With the school year underway, many families have gotten back into the swing of packing lunchboxes. But school kids aren’t the only ones who need a well-planned lunch. Whether you’re going to school, work, or anywhere in between, packing your own lunch can be a great way to save money and benefit your health.
If you struggle to know what to pack, try some of the following ideas. Each one provides servings from all five food groups in the MyPlate guide.
1. Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread, green pepper and low-fat milk.
2. Chicken, brown rice and broccoli stir-fry with peaches and cottage cheese.
3. Pasta salad (whole-grain pasta, chickpeas, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes) with cantaloupe and greek yogurt.
4. Taco (whole-grain tortilla, seasoned lentils, low-fat shredded cheddar, fresh salsa and lettuce) and an orange.
5. Whole-grain pita filled with tuna salad (made with light mayonnaise), romaine lettuce and water chestnuts paired with a plum and low-fat cheese stick.
6. Quinoa with black beans served with celery, cherries and yogurt.
7. Stir-fry made from tofu, brown rice and snap peas eaten with a side of cubed pineapple and low-fat milk.
8. Spinach salad made with two boiled eggs, strawberries and pecans and served with whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese.
9. Roast beef and low-fat swiss on rye bread with baby carrots and grapes on the side.
10. Whole-grain pasta with tomato and lean ground beef sauce paired with cauliflower and blueberries mixed in greek yogurt.
Author: Brenda Moeckly, RN, Hendricks Regional Health