Packing yourself a nutritious and great-tasting lunch is something everyone should make the norm rather than the exception. If you feel that packing a lunch can be time-consuming, you’re in luck.
With a bit of planning and a touch of creativity, you can create amazing lunches that are easy to make and can be put together quickly. We’ve gathered some simple and healthy ideas to use for your next lunch, so whether you’re packing lunch for yourself or the people you love, we’ve got you covered at SpringSpot.
Benefits of Packing Lunch Regularly
Packaging your lunch regularly has many benefits, but here are a few of our favorite benefits.
Eat Your Leftovers
Packing your lunch regularly gives you a chance to clear your fridge from last night’s dinner. You can even plan dinner, so you have plenty of leftovers to pack lunch with. This can save you a ton of time in the morning, so you don’t have to scramble to throw something into your lunch box.
Just because you’re eating your leftovers doesn’t mean that you have to eat the same thing you did last night. Try taking the leftover chicken from last night and turn it into a salad by adding some fresh greens or take the chicken and greens and turn it into a wrap. Why waste food when you can turn last night’s dinner into today’s lunch?
Pack a Lunch that You Will Actually Eat (And Enjoy)
Packing a lunch ensures that everything you pack is something that you will want to eat. When we buy lunch at a cafeteria or at a local restaurant, we can find ourselves facing limited food choices. There’s nothing worse than falling into a lunch rut than falling into that rut and paying for it at the same time.
Prevent yourself from skipping lunch or not eating enough because you do not have access to food that you want to eat by packing a meal that you can’t wait to eat.
Saves a LOT of Money
Buying lunch every day can cost you a lot of money by the year’s end. There are around 260 working days in the calendar year of 2023. Buying lunch at $10 a meal, which is a very conservative cost estimate, feeding yourself lunch would cost around $2,600 a year.
Avoid paying all that money just to buy an unhealthy meal that may not be what you want. Take the time to pack a lunch and you will eat better and healthier and save yourself a ton of money in the process.
Avoid the Dreaded Afternoon Slump
The afternoon slump is a significant drop in energy levels during the afternoon. While this is a common occurrence, it can cause some problems, especially when you need to focus on that last bit of work so you can get out of the office on a Friday afternoon.
Eating a healthy and balanced lunch that provides the needed energy and fuel to get through the day will be the best way to fight the afternoon slump. It can be difficult to ensure you get a balanced meal that provides the right amount of macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to keep you going if you do not pack it yourself.
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Our Favorite Simple and Healthy Lunch Ideas
Now that you know the benefits of packing your lunch, here are some great ways to get started.
Packing a salad is a simple and quick way to pack your lunch. Make sure you start with a sturdy container with a secure lid so the salad doesn’t spill in your bag and stays crisp. Layer the ingredients so that they don’t end up turning into a soggy mess that you don’t want to touch and remember to pack the dressing separately.
Don’t forget to keep the salad stored in a cool and dry place until you’re ready to eat.
If you love eating out, especially at your favorite Japanese restaurant, packing a bento box lunch can be a great way to transition into packing your own lunches. A bento is a meal packed for one person that is ready to be eaten as soon as it is opened without any further preparation or assembly.
While traditional bento boxes usually have rice as a base starch for the meal, you can pack pasta, quinoa, or whatever you prefer. Add some proteins like eggs, chicken, tofu, or tempeh, along with some cooked vegetables of your choice, and you’re all set.
Tacos are a great way to use your last night’s dinner leftovers. Shred up the protein that’s left over from dinner and pack it with some tortillas, rice, lettuce, and salsa for a no-fuss, healthy and delicious way to have lunch. If you bought a box to pack your bento lunches in, you can also use it to pack tacos.
Packing a lunch for work does not have to be difficult or unhealthy. Take it as an opportunity to flex your creativity and have some fun with it.
Are you looking for more information about eating well to feel good? Take a look at our Food Activities section.