Jump-Start Your Healthy Lunch Routine With These 11 Must-Haves
Smart ways to pack your snacks.
I wake up every day planning to eat a healthy lunch, but if I don't carefully organize my food, my love for bacon cheeseburgers pretty much always wins. I've learned that the key to ensuring I stick to my healthy lunch goals is to ensure I'm armed with all the right tools. I've searched high and low for every bag, box, cup and container that will help guarantee that my (and your!) healthy routine will quickly become a habit.
If you're a yogurt lover, this chilled container should be a must-have on your list. You can easily include your favorite topping (which are kept separately until you're ready to mix it all up). These are great to use for a portable breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Stackable Snack Containers
If you're a snacker and like to have healthy treats nearby, this stackable snack tower is a great way to plan ahead. In fact, for anything that doesn't need to be refrigerated, you might want to fill up your containers and keep this at your desk to make sure you're covered the next time the munchies hit.
$10 (set of 4), amazon.com
This bento box-inspired lunchbox is a great way to add some variety to your daily lunch. If you tend to like a variety of foods at lunch, this box from Bentology is a perfect pick. To save time in the morning (or the night before), keep all the items you know you want to include in your lunch on the same shelf in your refrigerator so they're easy to grab.
Salad Shaker Cup
These salad shaker cups are great to use for snacks or side salads. I like to keep a couple ready to go in the refrigerator for when that 3 pm tummy growl kicks in. There's a separate container for your dressing, so your salad will stay fresh until you're ready to eat it.
Salad Dressing Container
Sometimes I like to grab a to-go salad at lunch from a nearby deli, but my dressing choices usually vary between pretty unhealthy, very unhealthy or insanely unhealthy. Keep a few in the refrigerator with your favorite (healthy) dressings, then you'll always be prepared whenever a salad comes your way.
$6 (set of 2), amazon.com
Fruit + Veggie Bowl
The last thing you want to do is eat a delicious, healthy lunch and then sabotage it with unhealthy afternoon snacks. This fruit and veggie bowl will ensure that you always have a satisfying alternative ready and waiting for you.
Reusable Lunch Bags
When you're preparing your lunch every day, it's easy to blaze through an entire box of sandwich bags in no time. These reusable zipped bags from BlueAvocado ensure you won't ever need to waste a plastic bag again.
$20 (set of 5), bedbathandbeyond.com
When you're a fan of homemade smoothies or protein shakes, you quickly realize they're not the easiest things to bring on the go. However, a shaker bottle will be your secret to success. The shaker ball in the cup will allow you to easily mix up a protein drink or ensure that your smoothie doesn't get clumpy on your way to work.
Time-Marked Water Bottle
Drinking enough water every day is something that most of us find challenging. But using a water bottle like this one might help you finally conquer your daily goal. With times marked on the bottle, you'll be less likely to fall behind.
I'm addicted to using a straw in my drinks, but I feel horrible about all the plastic straws I throw out. Then I discovered these stainless-steel straws. Not only am I helping the environment, but I'm also enjoying my drinks way more now.
$8 (set of 4), amazon.com
Daily Food Journal
Tackle your daily healthy lunch routine by tracking everything you eat in a food journal. This will help you stay accountable and identify patterns in terms of how your body is responding. If you have any allergies or other food issues, food journaling is a great way to zone in on exactly what the culprit might be.
Week 1: Ingredients
Week 2: Ingredients
Mini Whole Wheat Pita Pockets ● Kosher Pickle Spears ● Air-Popped Popcorn ● Cucumbers ● Low-Sodium Deli Turkey ● All-Fruit Preserves ● Whole Wheat Waffles ● Mini Bell Peppers ● Blueberries ● Hard-Boiled Eggs ● Plain Greek Yogurt ● Apples ● Dried Cranberries ● Peanut Butter* ● Peaches (*Allergy Note: If your school is peanut and/or tree nut free, substitute for sunflower seed butter.)
Friday: Apple and Peanut Butter Wafflewich
Week 4: Ingredients
Cookie* ● Strawberry Greek Yogurt ● Whole Wheat Bread ● Broccoli ● Quinoa ● Black Beans ● Raspberries ● Kiwi ● Cantaloupe ● Avocado ● Macaroni and Cheese ● Asparagus ● Corn ● Rotisserie Chicken ● Salsa (*Allergy Note: If your school is peanut and/or tree nut free, substitute for another small sweet treat.)