Saturday, June 19, 2010

lunchbox tips, part 1

The weekend has arrived. It's a good time to relax from a week of work and then to look forward to next week. It's a good time to talk about taking lunch to work. Packing your own lunch box is a really great way to get a healthy lunch each day, and it's cheaper than eating out or in the work canteen. But taking lunch to work can sometimes require a bit of forward planning. That's why the weekend is a good time to start thinking about it.

This post is the first of two; here is a selection of tips to help make sure you get a healthy lunch at work each day. Look for the other tips and ideas next weekend.

--Plan to take leftovers of last night's dinner. The easiest and tastiest lunch can also be the healthiest because you made it yourself. When you plan your week's meals, make an extra serving or two for lunches. Take the lunch box serving out of the pan first when plating dinner, then you know you won't eat all the food by accident!

--Cook ahead on the weekends. Make a pot of soup or a batch of whole wheat gems and store in individual portions. They can be taken to work throughout the week.

--Leave some lunch supplies at work: For example, take in a loaf of whole wheat bread if you like soup or salad with bread or toast. Leave a large pot of yogurt in the work fridge and eat from it each day (much cheaper than buying individual pots). And plain yogurt can be made interesting and different every day with nuts, oats, or fruit added on top. Buy bags of apples and oranges and keep them in your desk.

--Make meals special with some added extras. Keep some mixed nuts or seeds at work to add to salads or soups. Or how about a lemon or two to squeeze over your dish? (Also, nothing causes my colleagues to comment more than when they see me garnishing my lunch.)

--Grow basil on your desk. A friend of mine does this at her creative television job and no one even blinks! But I think even non-arty types can try it out, though. And fresh basil makes even less than pretty leftovers or cafeteria food taste great.

--Start a lunch club with colleagues. This can be just one other person or a small group who want to bring in healthy food and wouldn't mind making or bringing enough to share. Or your lunch club could even bring in salad or sandwich supplies bought (cheaply) from the grocery store and assemble lunch there. By sharing the cost of the raw ingredients you make a huge saving over buying a ready-made sandwich. You also get to control the ingredients, giving you better taste and nutrition.

I'm sure you have lunch tips to share too. What do you do for your work lunches?

[And here's part 2 of our lunchbox tips!]


Anonymous said...

Your work lunches sound much more exciting than mine! I usually used to make sandwiches, and on a Friday I'd get chips from the canteen. Sometimes I'd take soup in!
I love the light box btw!

Sarah said...

Well done, Emmalene on making sandwiches every day. That takes a fair amount of dedication and planning. :-) Thanks for visiting. Try the light box--it's easy.

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Love the idea of a lunch club......I take my own lunch to work, have done for about 6 years now. Usually, its left overs, jazzed up. This last week, my perfect lunch box ingredient is a soft boiled egg. It is amazing, chopped up - lending a softness to almost any green salad, along with black olives!

Sarah said...

Wow, Ozoz, I'm impressed. I find that I really like taking lunches but get bogged down in the details every other week or so. But I hate cafeteria or convenience store food. I hope to find some lunch club friends one day! A soft boiled egg would be a great addition to lunch. And olives: my husband hates them so he'll be happy I'm eating them out of the house!

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