking for food to put in a toddler’s lunch, check out this post by Emily Thomas!

Do you have a habit of packing your lunch? If so, what do you take? Let me know in the comments below!

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