If you think a brown-bag lunch is just for school children, think again! Bringing your own lunch to work can be a great way to have the healthy meals you love, as well as save money! Luckily, May 25this National Brown-Bag-It-Day and it’s the perfect day to start brown bagging it!
3 Benefits of Brown Bagging Your Lunch
- Staying on a budget. Did you know that packing your own lunch can save you an average of $500 per year? By preparing meals at home, you can avoid expensive alternatives that may be available near your workplace.
- Ensuring adequate variety. Oftentimes eating out can involve meals that are not so well rounded, depending on the options available. Ensure you are getting enough fresh fruits and veggies, as well as fibrous whole grains and calcium-packed dairy by designing your own menu!
- Have more say in your meals. If you find yourself often dissatisfied when eating out, why not just make the meals you know you’ll love at home? Cooking for yourself puts you in the driver’s seat as far as ingredients and preparation methods. Take charge by being your own chef!
4 Fun and Easy Brown Bag-It Lunch Ideas
It is easy to think that brown-bagged lunches can be boring or mundane, however this is anything from the truth! The options are endless when it comes to packing your own meals and snacks, but sometimes it can be difficult to think of choices that are easily transportable.
- Saladbar on-the-go– Pack your salad ingredients separately from your dressing and wait to mix them all together until you’re ready to eat. This will ensure that your salad isn’t soggy by lunchtime! Try mixing in fresh fruit, edamame, chickpeas, almonds, broccoli or quinoa to keep you full all day long.
- Leftovers re-done– Jazz up leftovers by adding extra veggies and rolling in a tortilla! Add fresh cut up fruit and you have a fresh take on last night’s dinner!
- Jazzed upsandwiches– Of course this is a classic when it comes to bagged lunch, but sometimes sandwiches can be overlooked as “boring”. Mix and match different ingredients based on what you have in your fridge. Leftover chicken? Cut into cubes, add diced red onion, colored peppers and mix with mayo. Stuff into a whole wheat pita for a satisfying sandwich.
- Soup-er lunch– Soup isn’t just for hot weather! Pack your favorite hearty soup in a thermos, add a salad and you have a satisfying soup and salad lunch on the go. If you prefer cold soups, do the same with your favorite cold soup, such as Gazpacho soup!
There is no wrong way to celebrate National Brown-Bag-It Day, and you may even be surprised as to what you can come up with! Be sure to buy an icepack or use an insulated lunch bag to keep your meal fresh until you are ready to eat it. If you are packing beverages to have later in the day, a thermos is a great way to keep them either hot or cold.
Your Turn to Take Action: How will you participate in National Brown-Bag-It Day? Let me know in the comments below!