Creating a Healthy Lunchbox

Content by: NCES, Inc.

A healthy lunch not only provides an opportunity to get some of the key nutrients you need, but can also give you the boost of energy to get through those afternoon activities!

Creating a Healthy Lunchbox
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Planning and packing a daily lunch may be the most important job of the day! Don't settle for a ham and cheese of peanut butter and jelly. The following tips are tasty and healthy ways to jazz up your lunches.

Plan for the day. A great way to plan lunch is to have something from each food group. Make a list of foods you enjoy, and then balance your lunchbox from each food group. Plan a few snacks, but make them healthy.

Vary your diet. Instead of using the same white bread everyday, try using various kinds of bread like whole wheat, multi-grain, omega-3 or fax bread. Another good way to change things up a bit is to use bagels, dinner rolls or tortillas to make a great sandwich. If possible choose whole grains. This will assure that you are getting a rich source of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants in your sandwich.

Dinner becomes lunch! Try creating a healthy lunch using leftover meats from the night before, instead of using processed luncheon meats. For example. Try chopping up leftover chicken to make a chicken salad sandwich. You can make practically any kind of sandwich with leftover meat dishes. A steak sandwich, spicy chicken sandwich or a grilled fish sandwich can be tasty.

It is important to remember that a healthy lunch can provide many nutrients that your body needs. Lunch is just as important as eating breakfast and dinner. A little preplanning can make a big difference and help assure you will get all the nutrients in your lunch for a healthy diet. Also don’t forget to change things up a bit. Don’t eat the same thing every day. Who says you can’t have oatmeal or cold cereal for lunch? A healthy lunch can provide many nutrients that you might miss out on if you were to eat the same thing over and over.

Tips for the day!

#1 - Soups are healthy! If you are tired of making a sandwich, pack a thermos of hot tomato soup with parmesan-flavored goldfish crackers or broccoli cheddar soup with a slice of focaccia bread.

#2 - Make fruits and vegetables your lunch. Lunch is a good time to get a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Try making a dipping sauce for them like hummus for your veggies or a low-fat yogurt dip for your fruit to add interest.

Next Steps.

Consider healthy lunch box Ideas for the busy lifestyle!

- Turkey avocado sandwich, 1 cup carrots and celery with 1/3 cup hummus, apple. 1 cup chocolate milk
1 cup tomato basil soup with 4 slices of cheese and crackers, 1 orange, 1 fat-free pudding cup

- Tuna or Chicken salad in a whole wheat pita pocket, 1/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1 pear, 1 8oz can low-sodium V-8 juice

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