The Biggest Lunch Mistake You’re Making

Even if you were (or are) the master of the kids’ school lunches, you could probably still use some advice on packing your own midday meal. We asked Canadian dietitian Rose Reisman for her tips on making the ultimate grown-up lunch to go.

packed lunches for adultsphoto credit: shutterstockWhat’s the biggest mistake we make when it comes to packing a lunch?
We don’t pack enough of the right foods, which can mean that blood sugar levels rise and fall later in the day, leading to hunger, fatigue and lack of concentration. The key is having a balance of lean protein, whole grains, lower-fat dairy and fruits and vegetables. This is true for kids and adults alike.

What are your best tips for a delicious and nutritious lunch?
Double up when you are making dinner so you have simple, ready-to-go lunches for the upcoming days. Rotating your lunch repertoire is important because fast food will look more appealing if you’re packing that same old turkey sandwich every day. And don’t forget to include mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, like plain yogurt and fruit or an ounce of cheese with a handful of nuts – these will keep you feeling full until your next meal.

Is there anything we should keep in mind about food storage?
Make sure you’ve got enough ice packs for your commute, and refrigerate your lunch, if possible, once you get to work. Animal protein, dairy products and mayo-based items should be kept cool at 40°F or lower. Also, use glass or oven-proof options for when you need to reheat your meal. Never put a plastic container in the microwave unless it’s BPA-free.

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