Lunch Ideas for Mom
Day in and day out you pack your lunch kit. It's like your 10 years old again except this time, Mom isn't throwing in a wagon wheel as a treat for you. It's all about YOU! And man, going out for lunch with a girlfriend or attending a business lunch would be WAY easier but you and I both know, more food than needed will be enjoyed there!
Don't get me wrong I love a lunch date. I suggest trying to limit them to once a week if possible.
If not then let's be proactive here!
Here are my 3 tips on eating out at work
- Ask to see what restaurant you are meeting at or if it's catered, ask what will be served. Here you will gain a GAME PLAN on how to eat healthy when the menu or the buffet rolls out. If you're going to a restaurant, check the menu out before hand and get excited about the healthy choice you have made. Reinforce to yourself the intentional choice you are making and how PROUD you are of yourself to commit to it! If it's catered, there's no harm in snooping the buffet table before hand and making a quick game plan on what to fill your plate with!
- Drink water before you go out for lunch and before you eat lunch. Drinking as little as 8 ounces 30 minutes before a meal has been proven to support better food choices and less over eating.
- Enjoy yourself! Socially eating is a great way to experience food. Enjoy the company and the energy around you while you eat healthy. No one cares if you have a burger or a salad with chicken. They care about the conversations and the atmosphere. ENJOY IT!
Now, back to you packing a lunch for yourself and for your kids. I know some schools have restrictions, don't even get me started on my son's classroom (no eggs, no dairy, no nuts, no seeds and no kiwi's.... YA- wish me luck every day until June 20th!)
I hope some of these ideas will work for your children and for you!
First off we need snacks!
Coffee break or Recess we need a snack (make sure to pack for a morning break and afternoon break)
- Ants on a log, nut butter, celery and raisins! Easy and nutritious
- Home made trail mix or a healthy trail mix (more nuts and seeds than m&m's )
- Costco has these wicked humus snack size packages, take one of those with crackers or fresh raw veggies (extra fiber there)
- Yogurt (simple and great!) Top with granola if you like
- Apple, again simple and great! Personally I love reaching for an apple in the afternoon because apples provide you with a boost of energy from the carbohydrates present in them. Research has said an apple equals a cup of coffee in energy expenditure.
- Crackers and cheese (be mindful of your choices here)
- Veggies and dip
- Fruit salads
Let's dive into lunch ideas!
- With the humus that you may or may not have had for snack time, you can use it for lunch time! Spread it onto a pita and add lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, if you want add a slice of chicken breast and have a Greek style pita.
- Soups and chili's are great to take in the winter months. Try to pack a side of carbohydrates (mashed potatoe, or sweet potatoe or rice or a whole grain bun) if your soup is broth based and not a hearty soup. My friend Steph, with confessions of a Meal Plan Addict made this awesome "Instant Mason Jar Soup"!!!! Check it out here With your Chili make sure to load it full of beans and veggies, giving you lots of fiber and protein!
- If you already have the pita's why not pre-make a couple pita pizzas for your lunch. Pile your pizza with veggies, chicken, meat, and more! The great thing with making your own pizza, you can limit or change up your cheese and you can pile it high with what you want on it!
- I personally love turkey salad sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, and chicken salad sandwiches. I know in most recipes those sandwiches requires a LARGE amount of mayonnaise. There are a couple options here, cut the mayo in half. Or replace the mayo with half an avocado. It will give you the same consistency and add healthy fats to your sandwich! Load that sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce and all your fixings!
- Left overs!!!!!! I LOVE LEFT OVERS!!! Make once and eat 2-5 times, YES PLEASE!
- My Costa Rica experience taught me to love black beans. Rice and beans are now a staple in our home and I love how versatile they can be. I make a big pot of beans and rice and serve them with veggies in a tomato sauce for Dinner #1. Then lunch I will have 1-2 hard boiled eggs with beans and rice on the side. Dinner #2 I will get a couple tortilla wraps, cook up chicken breasts or streak fillets and make burritos with them and add salsa and guacamole. And the great thing is they taste delicious at lunch too, as cold burritos. My kids love them! Here is a beans and rice recipe
- And who said oatmeal has to be for breakfast only! Take it to the office or to school for lunch. Another kid winner with apples in it or blueberries!
- You know those lunch-ables that your kids probably always ask for... well time to make them YOUR WAY! Grab your own crackers, you own cheese, your own deli meat, your own (healthy) cookie or snack and make them! I make them and my kids get excited about what their snack is going to be.
The main thing I want to stress here is eating should be stress free. Eating should be enjoyable and an experience you are proud of and appreciate. Once you start stressing about what to eat and where to eat and how to eat, you loose the connection on the food that you are eating.
Being intentional with food is a great way to start.
Everything that you ingest has a job, either its the coffee in the morning to wake you up or the steak at dinner time with the family, it all has a role. And it's role is to nourish you and provide for you. Allow it to that, the best way it can!!!