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

Lunch Choices Leave Workers Feeling Judged

Lunchtime meal choices have become a new source of tension in the workplace, with more than 40 per cent of Australians admitting to feeling judged by colleagues when eating unhealthy meals.

According to the survey of 1000 Australian workers, commissioned by healthy food retailer SumoSalad, one in four Australians confess to judging co-workers for regularly making unhealthy decisions at lunch. When judging the overall health of a person, one in three goes as far as to base their decision purely by the type of food they see them eat.  

When it comes to the reasons behind why people opt for a burger or fries at work, the strain of increased workloads and hours could be at fault. More than half of respondents (55 per cent) believe that they are more likely to pick an unhealthy meal for lunch on stressful workdays.

Georgie Moore, SumoSalad’s resident dietitian says: “We often feel drawn to fatty foods when we are stressed, as we associate them with comfort.  However, what our bodies actually need when feeling strained and over worked are highly nutritious meals that will keep us going for longer.”

Moore also says that judgment in the workplace doesn’t always come from a bad place. “With the amount of information available to us about how bad certain foods are for the body, it’s not surprising that people are taking note of not only the food they eat, but also the food people around them are eating.  While caring is not a bad thing, Australians should be careful not to turn unhealthy eaters into the new cigarette smokers.

“Rather than make a colleague feel uncomfortable for their choice of lunch, the best way to help is to suggest going to lunch with them, as they will feel more inclined to make comparable choices.”

Leading by example could prove to be an effective way to encourage colleagues to make healthier decisions, with 60 per cent of respondents surveyed saying they are more likely to choose a nutritious meal if lunching with a healthy co–worker.  Leaving colleagues to face the food court alone could be a recipe for disaster, with one in three people admitting to feeling ambushed by the amount of unhealthy food options available in a food court.

Luke Baylis, co-founder of SumoSalad, said: “Enticing Australians to make healthy decisions in a food court environment can be challenging. The aroma and look of indulgent food can deter even the most committed healthy eaters. As a result, it is up to us to show customers that healthy options are as delicious as they are nutritious.”

To encourage Australians to eat healthy and seasonally, SumoSalad has introduced an Australian food court first, cultivating fresh produce in store through a hydroponic vertical garden wall. The installation boasts a range of fresh and seasonal vegetables, all grown and maintained in store for use in daily lunchtime meals.

The innovation, which is now on display at Sydney’s premium corporate store at Darling Park and Highpoint in Melbourne, will be rolled out across select SumoSalad stores over the next three years.

“The hydroponic vegetable wall is our way of visually prompting Australians to make healthier lunchtime decisions.  When choosing between a burger or salad, we hope that being able to see exactly where ingredients come from will be the clincher” Luke said.  

September 5, 2014