Think outside the bag
To start thinking “outside the bag,” use the ideas below to put together a fun lunch that brown baggers of all ages will enjoy. Be sure to add your favorites to the list!
Note: Add a freezer pack and insulated bag to keep foods safe until lunch time.
Pick one or two from these whole grains choices:
- Whole-grain crackers
- Whole-grain mini-bagel or pita bread
- Toasted whole grain English muffin
- Low-fat granola in a one-quarter cup container
- Low-fat bran muffin
- Whole-grain rice or pasta salad
Vegetable choices — pick two or more 1/2 cup servings:
- Three-bean salad, with added beets and olives, dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Vegetable soup (1-cup) in a thermos or microwave-safe container
- Baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Cooked okra pods
- Cooked green beans
- Sweet pepper strips
- Cooked corn the cob (6”ear = ½ cup; 8-9” ear = 1 cup)
- Salad (1-cup) with one tablespoon of dressing
Fruit choices — pick one:
- Favorite fall apples
- Dried fruit packed in a one-quarter cup container
- Frozen berries packed in a one-half cup container (they thaw by lunchtime)
- One-cup 100% juice
Dairy/high calcium choices—pick one:
- Chocolate milk or calcium-fortified soy milk
- String cheese
- Light cheese rounds or triangle wedges
- High calcium hot cocoa packet or hot cocoa already made up in a thermos
Protein choices — pick one:
- Turkey or chicken breast or roast beef slices
- Canned tuna, salmon, or other fish
- Bean salad or spread (beans count as protein AND vegetable)
- Flavored baked tofu or tempeh chunks
- Chunky peanut butter, sunflower seed or almond butter
You can create delicious lunch combinations, for example:
- Whole grain crackers and cheese, chicken and vegetable soup in a thermos, a serving of celery sticks, chocolate milk to drink, and a Ginger Gold apple.
- Three-bean salad with grape tomatoes, low-fat bran muffin and thawed frozen fruit topped with yogurt.
- Toasted whole-grain English muffin with tomato, turkey, and low fat cheese with 100% grape juice to drink.
Brown bag lunches won’t be boring anymore!