Packing lunch is healthier, right? Well, only if you’re picking the right foods and snacks for the day. Learn more about how to avoid unhealthy lunches & snacks…
1. Avoid Processed Foods
It’s almost a no-brainer, but if you really want to make sure your lunches aren’t an unhealthy mess, you should try to avoid processed foods.
A protein or granola bar may seem like the best solution, but many snack bars are high in preservatives and sugar. All that unnatural sugar won’t be creating sustainable energy levels.
If you decide to make a sandwich, you’re going to have to ditch the deli meats that are packed with sodium, additives, and preservatives. The nacho cheese chips, pre-made cookies, and other munchies should also be left behind.
Plus, you should also beware of trans fats sometimes found in certain junk foods.
2. Choose Whole Foods
Whole fruits and vegetables are the easiest foods to pack for lunches and snacks. They are filled with vital nutrients that will help you power through your morning and afternoon.
A few good ones are pears, bananas, apples, peaches, broccoli, carrots, and so much more. They also don’t have to be refrigerated.
Another way to make your life easier is to split up your fruits and vegetables into individual baggies (or containers) when you first purchase them. This way, you’ll be able to quickly grab them as you head out the door.
3. Don’t Pack Frozen Foods
Frozen foods will melt over time and they might spoil while you’re hard at work. If you do decide to pack frozen foods, be sure to throw in one, or more, gel packs to try and keep them cool.
Try a test run with your lunchbox over the weekend by putting in the food you would normally have and checking back after a few hours of leaving it sitting around.
If the food is no longer cold and above 40 degrees, enough bacteria could grow on your food to make you sick.
Consider refrigerating your lunchbox or packing non-perishable foods.
4. Don’t Pack Hot Meats
This should be obvious, but a lunchbox is designed to keep foods cool, not keep them hot.
If you are going to pack meats, you need to be sure that they are fully cooked and thoroughly chilled before you throw them into the snack sack.
As a general rule of thumb, if your lunchbox has meat in it, it should be in the fridge.
5. Throw Away Leftover Foods
The day is over and there is still some good stuff left in your lunchbox.
But is it really good?
Any perishable foods found in your box at the end of the day should meet the trashcan. Try not to salvage anything or your stomach will make you pay for it.