Adulting 101: How to Pack a Better Lunch

Packing lunch is something that we tend to slack on. It might not be obvious right away, but you can save a lot of time and money by packing your lunch the right way. Whether you had a New Year’s resolution or just need to step up your brown bagging, here are some tips to help you pack a better lunch.

1. Pack Enough Food

You’re probably packing your lunch to eat healthier, save money, or both. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t pack enough food. If you don’t have enough to eat, it will probably cause you to head to the vending machine or grab a quick fix on your break, which will end up costing you more (and make it a lot easier to give in to temptation).

There are plenty of affordable options that are going to fill up your lunch box and your stomach. Also, you’ll need to pack the kinds of foods that will keep you full. Kale chips are great, but chips alone won’t hold you over until dinner. Try loading up with fruits, vegetables and proteins that are nutrient dense. 

2. Pack Food You Actually Like

Eating healthy should be a priority, but it shouldn’t be a battle. You know what you like and what you don’t like, so don’t torture yourself with a sprout salad if it’s going to make lunch a negative experience for you. It might take some trial and error to find what healthy options you like, but it’s going to help you stay on track when you figure it out.

It’s also important to get creative and mix things up as much as you can because you don’t want to eat the same thing every day. Picky eaters are going to have to make it work too. Even if you have to eat the same foods often, try to dress them up differently or change up the recipe. You’d be surprised how many amazing things you can do with a cucumber.  

3. Prep Ahead

Packing your lunch is a lot easier when you’ve got a few things ready to go as it is. If you wake up late, you should still be able to throw together a decent meal based on the things you’ve already got prepared. There are plenty of meals and snacks that you can arrange ahead of time, so make some use of those lazy Sundays and start meal prepping.

Some of the best things to make ahead of time are grains (rice and quinoa), proteins (chicken, boiled eggs, veggie proteins) and produce. Let’s be real—nobody wants to dice an onion at 7 AM.

4. Make it Fun

Ditch those brown bags and add some style to your lunch. You can personalize everything from the actual lunch bag (yes, bag) to the food storage you use. Presentation is a big part of making lunch a positive experience—and it doesn’t have to be complex. Just by swapping Ziploc bags for something environmentally friendly like re-usable plastic bags, you can make your meal look more put together.

Lunch can be a lot of fun if you put some effort into it, so don’t be afraid to step out of your sandwich comfort-zone and spice up your next lunch break!

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