5 tips for packing healthier lunches - HMS National, Inc.

5 tips for packing healthier lunches

September 15, 2014

Whether you're packing a lunch for yourself, your kids or your spouse, the same sandwich, chip and cookie combo can get boring. You may think that sprucing up your family's brown-bag lunches will be time-consuming, but it doesn't have to be! Use these five tips to make healthier and equally delicious lunches.

1. Keep it balanced
According to United Healthcare, an ideal lunch should include balanced amounts of lean protein, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Additionally, it should include one serving of low-fat dairy. These may seem like strict guidelines, but they allow for a variety of combinations. Lean protein includes fish like tuna, anchovies or salmon, as well as most poultry. Whole grains don't have to come from bread - they're also in many crackers, wraps and some chips.

2. Make it easy to eat
It's often convenient to just throw a piece of fruit into your lunch bag, but when you're at work, do you really have time to peel an orange or deal with sticky hands? Preparing food in advance will make your lunches easier to eat. Peel and slice your fruits or vegetables the night before, and cut your sandwich in half. If you don't have time to prep produce, you can always buy fruit cups - but choose ones with water instead of syrup.

3. Get creative
You don't have to follow the same old song and dance every day. Instead of a sandwich, make salad to go in your lunch. Instead of a glass of milk, have Greek yogurt as your serving of dairy. Woman's Day magazine recommended pairing hummus and snap peas, bananas and nut butter or cheese sticks and dry cereal. You can also incorporate leftovers like chicken or pasta into lunches.

4. Don't skip the treat
Having cookies for dessert every day isn't the best idea, but try to include a treat in your lunch. Whether it's trail mix, fruit chips, frozen grapes or homemade granola bars, you can definitely find a healthy alternative for dessert. Having a sweet treat to look forward to will get kids and husbands excited for their brown-bag lunch.

5. Invest in a bento box
Bento boxes aren't just for kids! There are plain compartmentalized lunch boxes on the market that will save you a lot of money on plastic bags. These reusable boxes will also remind you to include small portions of different foods - nuts, fruits, vegetables, crackers - each day.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.