Back to school time has arrived. For the first time in a long time no one in our house is heading back to school this fall. Despite this, we know the benefits of planning ahead when it comes to lunches. Today we’re going to share some of our best tips on how to plan out lunches for the week. These tips aren’t just for those of you (or your family members) going back-to-school. We use these tips and recipes to plan and prepare lunches for work and travel too!
Keep in mind the magic formula for lunches: Protein + Vegetables + Carbohydrate = a filling and nutritious lunch. A whole container of pasta at lunch with leave you in a terrible place come 2pm – don’t forget to add protein!
One of our easiest tips is to strategically plan your leftovers to make lunches. You can do this two ways:
- Cook more portions of what you’re already making. For example, my partner and I always cook dinner as though we are feeding 4 – one portion for each of us, and one portion for each of us to take for lunch.
- Bulk cook to make lunches for the week. For example, at the beginning of the week cook several chicken breasts to portion out and add to a salad or a big pot of chili or a hearty soup that will serve as your lunch for the week.
Other Lunch Options
If leftovers aren’t your game, try making filling salads (add meat, tuna, beans, etc to up the filling-ness) or a good old sandwich. Both of these can still be made ahead of time so that you won’t be left scrambling in the morning.
Adding protein (think nuts, yogurt, nut butter) and fibre (whole grains, flax) to your snacks will keep you fuller longer. Some of our favourite options include:
- Plain yogurt topped with granola and/or berries. Try our Almond Flax Granola.
- Fruits and Vegetables: apples with nut butter, veggies and hummus
- Cheese and Crackers
- Fibre filled muffins and granola bars like our Whole Wheat Raspberry Muffin or Cranberry Almond Granola Bar
- Dried nuts – just remember 1/4 cup is one serving!
Find what works for you and you’ll never have to buy a lunch at work again!