Here's How to Improve Your Lunches

Packed lunches get a bad reputation. That's why we've come up with some tips to make boxed lunches more appealing. Read on to learn more.

Healthy meal prep containers with chickpeas, chicken and salad

For some of us, the idea of eating a packed lunch just seems a little sad. It feels like a concession prize, rather than something that we can and should actually look forward to.

Why the stigma around a packed lunch? Here’s our theory:

  1. It feels like leftovers - why eat what’s left from last night when you could have something shiny and new?

  2. It feels like the boring, responsible thing to do - packing a lunch seems so, wise, where’s the fun of trying something you haven’t had before? Where’s the spontaneity?

  3. Lunch bags and Tupperware - unattractive, difficult to carry, annoying to clean, and very often forgotten about until the smells are strong indeed.

So here’s what we’re proposing for the rest of 2021: a few ways you can transform your packed lunch into something that 1) doesn’t feel like leftovers, 2) is fun, and is something you can look forward to, and 3) makes Tupperware and packing lunch a little less burdensome.

Let’s start with what you put your lunch into. Typically, you’re already carrying a bag of some sort to work, a briefcase, a pretty work tote, or a backpack. The ideal Tupperware is something that will fit into your existing bag without any issues; so that you don’t have to carry a separate lunch bag, and won’t spill all over the inside of your bag.

For cold lunches (salads, sandwiches etc.): The Keep it Cool Lunch box. It does what it says in the tin. You simply throw the lid into the freezer and it keeps your food cold as long as you need it to stay that way.

For warm lunches (warning: this is not microwave safe): The Black + Blum Stainless Steel Lunch Box. You can throw this is in the oven - which, if your workplace kitchen is equipped with one, is an incredible way to enjoy delicious food.

For lunches with liquids (it won’t leak!): The Bentgo Fresh. If you’ve ever had lunch sauces or juices spill in your bag, you know just how bad it can be. The big selling point for this bag is just that; it won’t leak!

If you are looking for a separate lunch bag, try one of these three options:

Next, let’s tackle the issue of what actually goes into your lunch. Here’s our advice:

1. Don’t just eat leftovers

Keep things interesting. Say you had salmon and veggies for dinner last night, don’t bring the same old with you. Mix it up a little; maybe shred the leftover salmon and throw in some mini tortillas and aioli to make fish tacos for lunch. If you made a baked sweet potato, try mashing it with a little butter, or throw it into a blender to turn it into a soup. A little creativity goes a long way.

2. Let the season lead

A lot of us get stuck in food ruts because we’re just too lazy to think outside of the box and cook outside of our comfort zones. Next time you go to the grocery store, pick the veggies and meat that’s on sale. Find new ways to cook it, and yes, cook it just for lunch. Enjoy cooking for yourself because you can, and because you get the anticipation of something delicious and new to look forward to.

3. Mix and match

Old school food prep was all about pre-packed meals that saw you through an entire week. The new school of food prep is all about prepping a variety of foods so that at any time you can throw together a combination that offers you great nutritional value, good satiety, and fresh taste. Things we’d recommend prepping or keeping on hand each week: fresh chopped veg, brown rice, shrimp, grilled chicken, shredded cheese, spinach or kale, boiled eggs.

And just like that, lunches will live to see another year! Your food should be enjoyed, not endured!

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.