According to Business News Daily, the average American spends $2,000 on eating lunch out each year. Our wallets aren’t the only thing to suffer when we eat out frequently. Since restaurant meals are usually far less healthy than food prepared at home, cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight all tend to climb, making this an expensive and potentially harmful habit. Taking a few minutes the night before to pack a lunch can improve both your financial and physical health! Here are some quick and easy tips to brown bag with style:
1. Start with a protein, add a fruit, a veggie, a grain, and a dairy for a complete meal.
2. Early each week, hard boil eggs, cut up veggies, and have sliced meats and cheeses ready.
3. Portion out the next day’s lunch as you put away the leftovers from dinner.
4. Try layering hearty salads in a mason jar with dressing and chopped veggies on the bottom.
5. Sandwiches and quesadillas are simple to make; vary the filling to keep things interesting.
6. Add an ice pack to keep your lunch fresh and safe.
Submitted by Amorette Payment, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, Nutrition Educator, Kenai Peninsula District.