Packing A Healthy Lunch

I had the opportunity this past week to give a Lunch and Learn presentation to a local Indianapolis business. It was for National Healthy Lunch Day and it was on behalf of the American Diabetes Association of Indianapolis. I have done a variety of things along side the ADA here in Indy over the past couple of years. They are a great resource in the greater Indianapolis area and I was happy to put together a presentation about Packing a Healthy Lunch. This is a topic that affects everyone, because all of us have to eat and all of us should be eating something for lunch. The goal is to make that food we put in our mouths, a healthy choice. 

Goals for Packing a Healthy Lunch
Include at least 3 food groups …
•Fruit (sliced apple, fruit salad, banana)
•Vegetable (salad, cut raw veggies, steamed veggies)
•Protein (meat, nuts, peanut butter)
•Grain (pasta, bread, pizza, etc)
•Dairy (slice of cheese, yogurt) 

Plan a snack
•Include one of the food groups you didn’t have at lunch.
•Pair protein with a carbohydrate
•Peanut butter and an apple
•Greek yogurt with granola

•Prepare enough at dinner for left-overs and portion out the left-overs for lunches.
•Make a large batch of lunches on Sunday: Cut and bag all of your fresh veggies/fruit for the week. Portion out the chili for the week into individual lunch portions.
•Keep healthy staples on hand. Always have some lunch meat, lettuce and tomato in your refrigerator for a sandwich, if needed.
•Pack what you like - Don’t force yourself to eat something you hate.

Taking the extra time to pack something healthy for lunch can really have a big impact on your health. If you are bringing healthy food to work, you are most likely going to eat it and consume healthier food choices. You will also save money, because eating out for lunch on a regular basis is more expensive. There is a little time in preparing those meals, but it is worth it!