10 Ways to Make Your Work Lunch Healthier

Whether you're packing a lunch or ordering in, we’ve got your healthy workday lunch game plan covered
frozen food

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Frozen foods can be a great way to add healthy produce and carbs into your lunchtime nutritional mix.

There are a lot of different ways to interpret the phrase “healthy eating,” but we’d like to start with one that had a brief moment in the spotlight in April of 2015. We’re borrowing the following quote from a piece by The Daily Meal’s Associate Editor Joanna Fantozzi called “Girl’s Preschool Refuses to Let Her Eat Oreos From Packed Lunch, Invoking Mom’s Ire.” In this news story, a young girl was barred from eating the Oreos her mother had packed into her lunch by a school employee.

Click here to see 10 Ways to Make Your Work Lunch Healthier.

The girl was sent home with her uneaten Oreos (here’s our latest news on all things Oreos-related) and a note that read:

"Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable, and a healthy snack from home, along with milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone's participation."

While many people thought that this note was absurd on the whole, a notion we tend to agree with, we’re on board with some of its suggestions. The slices of valuable information held in this note, however, are best applied to adults and not young children who are just trying to eat some string cheese (we hope not the sexist kind of string cheese) and a cookie or two. If you do want a cookie in your lunch though, adult reader, try one of our recently published healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe hacks.

Fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks (such undefined snacks we’ll just define as something that’s protein-rich or loaded with healthy fatty acids) all make an appearance in the following list of ways to make your work lunch more nutritionally sound. We have no idea what pairing bread with potatoes has to do with anything, but we do know that eating only potatoes for a year isn’t healthy. Oh, and we also think that natural peanut butter is pretty darn healthy, so ignore that part of the “program” too.

We reached out to a couple of our favorite dietary experts, Kristina LaRue and Dr. Michael Fenster, for their advice on making work lunches healthier. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, spoke to us behalf of the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA).

Dr. Michael S. Fenster, MD, FACC, FSCA&I, PEMBA, a faculty member at The University of Montana College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, suggests incorporating organic foods into your work lunch in order to make it as healthy as possible.

“If you’re willing to spend $14.95 for two ounces of a single growth, free trade, imported latte,” says Dr. Fenster, “then you should be able to dig deep into your pockets and cough it up for The Big ‘O’ at lunch time. I am, of course, referring to organics. Data continues to accumulate, and two recent studies highlight the nutritional benefits of simply substituting an organic option for the industrial mainstay.”

Dr. Fenster provides three easy organic lunchtime substitutions to the following list, and he also explains why they work. Along with Kristina LaRue’s tips, we’ve compiled the ultimate work lunch health guide. Click ahead to see 10 Ways to Make Your Work Lunch Healthier.

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