Packed lunch – lunch prepared at home and carried to be eaten else where (car, work, school)
Lunch time, the dreaded time of day. Or at least it use to be for me. Another sandwich, or left overs from the night before. Lets face it, sometimes you would rather go hungry. I use to be so bad at packing lunch. I would always by mini packs of chips or biscuits and peanuts and just add that to the lunch box with left overs or some salad.
I’m not an expert but I think I am at least steadily improving with our packed lunch. We hardly eat breakfast (or at least I do), so I feel that lunch is my most important meal of the day. I know many people struggle to find the perfect balance when it comes to taking food to work. You want something quick and easy to eat. Something that won’t stink out the entire building when heating it. Something crunchy, something fresh, something salty, something sweet. I’ve decided to share with you some of our packed lunch. Not all of them will be pretty, but they taste good and to us, tick all the office lunch approval boxes.
We always try and make sure we pack a variety of lunch boxes. Most days we will end up having left overs for lunch. Some days I will pack a salad, other times (if I have enough spare time), I will pack a variety of fun snack type food. I feel that packed lunch must be exciting and not just another boring meal, especially if it is your first meal for the day. I know people wonder what to include in their kids lunch boxes, so I will also share some ideas.
Above is an example of how our meals looked for a week.
Monday – Left over beef burgers with a salad. Added home made mayo to the salad for extra fat and flavour.
Tuesday – Left over grilled chicken with broccoli and cauliflower, topped with a creamy dill sauce.
Wednesday – Left over boerewors and lamb chop with coleslaw and cucumber.
Thursday – Broccoli salad with bacon, feta, onions and mushrooms (one of our favourites)
Friday – Steak with dill mayo, and salad.
In the hot summer months we eat loads of salad, but we always try and mix it up. Some days we will add blue berries or strawberries to the salad. Biltong (jerky) with egg muffins and mayo will also be a great lunch box item. Eating the same meal day in and day out will also stall your weight loss. Food should be exciting and enjoyable. During winter, we will mainly go for something that can be heated and enjoyed. Soups, stews, even curry with very limited salads.
To me it is also very important to find that perfect lunch box. One where you can pack a variety of items without them mixing. Luckily I found a new lunch box, big enough now to hold breakfast and lunch, if I wish to pack both.
I do enjoy having a snacked like meal. Most of the time I do not have enough time to take 15 or 20 minutes break to enjoy lunch, so I will just multi task (not healthy I know, but at least I am eating healthy food). Home made chicken liver pate works well with cucumber slices or seed crackers, its a great combination – something smooth and crunchy. Nut butters (macadamia must be our favourite) also works great for a dip for fruit or veggies.
For kids – you will have to ensure you have something exciting everyday. Once again, variety is key. Little M loves to snack on a range of fruit and veggies. Cucumber and avocado must be her favourite at the moment. With all her food allergies, it can be very complicated to pack a balanced meal. She will get a fruit (mainly strawberries) almost daily, together with protein and veggies. We are lucky that she is very open to try new things. She also enjoys slices of red or yellow pepper, steamed broccoli and even chicken liver pate.