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Fun and Filling Lunches To-Go

Brown Bags Don't Have to be Boring
-- By Rebecca Pratt, Staff Writer

It's Sunday night and, like millions of workers and students across the land, you're once again rummaging through a cluttered refrigerator looking for something appetizing to pack for tomorrow's lunch. Or worse, it's Monday morning, and you're grabbing whatever you can find-often predictable and boring, and not necessarily nutritious.

If this sounds like you, perk up! With just a bit of planning, you can pack a lunch with both nutrition and pizzazz. Try these tips to make your lunch-to-go filling and fun:

Pick a variety of foods.
Include items with fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and crackers. Try to incorporate foods from at least three of the four major food groups: dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables, and bread and grains.

Choose healthier alternatives as much as possible.
Go for less processed foods, which are lower in sodium, fat, and sugar. For example, a fresh apple is better than apple juice or apple pie; a turkey sandwich is leaner than a high-fat, bologna sandwich. When choosing chips or other salty snacks, go for baked rather than fried.

Convert leftovers into healthy lunch items.
Last night's pork roast can be cut up into chunks, then mixed with rice and vegetables for a satisfying midday meal. Access to a refrigerator and a microwave mean even more choices: you can have soup (look for low-fat, low-sodium brands or bring your own healthy homemade) or a salad with such touches as apples, raisins, sunflowers, nuts, jalapeno peppers, chickpeas, beans, cauliflower, corn or other vegetables.

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Member Comments About this Article
"you can very easily use leftover chicken or turkey to make a sandwich. It does not have to be deli meat." -- STENDIE
"As stated in the Playing It Safe: Deli Meats, "Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot. That means your favorite sandwich is OK to eat if you heat the meat (in the microwave, for example) before putting it on the sandwich." Hopefully some of the other suggestions will work during pregnancy if re-heating isn't an option." -- TONKA_14
"I just read on this website not to eat deli meats (due to listeria) and this article is saying to pack a turkey sandwich for lunch... Conflicting." -- FITZ3636
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About The Author
Rebecca Pratt
A freelance writer for newspapers and magazines, Rebecca loves covering ordinary people who do extraordinary things.


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