Meal-prepping your week of lunches in advance can help you stay on course with healthy eating habits and save you time and money in the process. Making your meals in advance means you’re in full control of what you eat and how much you eat—no need for expensive, high-calorie take-out meals when your lunch is already made!
Follow this formula to build your lunches:
- Protein: increases satiety, when paired with a quality carbohydrate it can help prevent that afternoon “energy crash” that leaves you feeling wiped and craving high-calorie foods.
- Examples: rotisserie chicken, hard boiled eggs, nuts & seeds, beans, left-overs from supper the night before.
- Whole-Grains: Look for the words “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains.
- Examples: crackers, tortilla, bread, brown rice, quinoa, couscous
- Veggies: full of nutrients that support good health and because they are fiber-rich they will fill you up and keep you feeling fuller longer.
- Examples: leafy green salad, short-cuts (pre-washed & cut), cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, green beans, a bag of steamtable veggies, jicama sticks, etc.
- Fruit: use fruit as your something sweet at the end of your lunch or save it for an afternoon snack.
- Examples: apples, bananas, cut melon, cuties, kiwi, grapes, berries, cut pineapple, etc.
- Dairy: a great source of calcium and other essential nutrients.
- Examples: milk, yogurt, cheese stick, cheese slices, Babybel cheese, Laughing Cow cheese wedge, and cottage cheese.
Browse Hy-Vee’s Meal Idea collections to help you plan an easy healthy menu for the week. Each entree recipe comes with a recommended side and complete nutrition. You can also create a shopping list, edit your list, and shop online. It’s that easy!
About the author.
Holly Ellison, RD, LD | Riverfront Hy-Vee Dietitian
507.625.1107 | HEllison@hy-vee.com