Think outside the lunch box this National Pack Your Lunch Day and keep your lunchtime routine from getting stale! Get creative with refreshing and colorful lunchtime ideas for whether you’re packing your own or your whole family’s lunch for work and school this March 10th. Today, and every day, can be an opportunity to enjoy a nutritious, balanced lunch that you made and packed yourself.
A healthy lunch should incorporate foods from all five food groups (grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, and dairy) to ensure a well-rounded and balanced meal. Eliminate lunchtime boredom and entice appetites while keeping healthy choices with these simple and fresh ideas:
- Get festive with holidays. Plan lunch menus around special holidays or calendar dates to keep meals and snacks exciting. For example, pack an all-green lunch in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, noodles and oranges for Chinese New Year, breakfast items for April Fool’s Day, hard boiled eggs for Easter, or a plant-based meal for Earth Day.
- Celebrate cultures from around the world. Add your own spin and flare to your next packed lunch when trying out cuisines from different countries. For example, make it Italian with mini pizzas on whole grain bagels, low-fat cheese, and vegetable toppings; Mexican-inspired with a black bean quinoa salad, whole wheat tortilla chips, and guacamole; or Thai with red curry soup, brown rice, snap peas, and broccolini.
- Make it Personal. Add a note, like a fun fact, trivia, quote, or personal message, to make lunch unpacking even more exciting! Other options that are sure to keep you coming back for more bites can include the day’s crossword puzzle, sudoku, horoscope, or comic strip.
Healthy behaviors start with you! Enjoying a packed lunch can be an easy way to save money and time, as well as a relaxing way to recharge half way during the day. However you spend your National Pack Your Lunch Day, be sure to bring a smile on everyone’s’ face with a nutritious and thoughtful prepared meal.
For more ideas on how to “Banish Brown Bag Boredom,” read this Eatright’s article.