So it’s the new year…many people plan to eat a little healthier in January, especially after Christmas excess. Packed lunches, especially for work, can be a challenge – it needs to be simple to make, easy to carry and store, straightforward to eat during a busy day, as well as tasty and filling.
We don’t want much, do we?!
Here are my pick of (mostly) healthy packed lunch ideas…because life is all about balance.
I use a Yumbox Panino for my lunches. I chose a pink one, of course! There are loads of different boxes available of course, but this is the best I have found. The compartments have helped me think a little differently about what I can include in my lunch, which has meant new ideas, variety, and a better balance in what I eat for lunch.
At first the compartments felt a little small – but I then realised it was more my idea of portion sizes that were skewed!
You really can put yogurt in a compartment and it not spill over everything – the trick is to not overfill any of the compartments so that it seals properly.
It’s dishwasher friendly too if that kind of thing is important to you (I don’t have one) and you can get spare trays. There are also Yumboxes with trays with lots of little compartments perfect for little ones’ appetites too.
So what are my lunch ideas? I try to include a range of food groups, with veggies and fruit, low GI carbs, and some healthy fats and protein from nuts and yogurt. I don’t keep to any kind of diets or principles, I just go for things that are filling, tasty and as healthy as possible (and just because you can’t see any chocolate it doesn’t mean there isn’t any!).
Falafel, walnut, and goats cheese salad
This is one of my favourites! There’s lettuce on the bottom, and falafel (which admittedly I don’t make myself); chopped hard goats cheese; walnuts; pomegranate seeds; and balsamic glaze.
To finish there is yogurt and berries.
We have an M&S Simply Food a short walk away from our house. If I don’t have time (or just can’t be bothered) to make something their little pots of couscous or quinoa are a good cheat. In this box I supplemented the couscous with some lettuce, falafel, and cashews.
Yogurt and berries is in another compartment, and a few bits of popcorn because you have to have a treat.
Falafel, beetroot, and avocado
I used cupcake moulds to separate my beetroot to stop everything getting messy; there is some balsamic glaze in the little pot; and I had some wholewheat crackers (the type in little individual packets) to put the avocado on.
The raspberries are for the yogurt of course – which also contains passion fruit.
Homemade Cheese Scones
Here are a couple of homemade cheese scones, with some cream cheese, ham, leaves, and some cashews.
Yogurt and berries complete the feast.
I must say I was stuffed after this lunch!
Cream crackers, cream cheese and smoked salmon
This lunch is pretty self-explanatory – and was delicious! I found having to make up the crackers made me eat more slowly, savouring my food and giving my brain a bit of a rest.
Of course, no lunch of mine is complete without yogurt, and here we have some almonds to supplement the berries.