Lunch is one of the most inevitable meals of the day, and we need to make sure that our lunch carries all the necessary energy sources that can keep us going throughout the day.
But we can run out of healthy lunch ideas quickly, especially when you have a kid who does not like to eat the same food over and over again.
When I am busy, the first thing I make sure of is cooking homemade lunches.
That sounds like a lot of work before you get into your work for the day, huh?
This article includes 16 tips to make sure you and your family eat healthier lunches, no matter how crazy your schedule is.
Table of Contents
- 1 Everyday Hustle of Packing Lunch
- 1.1 Deliciousness over Anything
- 1.2 Make Sure It is Healthy
- 1.3 You Can’t Force Yourself to Meals You Don’t Like
- 1.4 Don’t Forget Your Meal Budget in the Process
- 1.5 Their Opinions Matter
- 1.6 Use Your Weekends Wisely
- 1.7 Prepare a Packing List
- 1.8 Keep Some Staples as Back-Up
- 1.9 Do Not Forget to Bring Your Lunch With You
- 1.10 Cook a Little Extra for Dinner
- 1.11 Be Creative with the Leftovers
- 1.12 Pack Your Lunch Box after Dinner
- 1.13 A Lunch Box or Bag that Keeps the Food Fresh:
- 1.14 Ditch the Office Fridge:
- 1.15 Portable Lockbox
- 1.16 Armor Your Desk for the Healthy Lifestyle
Everyday Hustle of Packing Lunch
Let’s be honest here before we get into the details: It’s tough!
It does not matter if it is just you or your entire family, you have to leave behind all the excuses you made previously to avoid cooking meals at home.
Remember, it is all about a healthy lifestyle you are trying to establish for yourself and the family.
Because you want to be healthy, there will be trade-offs! But if you can see the bigger picture, you are one step away from unlocking the immunity your health insurance provider can’t promise.
Now, let’s get into some pro tips to turn yourself into a meal-prep pro.
Deliciousness over Anything
No matter how organized your lunch box looks, it will not make any difference unless it tastes good.
And, in all honesty, homemade foods will always taste better than the ones bought from stores because when you cook your meals at home, you can add particular ingredients that you like and avoid some ingredients that you or your family hate.
Make Sure It is Healthy
To stay motivated, you need to focus on your health goals.
Packing your own lunch box lets you have more control over any health goal, let that be eating low calorie or high protein or simply eating more fruits and veggies.
I get motivated by thinking about the benefits all these healthy meals will have on my family’s health, and that keeps me going the extra mile to prepare all the healthy lunches.
You Can’t Force Yourself to Meals You Don’t Like
Here’s something I should remind you again: if you do not like what you eat, it’s not worth the hassle. You need to make sure that you are giving yourself something you always look forward to.
So, don’t pack anything for lunch that you would not like at home. I am sure many of us force ourselves into eating something we do not like because of peer pressure.
No matter how much someone recommends a certain food, if you do not like it, DO NOT pack it for lunch!
Don’t Forget Your Meal Budget in the Process
If you can plan your meals wisely, mark my words, you will be able to save half of the meal budget you have right now.
When you order a takeaway or dine out, you are not just paying for the ingredients of the meal; you are paying a part of the restaurant’s overhead expenses (rent, salary, bills, and more) too.
That’s a part of the process, or else these businesses would have gone broke even before starting.
However, you are not paying for those overheads when you prepare your meals at home.
Since you’re saving money in prepping your own meals, buy yourself something nice because you are putting in a lot of hard work into this.
Their Opinions Matter
You need to make sure that your family loves the meals you are preparing. Catch up for a moment with them to ask if they liked what they ate that day.
Make sure to take those opinions into consideration while cooking the next meals, or else all your hard work to prepare these meals might end up in the trash cans without you noticing.
Use Your Weekends Wisely
It’s not just me, I promise. I met many people like me who love to use their weekends to prepare meals for the coming week.
There are some meals like a salad that you can prepare once and keep in the freezer for the entire week.
While it takes up some of the time you normally use to chill with your friends and family, it has its perks too.
You do not have to get up early every morning to rush to the kitchen. All you have to do is open the freezer, take out the boxes, and get going.
Prepare a Packing List
I really hate it when I see something missing when I sit for lunch. That’s why I write down a packing list myself so that I do not forget anything.
Make sure to stick a packing list on the fridge so that you remember everything you should put in your lunch box if you normally pack lunches in the morning.
Keep Some Staples as Back-Up
It does not matter if these are leftovers or freshly made, it is always good to have some staples in your refrigerator.
These will come in handy during the days when your lunch is not quite enough or you do not have much left in the freezer.
Do Not Forget to Bring Your Lunch With You
Even if it takes putting alarms on your phone every day or hanging a note on your front door, please do not leave your house without taking your lunch with you.
You might find it funny, but many of us have starved because we forgot to bring in the meal we prepared for the day.
The easiest way to do this is by making yourself put the lunch box in your bag as the first thing of the day.
You might have many other important things to deal with as the day progresses, but if you do this as soon as you wake up, there is no chance you will go hungry at lunchtime.
Cook a Little Extra for Dinner
How can you maintain a healthy lifestyle without using too much effort?
One of the easiest ways to fill your lunchbox ready is cooking enough dinner so that there are leftovers you can box up for the next day’s lunch.
This can totally make you a free bird in the morning ensuring you do not have to starve or order out at lunchtime.
Be Creative with the Leftovers
The last thing you want in your healthy lifestyle is to get bored with the same kind of food every day. No one likes that!
However, you can save yourself from misery by picking a few ingredients from everyday meals you can cook and store in the freezer.
These should be the things that you crave. Then, you can add those stored ingredients to your regular meals and make your daytime a little brighter.
Pack Your Lunch Box after Dinner
You should grow the habit of packing the lunch box with the dinner leftovers before you clean up.
This way you do not have to use an additional box or container to store it to make your lunch, and then take them out of the freezer in the morning to prepare the lunch box.
Save yourself from the extra hassle of washing the containers just for the nighttime storing, and pack your lunch box immediately after dinner.
A Lunch Box or Bag that Keeps the Food Fresh:
It is very important to make sure that the food remains fresh, even if it is leftover from the previous night’s dinner.
A good container plays the biggest part in it. While it might sound like an additional investment, it will totally be worth it if you can find one that truly keeps your food fresh and crisp.
Ditch the Office Fridge:
Does that sound crazy?
Even if it does, take it seriously. Would you like to put your freshly made, healthy lunch right beside the slowly rotting leftovers your colleague brought to work?
Even though it sounds like another investment, buy a small insulated cooler that’s just enough to keep on your desk, yet can still keep your lunch fresh at work.
We all have someone at our workplace who takes the office refrigerator as a free-for-all, and no one likes to see an empty lunch box right when hunger strikes.
The best way to solve this problem is by buying a portable lock box to keep your klepto coworkers away from your healthy meals.
Armor Your Desk for the Healthy Lifestyle
You need to make sure that your desk is a comfortable place to have lunch.
Keep some real silverware, a steak knife, chopsticks, and a cloth napkin at your desk.
Apart from the cloth napkin that you will put in your laundry every other day, you can take them once from home to work to unlock having the coziest lunch you could probably enjoy.
Finally, try to find a coworker or a friend who is also into healthy eating. You can discuss ideas for the next day’s lunch, which will motivate you even more to continue the healthy lifestyle.