Many brown baggers center their meals around the traditional sandwich. While you shouldn't rely on sandwiches all the time, there are ways to make them more interesting and nutritious.
Start by getting creative with the bread. Most grocers carry whole-grain rolls, pita and flatbread. Or skip bread entirely in favor of a wrap or a lettuce leaf.
Next, pick your sandwich protein. You should aim for lower-fat cheese, lean deli meat or veggie burgers. You can even use natural nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter, as good sources of protein and healthy fat.
Then, add some color to your creation You can use vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, cucumbers and even carrots to add color, crunch and healthy nutrients.
Extra toppings and condiments allow you to play with flavors and add excitement to your sandwich, but don't stop with mustard and mayonnaise. Try some avocado, hummus or sliced olives to add new flavors to your sandwich.
Beyond the traditional sandwich, there are plenty of options for a delicious brown bag. For example, you can forego the sandwich idea entirely and put together a satisfying meal with items from all food groups.
Include protein, veggies, fruits, grains and dairy. Use a divided container to include all the parts. For example, a meal could include grilled chicken strips, carrot chips and low-fat dressing blueberries, whole grain crackers and yogurt. Don't forget the fork and spoon!
The most important factor when it comes to packing a lunch is keeping it quick and easy. Set yourself up for lunch success by planning ahead.
Make a Super Salad
Creative brown baggers can do a lot with salad. Layered salads are becoming the newest trend, and the possibilities are endless.
- Start with healthy, dark leafy greens.
- Add fruits and vegetables such as pears, peppers, berries, onions and tomatoes.
- Throw in lean protein.
- Top your salad with some whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, barley, whole grain orzo pasta) to add flavor, texture and vitamins.
- Dress your salad with a healthy fat or oil like olive oil, olives or avocado.