Pack a Healthful Budget-friendly Lunch

It’s lunch packing season

Stoplight Sandwich | www.canolarecipes.caAs we get ready to head into back-to-school mode it is also a great time to evaluate what we are packing for lunch and how we are packing it.  Check out these great tips to get you excited about the new school year.

The following post is brought to us by the Ontario Home Economics Association and was written by Maria Depenweiller, B.Sc., P.H.Ec.

Eat well…Jenn

Pack a Healthful Budget-friendly Lunch

Back-to-class or back-to-work spells back to lunch box planning amid news of rising food prices.

Tips for a home-made lunch to save money, reduce waste and boost nutrition:

  • Choose local, seasonal produce. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, grape tomatoes, apples, pears and plums are nutritious, economical and pack well;
  • Pack ‘extra’ fruits and veggies for the larger appetite or to satisfy hunger on the bus ride home;
  • Pick the less-than-perfectly shaped fruits or veggies. They can be fun and less expensive;
  • Homemade savoury scones, muffins or oatmeal cookies are inexpensive and a more healthful choice than pre-packaged crackers, chips and cookies. Sneak some veggies or beans into your baking for extra nutrition;
  • Cook large batches of soups, stews or ragouts for dinner and plan for leftovers to go directly into reusable containers for a portable meal the next day or freeze for another occasion to avoid waste;
  • Use an insulted container to keep food safe. (Hot food must stay hot / cold food must stay cold);
  • Wrap newspaper around an insulated container to help maintain temperature. The coloured comics are fun;
  • Hard-cooked eggs, cheese, meat, fish, poultry, yogurt, mayo and milk require a cold pack;
  • A frozen reusable bottle of water or 100% juice doubles as a cold pack that’s drinkable by lunch time;
  • Reuse glass jars to carry food. They are wide-mouthed to accommodate a spoon, easy to clean in the dishwasher and can be microwaved safely with metal lid removed; but are not safe for kids;
  • Use a new pencil case to carry reusable cutlery and a fabric napkin to reduce waste;
  • Make your own lunch box. Re-purpose a medium-sized cookie tin or gift bag or sew your own lunch bag.

Eat Well…Maria Depenweiller
OHEA-logoMaria Depenweiller, P.H.Ec., is a Milton-based Professional Home Economist and member of the Ontario Home Economics Association.

Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA), a self-regulated body of Professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.