There are plenty of healthy options in Marlton, but for some folks, they prefer to pack a healthy lunch. It’s a better option than grabbing a burger from a fast food place near the office or for a healthy meal when getting away from the desk is impossible. Some people are frustrated with school lunch programs, so packing healthy lunches for their children is also important. Packing healthy lunches give you an alternative and a chance to have the food you love available. The meal should have a high quality protein, healthy fat, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, plus water for hydration rather than juice boxes or fruit drinks that only add calories.
Make sure you have healthy fat in your lunch.
When people hear fat, they immediately freak out and they shouldn’t. Healthy fat is far different from trans fats or deep fried foods. Healthy fat comes from foods like cheese, avocado, whole eggs, fatty fish, like salmon and sardines and seeds like pumpkin seeds. You can’t absorb fat soluble vitamins A, K, D and E without healthy fat. It also provides energy and keeps you feeling fuller. It’s necessary for brain and nerve functioning, heart health and building cells throughout the body.
Protein should be part of the menu.
Everyone needs protein. It’s the most important building block for bones, muscle tissue, cartilage, skin and blood. It’s necessary for the chemical reactions in your body that are part of living. Unfortunately, you can’t store and you need a lot every day. It also helps you lose weight by making you feel fuller longer. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore, protein is an important part of the diet. Luckily, it’s easy to add. You can put a hard boiled egg in or a few sticks of cheese, add a handful of nuts or nut butter as a simple option that will please the pallet of both adults and kids.
Including complex carbs in the sack lunch handles the need for energy.
When you’re talking about carbohydrates, there are two kinds, simple and complex. Simple carbs include fructose, sugar and even fruit juice. These types of carbohydrates digest quickly and can spike blood sugar, only to drop dramatically a few hours later. Complex carbohydrates leave you feeling fuller longer because they digest more slowly. They contain fiber that not only slows the process, but also aids digestion and keeps you regular. Whole grains, beans, whole fruit, vegetables and pasta are some of the choices in this group.
- Brown bagging can be a lot easier for adults that have a microwave in the office. Using leftovers from the night before, or options like cooked chicken breast on rice and beans, with sides of fresh vegetables and maybe some trail mix for a snack will have you eating like royalty, but still healthy.
- There are a lot of great kid ideas for lunches that also sneak in vegetables. If your child turns up their nose at vegetables as a side dish, try making broccoli nuggets that look just like chicken nuggets or mini veggie quiche muffins for their lunch.
- To make sure you get enough servings of vegetables every day, make sure the lunch has at least two. People’s needs vary based on weight and age, but between five and thirteen servings per day are necessary.
- If you want a sample menu that kids like, try chicken avocado salad roll-ups, cherry tomatoes, sliced red peppers, hummus dip and fruit salad. Another simple option is hard boiled eggs, grapes, pretzels, veggies and dip.