Lunch Box Blues
Tuesday 8th January 2019
by Barefaced Eating
Part 1 What to Pack
I have just packed a mammoth pile of lunch boxes, stocked the fridge up with snacks, ready washed fruit and prepared drinks and even though it's only 9.30am in the morning, I feel like I need a good sit down to recover! Why is this meal always such an irritating one to put together and one that usually gets very little thought?
I have recently been working on a Lunch Box Project and thought I would share some gems with you. Hopefully you will find some of these tips useful and that they also give you a huge amount of confidence to know you are packing some great nutrition to help you and the family through the afternoon.
I have been guilty of packing the same foods for many days in a row in the past, it's easier of course! No thought needed, a well-rehearsed system and some of those days, I reckon I could have packed those lunch boxes in my sleep. However, as Barefaced Eating encourages, I won't be packing micro salads, avocado mashed everything and superfoods that have no reason to be labelled "super", I will just be packing honest food, stuff I love, all of the different food groups and the attitude of "I will eat well, in the right portion and enjoy it".
So, quite simply - look at your food groups as slices of a large circle (or pizza if that visual helps). You need all slices in your lunch box if you can!
Ideally, the largest slice of whatever you are packing should be a vegetable or fruit. Add some variety though! Different colours and ones in season.
The next largest slice should be your carbohydrate, whether it's cold rice, pasta, bread of any kind, potato or any other grain you fancy. The brown varieties will keep you fuller and may prevent a 3 o'clock cookie stop.
The next slice - is just about the same sort of size as the carbohydrate portion, and that's the protein. Fish, meat, cheese, seeds, nuts, lentils, legumes - lots of lovely stuff to choose from, just mix it up!
A bit of dairy should be included but if you aren't keen, boost up the green vegetables in your diet to give yourself more calcium from a different source. Yoghurts, cheese, milks, etc., lots to choose from but try and go for the lower fat versions if you are consuming regularly.
Slice 5 (a tiny one)
Fats. Don't miss this out if you think you're trying to be healthy. Choose good fats, olive oils, coconut oil, vegetable oils and proper butter if you go easy on it! Make this a tiny portion and don't avoid it, your body needs it.
It's all about eating sensibly on the whole. When this is mixed with regular exercise and treats from time to time, you have a recipe for a healthy you with a balanced diet, not an undernourished, deprived and unhappy you!