With so many great foods that you can pack into a lunchbox, there’s no need to grab a panini at Pret or a burger and fries at a motorway service station. A fantastically nutritious lunchbox takes very little time to prepare and is a great way to nourish your body and maintain energy levels throughout the day. Here are some things to keep in mind and some recipes to inspire you.
Aim for a well-rounded lunchbox that includes a mix of macronutrients with a good amount of fat-protein with minimal carbohydrate – you don’t want to be sleepy in the afternoon due to carb overload, especially if you’re driving.
Include a good source of fat-protein in your lunchbox, such as eggs, chicken, tuna, sardines, beef, lamb, cheese, or left-over recipes like curries, stews, cold-meats etc.
Keep away from beans, pulses and starches and fill up on vegetables, both raw and cooked. They offer an array of vitamins and minerals while adding texture and flavour to your meals.
Homemade is best: Prepare your lunchbox at home. This allows you to have control over the ingredients, ensuring quality, freshness, and avoiding additives or preservatives.
Keep your lunchbox interesting by incorporating a range of flavours, textures, and cuisines. Explore different recipes and rotate your options to keep boredom at bay and to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.
Here are a few simple options to experiment with:
1 – Chicken Salad:
Chicken, grilled or roast, as the main fat-protein source.
A bed of mixed greens.
Extras like cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, pepper and sliced red onion.
Optional: Top with crumbled feta or grated cheddar.
2 – Turkey Lettuce Wraps:
Large lettuce leaves (such as romaine or butter lettuce) for wrapping.
Sliced turkey breast or leftover roasted turkey, chopped up and mixed with Greek yoghurt.
Add some operational extra fillings like sliced avocado, crispy bacon, and tomato.
3 – Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry:
Sliced beef as the main fat-protein.
Assorted stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas. These are delicious chilled.
Optional: Add a drizzle of olive oil, mixed with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
4 – Tuna Stuffed Peppers:
Tinned tuna, mixed with mayo or Greek yogurt, as the fat-protein filling.
Halved peppers (red, yellow, or green) with seeds removed .
Optional extras like diced celery, red onion for crunch and flavour.
Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake until melted and golden. Chill overnight.
5 – Pate loaded celery (main pic):
Chop some celery sticks into convenient lengths and load with home made pate.
Serve with a Greek yoghurt dip.