Wednesday, June 3, 2020

How To Pack A Punch In Your Lunch


Most of us do not eat a food from every food group at every meal, but we should always do our best to try. We may be a hurry to get out the door and pack what is convenient, whether that is last night’s leftovers or a granola bar. We can do better—much better. In fact, when you start adding in these powerful servings to your lunch bag, you are going to feel more energized and ready to go. So, are you ready to pack the punch in your lunch?

First, consider packing a protein. Protein can be found in meats such as turkey, ham and chicken. Greek yogurt, cheese, milk and rice are also all great sources of protein. Protein helps build muscles, blood supply and aids tissue repair for injuries. Likewise, protein helps build healthy cartilage in the skin, hair and nails. When you eat more protein in the day, you are going to be a go-getter. You are going to have more energy and want to get things done.

The next two items in your lunch bag should be a fruit and a vegetable. Yes, one of each. I am guilty of not eating enough of these, but it is best to get a wide variety of the colors. For the purpose of this article, I am going to refer to them by their color groups. For instance, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes all belong to the orange group. This group helps prevent cancers and heart disease, while these fruits and vegetables are rich in Vitamin A. This vitamin assists us with keeping our eyesight strong, which all of us could use now and then.

Likewise, lemons, pineapple and yellow peppers are all rich in vitamin C. This well-known vitamin helps fight against colds, while it also helps prevent inflammation and improve circulation. Moreover, let us not forget about the green fruits and vegetables group. These are foods such as broccoli, asparagus, limes, kale and celery. These popular foods help build strong bones and teeth. They also aid in giving us strong vision—something we cannot go without.

Next, pack a snack. Actually, let us say a healthy snack. This way, there is not much gray area. It is all right to have a cupcake in moderation, but consider packing a granola bar or a bag or unsalted peanuts. You may even consider packing dark chocolate now and then, but get the bite size pieces. It is good to read the package and see how much is a serving size. If four pieces of chocolate are a serving size, then pack four pieces in your lunch. Remember, do everything in moderation.

Finally, pack a bottle of water. This may tough for some that are used to soda to coffee. Your body will thank you for staying hydrated, however, and you are going to feel much better. Soda and coffee actually dehydrate you, so try to limit these. If you must have that caffeine kick, consider drinking green tea. If you can get past the bitter taste, then I applaud you. Green tea has outstanding benefits such as preventing cancer, fighting against high cholesterol and preventing heart disease. It also helps prevent diabetes, strengthens tooth enamel and prevents bad breath.

Challenge yourself to pack your lunch like this for one week. Mix up what you take each day. For instance, if you took a turkey sandwich on Monday, then maybe you could try a peanut butter sandwich on Tuesday. After all, peanut butter is a protein. If you have taken Greek yogurt already, perhaps take a hard-boiled egg. You may even consider string cheese or fruit leather for your snack. The possibilities are as endless as the variety. Try it, and see how much punch is in your lunch!


  1. Melissa

    Now this is going to sound bad, but I am horrible at packing my kid’s lunches! I don’t even know how to properly pack my own for work. This is a great help. I agree that you should start with protein. It is essential for energy. I like how you broke it all down in an easy to read guide. I will be using these tips tomorrow!

  2. Andy

    This is great advice, not only is it healthier, but can save you money. I participate in a program sponsored by our insurance company which encourages people to eat healthier. One of the challenges is to eat five fruits and vegetables a day. This is harder than you might think, but packing a lunch like you’ve described would help with the goal. I also agree with the comment about drinking lots of water. I see nothing wrong drinking an occasional soda, as long as you dilute it with plenty of water.

Jennifer Olson
A mother of three, lover of children and keeping them (and us adults!) as healthy as can be. I have worked as a midwife and nurse for 12 years. Email:

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