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Favorite Brown Bag Lunch

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Old 12-31-2007, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Favorite Brown Bag Lunch

Currently, I'm working as a substitue teacher. I enjoy working with the kids, and look forward to getting my own classroom some day. Unfortunately, the lunches are typically short, the use of a microwave is limited(due to time, other people, #), and forget about fridges.

My lunches usually consist of a sandwich, chips, a candy bar, and a diet soda. Occassionally, soup is added into the mix. Usually, at the end of the day I'm hungry, which leads to more junk. Any suggestions of healthier brown bag lunches would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-31-2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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Sandwiches are always good, maybe try replacing the chips/candy bar with a homemade salad you can pack full of your favorite things Or instead of bread, use pitas on some days to change things up. If you HAVE to have the chocolate, buy yourself a hung of dark chocolate (the higher the cocoa, the better) and take small pieces of it each day (not the whole bar!)
Also, mixed nuts/dried fruit is great to keep around in your pocket or desk to graze on every couple of hours so you don't end up starving by the end of the day. And of course water! Lots and LOTS of water. Keeps the hunger monster away!

Another good substitute for candy/chips is fruit. Whole fruit is far healthier than juices, so pack an apple or orange, or make a mixed fruit salad a couple times a week. Heavy whipping cream (that you whip yourself, takes like 2 minutes) usually has no carbs or anything, so you can add that to give it a little more spunk.

One more suggestion...burritos! Whole wheat tortillas are great and you can throw in anything...scrambled eggs, veggies...whatever!

Just be adventurous!
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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I love cold lunches. Most of mine are cold. You can try sushi like a california roll. Just be sure to add an ice pack in your insulated lunch bag. Also along the lines of Susan you can try tortilla rollups (ham, cheese, veggies tortilla rolled up like a cinnamon roll). These are excellent because you just pop them in your mouth with no mess. I also like to bring low fat hummus with pita or bread to spread on as a snack for protein and fiber. Laughing cow cheeses are really good snacks too on a cracker or something and I'm pretty sure you can keep them at room temperature. They also have those little canned tuna kits that are pretty good..just don't use all the mayo to save on fat. These are shelf stable. Pizza cold (homemade low fat of course) is excellent as well. =)
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:51 AM   #4
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I use a insulated lunch bag. It keeps my veggies and stuff nice and cool.
I pack a LOT of food, because I like to nibble all day long.

My favorite on the go lunch is a frozen yogurt. I freeze it the night before in a little rubbermaid container. I keep it in the lunch bag, by lunchtime, it's semi soft and yummy. I add in some Fiber One cereal for added crunch and calories and nutrients. I often take along a small container of grape tomatoes and baby carrots and raw string beans. Sometimes a small amount of chummus in a tiny rubbermaid containter.

I also like to take along some salads in containers. I take along a health slaw, made of red cabbage and shredded carrots with lemon juice and splenda.

Another favorite of mine is a tiny cut up cucumber, tomato and red onion salad with a vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano dressing.

Then of course there's the fruit I bring along. Clemintines, lady apples and seckle pears. All tiny. So I can munch throughout the day.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panic View Post
Currently, I'm working as a substitue teacher. I enjoy working with the kids, and look forward to getting my own classroom some day. Unfortunately, the lunches are typically short, the use of a microwave is limited(due to time, other people, #), and forget about fridges.

My lunches usually consist of a sandwich, chips, a candy bar, and a diet soda. Occassionally, soup is added into the mix. Usually, at the end of the day I'm hungry, which leads to more junk. Any suggestions of healthier brown bag lunches would be greatly appreciated.
I'm a teacher. Welcome. Salad is always a good bagged lunch choice with a lowfat sandwich. If you want soup, put it in one of those containers that keep soup hot. Or, for a hot lunch you can always make friends with a teacher who has a microwave in her room (like I do).
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Old 01-01-2008, 02:56 PM   #6
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Instead of Chips and Candy bar, how about baked corn chips and salsa and a piece of fruit
Use whole multigrain breads in your sandwiches, it's more fibrous and will fill you longer.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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I was also going to suggest fruit and cut up veggies. Carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc. are fine unrefrigerated for several hours. An insulated bag, small cooler, or some sort of ice pack/frozen water bottle is a pretty inexpensive solution to help keep things cold if you can't use a fridge. I like the frozen yogurt idea - I eat yogurt or string cheese every day, but you do need to keep them cold-ish if you keep them out of the fridge for more than ~4 hours. Sandwiches (with some sort of whole wheat bread, wrap, or pita) are great, and again, deli meat is ok out of the fridge until lunchtime as long as it's not getting extremely hot. Nuts are also a satisfying snack that you can pre-portion and not refrigerate. I often eat dinner out of my car and make my own meals, portioned in tupperwares, and I'll make things that I don't mind eating cold (e.g. chicken and rice isn't bad cold, or some casseroles).

I would suggest an afternoon snack, and making sure to stay hydrated, if you get very hungry later in the day. I know it's hard as a teacher sometimes to find time (my mom is a teacher, and complains that it's hard for her to leave her class to go to the bathroom!), but since I don't know your schedule perhaps you could work it in. Or even have a healthy, satisfying snack ready for when school is dismissed. If I don't eat my afternoon snack, I sometimes get so hungry that I binge before dinner. Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:29 PM   #8
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Have you ever tried cooking extra portions of your dinner for lunch the next day? That way, if your dinner was healthy and on plan, your lunch the next day will be too! And you get a healthy, substantive noonday meal that keeps you full in the afternoons. It has been really helpful to me to cook extras to make sure I always have lunch!
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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Could you buy a small cheapie microwave and put it in your room? You might become the most popular teacher and not be able to use your own microwave then.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:25 PM   #10
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Freeze bottles of water. The 16 oz. size. (Just open the top slightly before freezing.)

This gives you 2 things:

It will keep your lunch cold until it's time to eat.

It will be thawed out in time for lunch, and you can swap out your diet soda for water instead, which is healthier. Dark soda is bad for women - it prevents the proper absorption of calcium. If you just can't switch over to plain water, try something like 4C totally light drink mixes - they are sized for your water bottle and minimal calories.



You sound like you need some more fiber in your lunch, that's what's making you hungry. Add an apple, they're a great source. And check for bread with lots - I like Pepperide Farms Natural Honey Wheat. (3g of fiber per slice, and real ingredients that you can pronounce, no HFCS.) You can also try to increase it in your breakfast, which will help you all day long. I start with steel cut oatmeal in the morning (make it once a week and microwave it in the AM - tastes great!)

About the candy bar - I LOVE chocolate. Ghirardelli makes bags of little squares of 60% chocolate. It's 4 per serving, but I take just 1 for my lunch. It gives me the satisfaction of "dessert", but without the 220 calories of a full candy serving (typical bar, or 4 of these squares).

Last edited by RPIDriveStick : 01-14-2008 at 07:26 PM.
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