Sponsored by So Good Juice – 100% Organic | Home Sown | Home Grown Juices made in the North West – www.sogoodjuice.com
It’s back to school time, and this week, Donegal Nutritionist Sorcha McElchar from Sorchas Healthy Living shares her top tips for convenient, tasty and inexpensive lunches.
To book a free introductory consultation with me where we can discuss how I can help you reach your personal health goals please click on the link https://www.facebook.com/SorchasHealthyLiving/services
With the summer holidays coming to an end, it’s time to think of packed lunches again. They aren’t just for school kids by no means. More and more people are investing in a good quality lunch box or thermal flask and bringing their lunch to work or college. However, there’s the simple matter of making sure it’s not …boring. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of bringing the same old ham sandwich and apple every day. If you have fallen into this habit you probably find you’re never 100% satisfied after lunch and usually end up buying a chocolate bar or bag of crisps to satisfy those taste buds.
It doesn’t have to be like that though! A packed lunch can be convenient, inexpensive, healthy, AND delicious. Here are a few tips you can follow to be sure of this.
- Prepare your lunch in advance. Most people don’t have time in the morning to make a gourmet lunch, whether it’s for yourself or your kids.
- On that note, it’s probably not doing your kids any favours by making their lunch for them. Especially if they are fussy eaters. Giving them several options to choose from (not too many mind) and giving them at least a little control over what goes into their lunchbox can sometimes help ensure they actually eat the lunch. It will also help develop basic food prep skills that will come in useful for them later in life. An example might be to give them a choice between three types of fruit (an apple, an orange or some strawberries), then a choice between a wrap, a roll or ordinary bread. Get them to make up their own sandwich or wrap (it doesn’t have to be perfect if they’re happy). Try to encourage healthy choices like wholegrain bread or raw vegetable sticks but don’t force them.
- Change things up! Don’t bring the same thing every day. You will get sick of it no matter how much you enjoy it the first time. Look up a few different recipes and try at least one new recipe every week. You’ll find if you don’t enjoy a meal you may still eat it out of necessity, but you’ll still feel hungry afterwards. This is more of a psychological thing as you would have satisfied your nutritional needs, but it’s just as important to enjoy your food and get some satisfaction from it.
- If you have access to a microwave, make sure the container is microwavable (nothing worse than a side of melted plastic!)
- Thermal containers are great if you don’t have access to a microwave, or to send to school with your child. A nice warm homemade soup with a soft bread roll, curry, chilli, korma. All these dishes can be made in bulk and used throughout the week. Whatever you don’t eat you can portion out and freeze so it can be used in the future.
- Salads don’t have to be boring. You also don’t have to follow a recipe. A simple guide to go by is pick one protein source (chicken, hard-boiled egg, turkey, chickpeas, beans, nut seeds, tuna, salmon, tofu etc..), a carbohydrate source (croutons, wheaten bread, pasta, rice, couscous, rice noodles or egg noodles etc), at least 3 different vegetables (try to include as many different colours as you can) and green leafy veg like lettuce, spinach, or kale. Adding toasted seeds, nuts or cheese is also great and a nice simple dressing. Don’t drizzle the dressing over the salad until last minute though, bring it in a separate container.
- Bring a variety of healthy snacks to nibble on such as fruit, nuts, rice cakes, baked vegetable crisps, breadsticks, or raw vegetable sticks with a dip.
- Bring water to sip on throughout the day. It’s important to aim for at least 1.2 – 2L per day. If you’re not a fan of plain water, you can chop up some fruit and add it to the water for a bit of flavour.
By following these tips, you should be able to make healthy and exciting packed lunches for you and your kids!
To book a free introductory nutrition consultation with me please click on the link https://fb.com/book/