Work lunch inspo

By Casey O’Dell, Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)

While it can get overwhelming having to prepare lunches for the week ahead, your wallet, weight and health will thank you for avoiding the ‘convenience’ of the café or fast food place near work for lunch. With just a little thought and inspiration you can have a weeks’ worth of lunches planned with minimal effort! The following are a few ideas which are simple and healthy – to make eating out at lunch more of an occasional treat.

  1. Try designating one day of the week to eat out – such as Friday, you are then able to enjoy it like a real treat, rather than make it an everyday occurrence
  2. Chop up extra vegetables with your evening meal (such as pumpkin, cauliflower and zucchini), spray them with some olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Roast them during your meal prep and put aside for the next day or two.
  3. Roast for dinner? Carve up some extra meat and keep aside for lunches. You can put it on a sandwich or wrap, cut it up into a salad or have it warmed up with the leftover roasted vegetables.
  4. Sandwich press at work? Keep all the ingredients for toasties in the kitchen at work – wholegrain bread, cheese, ham or chicken and baby spinach.
  5. Supermarket ready-made soups – heat them up and eat with a couple of wholegrain crispbread.
  6. Pre-washed bags of salad or slaw from the supermarket – just add protein (tuna, chicken, egg, roast beef), sensible dressing and either have as a salad or put into a wrap.
  7. Bento box – make yourself a couple of days’ worth – buy containers with little compartments and fill them up with healthy options such as boiled eggs, nuts, berries, cut up vegetables, hummus, shredded chicken or tofu, salsa or cheese cubes and have with a wrap, pita bread or wholegrain crackers.

Staples to keep at work in your draw or kitchen to stop the eating out excuses!

  • Wholegrain crackers
  • Wholegrain wraps
  • Canned tuna
  • Sachets of quick rolled oats
  • Meal replacement shakes and a shaker
  • Small cans of mixed beans
  • Quick rice pots – chose the brown rice, quinoa or combined packs (cook in the microwave in 40sec)
  • Sliced cheese or low-fat ricotta cheese
  • Fresh fruit