Love Your Lunch (Packing Lunch 101)

Learn how to love your lunch! Packing well guarantees good food not only nutritious, but also energy-boosting and enjoyable. How to pack? How much? What do I need? What food? When? 

Here, I’ll break it all down for you in three steps.

  1. Learning Portions: ChooseMyPlate

myplate_white

People learn best with visual aids. Above is an example of what a typical meal should look like, created by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Some meals might contain more protein than others. Others may contain more fruit than vegetables. That’s okay! What is important is to make sure we try to create balanced meals throughout the day. Research has proved that eating a variety of foods of different temperature and color creates a balanced palate. For more on the different types of food groups and the amount of each food group need a day, check out one of my recent blogs on this: Overview of Food Groups & Classifications.

When we design our lunch, we should refer to this for a good variety and balance in our lunch. Often times, several foods contain both grains or protein. For example, a sandwich can contain both protein, grains, and vegetables.

Eating a little dessert during lunch is okay! Just make sure that your portion size is not too much. A piece of chocolate or a piece of candy is easy to stash in a lunchbox.

Next step…

2. Choosing Foods 

Now that we have the ChooseMyPlate example, we can begin to choose what we would like to pack. Below are examples of each good group that are easy to pack and that you may have around the house.

* Check serving sizes on container for amount to pack

Grains (Carbohydrates):

  • Pasta*
  • Sandwich
  • Whole grain or pita chips*
  • Fig bars

Protein: (Meats)

  • Lunch meat like ham and turkey (can be put in sandwich)
  • Nut mixes (like trail mix)
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Humus (often eaten with vegetables or chips)

Fruits:

  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Mango
  • 1/2 Pineapple

Vegetables:

  • Salad (often times contains vareity of food groups)
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Brocoli
  • Sliced Cucumber

Dairy:

3. Packing Food

Once you have looked in your fridge or took a visit to the grocery store, it is now time to start packing and portion sizing.

For processed foods, the serving size is often put on the back of the container. This is the quantity manufacturers put to eat. To maintain a healthy lunch, it is best to follow these portion sizes to avoid overeating a food group.

For homeade meals, consider purchasing a few food containers. They are found at grocery stores and stores like Target, Walmart, etc.

Here are some recommened food containers:

Tips:

Congratulations! You, just by clicking this blog, want to already eat healthier or be inspired to begin packing lunch.

Comment and reply to this article below! I appreciate your comments and emails. You all are a loved group.

Check us out on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest: @talkbyvictoria

Much love + happy packing!

-Victoria

Photo Credits: blog.vickybarone.com

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