Brown Bagging It
Brown bag lunches aren’t just for children eating in the cafeteria. Adults can do it too! By packing your own perfectly-portable lunch, you control the portion size while staying wallet-wise. You can be more mindful with your menu and money by planning ahead.
When the work week gets hectic, here are some tips to consider:
Avoid the Lunchtime Letdown
Have fun with your food by assuring it is something you look forward to eating—a homemade “happy meal.” Pack a sandwich or entrée you enjoy. Make your lunch an experience by livening up your midday meal, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
Make It a Meal
Condensed soups and frozen entrées are common lunch choices, because they’re inexpensive and easy. They are helpful with portion-control and your budget, but think beyond the can or box to make your meal well-rounded. Grab a piece of fruit or make a side salad to balance out your plate. Don’t be afraid to make lunch a big meal to keep you energized for the rest of the day.
Build a Sensational Salad
Use a divided plastic container to make yourself a wholesome salad. Keep your fixings fresh (dried fruit, nuts, etc.) by putting your salad dressing in a separate container–or by pouring the dressing on the bottom (before your lettuce and ingredients) to mix it up when you’re ready to eat.
Keep It Cold
For your safety, to reduce risk of foodborne illness, lunches that contain meat, poultry, fish, or dairy need to be kept cold. Ideally, that means being refrigerated until lunchtime; however, if you do not have access to a refrigerator (or even if you do), consider investing in an insulated container or ice pack. There are many choices for grown-up, functional lunch boxes, bags, coolers, and totes. Plus, you can be eco-friendly! If a brown-bag is your only method of storage, use foil to keep items at the proper temperature or freeze/chill your drink overnight to function as the ice pack.
Don’t forget to keep your favorite soup or casserole hot by using a thermos and heating food to the recommended temperature. This will destroy bacteria and reduce your risk of food poisoning.