It’s Sunday evening. The weekend is gone; it’s time to pack lunches for tomorrow. Ugh, time for another week of school and work. Even more disheartening might be to package a bland sandwich and a piece of fruit to break up the looming Monday hours. That’s nothing to look forward to.
But, using a little more intent and creativity to create an appealing lunch just may excite you for the new school or work week. Fresh, flavorful foods are always something to look forward to, even for lunch on the first day of the week.
Start with the basics. It’s important to keep in mind what a nutritious, flavorful meal includes. Whole foods are tasty and nutritious and require very little preparation. Simply pop them into a lunchbox (kids often prefer a divided container to keep foods separate) and enjoy! For a well-rounded, nutritious lunch, include at least three of the following food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins, and dairy/calcium.
Looking for healthy carbs? Think spinach and other veggies, quinoa, chickpeas, and hummus. Quinoa and chickpeas also contain protein, as do chicken, almonds, or other nuts. Include healthy fats in your lunch with avocado, hummus, almonds, and olives. Add some cheese, whole grains, and fruit for variety, and you’ve given your body all it needs for a productive afternoon.
There are dozens of websites where you can find inspiring ideas for packing healthy lunches. See the resource list below for a few examples. But first, turn to CCPL for exciting and healthy lunch ideas!