“Brown-bagging” it for lunch isn’t just for children! Brown bag lunches can be exciting, tasty and easy. Furthermore, you are more likely to eat healthier and save money when you prepare your own lunch. Fuel your body with exciting flavors and nutrients with these Brown-Bag Lunch ideas!
BROWN BAG BASICS
-Include “color” by adding fruits or vegetables to your lunch.
-Include a low-fat source of calcium such as light yogurt, low-fat milk or soy milk, low-fat cottage cheese or lower-fat cheese.
-Include a good source of fiber such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, beans, brown rice or whole wheat crackers.
-Skip the sugary beverages.
-Keep portion sizes in check. Use zip-lock snack baggies or buy already portion controlled crackers, cookies and popcorn.
-Utilize left-over items from dinner!
-Brown bag lunches don’t have to come in a paper bag! Try an updated, adult version by using an insulated lunch bag. Keep items chilled with a frozen water bottle or ice pack and carry a thermos for hot items.
(Tip continues below)
Instead of: Croissant with Tuna Salad
Try this: Tuna salad made with low-fat mayo on a whole wheat English muffin with shredded carrots, spinach leaves and sliced tomatoes
Instead of: BLT on Sourdough
Try this: Soy bacon, sliced tomato, thin spread of avocado, leafy green lettuce on whole wheat bread
Instead of: Store Bought Wrap
Try this: Whole wheat tortilla with hummus, chopped cucumber, chopped tomato, reduced-fat feta cheese, shredded purple cabbage and spinach leaves
Instead of: Hamburger
Try this: Veggie burger in a whole wheat pita pocket with reduced-fat cheese, spicy mustard or barbeque sauce, lettuce and roasted red peppers
Instead of: PB and J on White Bread
Try this: Natural peanut butter on whole grain toast with sliced bananas and strawberries
-Melon balls and grapes
-Low-fat cottage cheese cups
-Low-fat string cheese and fruit
-Unsweetened applesauce cup
-Light Laughing Cow cheese and 100-Calorie Wheat Thin pack
-Snack size 94% fat free popcorn (choose popcorn without trans fat or “partially hydrogenated oil”) and baby carrots
-Rabbit bag (carrots, cucumbers, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and celery) with hummus
-Low-fat granola bar
-Apple slices and handful of almonds