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Back to work? Take lunch from home to save time and money – and boost your mood

Nutrition Tip

posted by Research Admin 1 on 8 January 2020

Dietition Connection NZ, January 4, 2020

Heading back to work after the holidays means turning your thoughts to what’s for lunch. Are you a meticulous lunch planner, or do you only make a decision once those first hunger pangs signal it’s lunchtime?

Whether you bring lunch from home or buy it from a staff canteen or food outlet will depend on the availability of food nearby and whether you have a workplace kitchen with a fridge, microwave and sandwich press.

While it’s easy for work lunch to be an afterthought, there are multiple advantages to bringing your lunch from home and eating in a staff room, rather than at your desk.

Pack a healthy lunchbox the night before

You need to be organised to take your own lunch so other factors that influence your food choices don’t hijack good intentions. Try these tips:

1) plan your lunches for the week – write a matching shopping list so you have all the ingredient at your fingertips

2) invest in a lunchbox – pack it the night before and put it in the fridge. That way you minimise time needed in the morning to make lunch

3) try a lunch of leftovers – as you clear away the evening meal, pack leftovers into microwave safe storage containers and refrigerate

4) portion out healthy snacks in small containers – this could include nuts, dip and vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, baby corn, snack cucumbers and carrot sticks.

5) buy a range of fruits you really like – relative to the cost of snacks from vending machines, it’s less expensive and much better for you

6) try making a stack of sandwiches, such as curried egg or cheese on weekends and freeze them

7) make a mini-salad in a snaplock bag using baby cos lettuce cups, cherry tomatoes and capsicum so you can grab and go

8) freeze bottles of water and add one or two to your lunch box to keep food cool on your way to work.The Conversation