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If you’re looking for ways to save money and reduce your calories at the same time, you may want to consider brown bagging it for lunch each day!

Brown Bag Healthy LunchesIf you think you couldn't possibly find the time to pack a lunch, think again, as there are easy ways you can do so quickly and conveniently.

Here are some tips to guide you:

1. Use leftovers. Leftover main dishes like pizza, pasta, chicken or fish, or even side dishes like couscous, vegetables or salads can be enjoyed as leftovers the next day. In fact, you can even plan ahead and consciously make extra so that you're sure to have enough for your next day's lunchtime meal. By using small containers and packing some silverware, you'll have an on-the-go meal for a fraction of the cost of restaurant fare.

2. Wrap it up. Whether they're turkey, peanut butter and jelly or light cheese and veggies, sandwiches are an easy thing to make for a brown bag lunch. And if you want to add a fun twist, consider using a high fiber tortilla wrap instead of bread. Just fill the wrap with the same fillings as you would put in a sandwich. La Tortilla Factory makes some good-tasting, calorie controlled (100 calories) wraps that are great for this purpose. Pair with a piece of fruit and enjoy.

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3. Just grab and go. Sometimes you don't have time to prepare your healthy meal and only have time to grab something that's portable. As long as you ensure that on a regular basis you have these types of foods in your home, you will always be able to make a grab-and-go lunch. Single-serve low fat yogurts, sliced low fat cheese, single serve low fat cottage cheese, nutrition bars (both for meal replacements and snack sizes), 100 calorie packs, fresh fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, grapes) which are already wrapped in their own wrappers are examples of the types of foods that make a quick, grab-and-go lunch. And with just a little preparation ahead of time, you can add baby carrots, cherry tomatoes or cut up celery.

4. Try pre-prepared meals. If you have access to a microwave at work, frozen entrees by Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice are another option. Though they may have more sodium than the other examples here, they are still fine to do now and then. A downside may be their sodium content but an upside is that they usually cost less than when ordering take out. They also take the guesswork out of calorie counting. And when paired with a piece of fruit, they offer you a very convenient way to enjoy a lunchtime meal.

Hopefully these four tips will give you new ideas for eating healthier lunchtime meals.

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