Office Lunch Ideas

Variety, really, is the spice of life. So, instead of packing yet another sandwich or last night’s left overs; why not try some alternatives. It won’t be as time consuming as you may believe, either. In just a few minutes you’ll have a tasty lunch, which will have your colleagues salivating!

Related: Sunday Breakfast Ideas – Minus The Fat

Essentially, you’ll need to invest in departmentalized, lunch containers. They have some great designs with high functionality. Plastic wrap is for 1980s school yard lunches, which just isn’t going to cut it! These containers can give you inspiration to think outside the square and get creative. Plus, they are excellent for chopped foods which you can eat on the run. Not everyone can have an uninterrupted lunch break, so something you can pick up and eat while you work can be the difference between having lunch and going hungry.

If this sounds like you, avoid bulky foods like sandwiches or thick, awkward wraps.  You need quick and easy, bite-sized foods like grapes, cubed cheese or fruits, rolled sandwich meat, olives, etc. That will be far more satisfying than going hungry and making up for it during the evening meal or hitting that 3.30 mark and pulling out the chocolate bar.

If you do have the opportunity to have a more relaxed lunch break, the sky’s the limit! When you go shopping, think of tasty treats that you can put in your new containers. You might want a different type of cheese or a yummy looking bread roll, covered with some type of topping. The choice is endless. For colder days, you might want to choose something you can warm up. Soups are excellent because they are usually vegetable based, which will add to the 5 serves you should be eating each day. Remember to buy containers for various food options. If you can’t pack a soup, you won’t have the option.

For the warmer days, go with a salad. There is something very refreshing about eating salad on warm days. There are so many varieties, that you could literally choose a different selection, each day of the week. You can either choose to make your own or buy a ready made one. Either way, it will still be cheaper and healthier than scrambling to buy your lunch from a busy, overpriced, strategically placed vendor.

At first you may be a little timid about the types of things you will put in your containers but, after time, you will get much more creative. SHESAID has some great lunch recipes, which freeze well and will fit in your containers. Maybe have a bit of a cook up and prepare foods for the week, or even a month, in advance. Your lunches will become famous around your office and the only thing you’ll need to do is keep it safe from the boys in accounting!

September 29, 2014

10 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

We know what it’s like – you go to the trouble of packing an interesting lunch with a variety of foods, only to find it comes back home at the end of the day half eaten, rotten and squashed in the bottom of the school bag. With the countless other issues piled on your shoulders, the next day it seems easier to revert to the basics.

But it’s important to push on through – the food you send to school can contribute to at least a third of your child’s daily food intake. So packing a balanced lunchbox is important to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong. On the plus side, healthy kids eat to hunger and won’t voluntarily starve themselves. So if you offer a healthy lunch box and avoid adding all the pre-packaged goodies they pester you for – they’ll eat it if they’re hungry. Good job mum!

When it comes to making your child’s lunch there are two rules Healthy Kids Association suggest you follow:

  1. When putting the lunch box together, choose a food from each of the five food groups: grains and cereals, protein, fruit, vegetables and dairy.
  2. Don’t demonise food – if you want to give your child one of their favourite ‘extra’ foods  (such as a small packet of chips or a sweet biscuit) that’s fine, but we recommend doing so only once a week and keep the portion small. As a guide, stick to serves  less than 600kj.

A note on drinks: we hope that all children drink water everyday. In addition, it’s OK to occasionally offer them fruit juice, as long as it’s 99% fruit juice and no more than 200mls. In the menu plan below, we offer it once a week. As for milk, studies show children are not getting enough calcium. Kids need calcium to encourage strong bone growth (especially teenagers!) and tooth enamel. Plain reduced fat milk for children over the age of two is ideal, but if your child won’t drink it, offering flavoured milk ensures they’re getting the calcium they need. If you’re worried about it staying cold and fresh, freeze it the night before.

Need some more  lunch box ideas? The following menu will keep you going for the next two weeks:

  Main Lunch Snack Fruit Drink (in addition to water)  Extra Snack
Mon Chicken, hummus and tomato sandwich Reduced fat cheese stick Apple Chocolate flavoured reduced fat milk Air popped popcorn
Tues Ham, reduced fat cream cheese and salad wrap Sultana snack pack Fruit salad Water Dry breakfast cereal
Wed Pesto pasta salad with chicken and capsicum Reduced fat yoghurt Orange 99% fruit juice (200ml or less) Vegetable sticks with dip
Thurs Egg, celery and reduced fat mayonnaise sandwich Homemade pita chips with hummus Frozen grapes Reduced fat plain milk Tinned fruit in juice
Fri Tuna, corn, lettuce and reduced fat mayonnaise wrap Reduced fat cheese with crackers Fruit kebab Water Muesli bar (weekly extra)
Mon Ham and sweet corn frittata Reduced fat custard Banana Water Rice crackers or cakes with dip
Tues Chicken salad with chick peas, baby spinach and pumpkin Vegetable sticks with dip Fruit salad Strawberry flavoured reduced fat milk Reduced fat yoghurt
Wed Tuna and sweet potato patties Reduced fat cheese stick Frozen melon balls Water Fruit spice English muffin
Thurs Turkey, tomato, spinach and reduced fat cheese sandwich Avocado, carrot and lettuce rice paper rolls Apple Reduced fat plain milk Reduced fat custard
Fri Sweet chilli chicken and lettuce wrap Muesli and reduced fat yoghurt Kiwi fruit and strawberries 99% fruit juice (200ml or less) Small packet potato chips (weekly extra)

It’s “FRUIT & VEG MONTH”! Download our parent pack and enter our competitions – there are great prizes to be won, including 50% off a fruit and veg box for everyone who downloads a pack. Get started eating more fruit and veg now – visit Healthy Kids. Want more nutritional ideas? Follow Healthy Kids Association on Facebook.

August 22, 2013