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Best and Worst Foods to Pack For Lunch

When It Comes to Lunch, Skip This, Pack That

If you want to save money and calories every week, brown-bagging it is the way to go. But are your lunches from home as healthy as they can be? Find out which food swaps you should be making that offer more protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you feeling fuller longer.

Skip This Pack This Reasons Why
Deli meat Sliced tofu, roasted meat, or grilled chicken They'll offer protein without added sodium and fat.
Regular chicken salad Low-cal chicken salad Use Greek yogurt instead of mayo for this lightened-up recipe.
One whole-wheat wrap Two slices of whole-wheat bread A wrap might offer fewer calories, but the whole-wheat bread is a great source of protein and fiber.
Mayonnaise Avocado To save on saturated fat and increase the fiber, spread avocado on your sandwich instead of mayo.
Croutons Sunflower seeds The sunflower seeds will add the crunch you're after in your salad as well as protein and healthy fats.
Wheat Thins Triscuits Triscuits are made with whole-wheat flour instead of enriched flour, so they offer more fiber per serving, plus fewer calories.
Cream cheese on a bagel Natural peanut butter on a bagel The nut butter might offer more calories, but it's also higher in fiber, lower in saturated fat, and higher in protein.
Orange juice Orange Opt for the actual fruit to increase your lunch's fiber content and save you liquid calories.
Regular pasta Whole-wheat pasta Whether it's your kid's mac 'n' cheese or lasagna for yourself, always opt for whole-wheat pasta for added fiber.
Brown rice Quinoa Although brown rice is an excellent source of fiber and protein, quinoa offers more of both, and for fewer calories too.
Applesauce Apple The apple peel offers extra fiber and nutrients, plus chewing food always makes you feel more full than slurping it.
Lay's Potato Chips Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips If you're craving something salty, the corn chips are lower in calories and sodium, but are also higher in fiber and protein.
Raisins Grapes Pop some cold grapes in your mouth and even toss them on your salad instead of raisins for extra fiber and fewer calories.
Yoplait Gogurt Chobani Kids Tubes Greek yogurt offers four times the amount of protein, which is so important for kids' development. Choose Greek yogurt for the grown-ups too.
Goldfish Annie's Whole-Wheat Cheddar Bunnies The Cheddar Bunnies are made with whole-wheat flour instead of enriched flour. They're also lower in saturated fat and offer more fiber per serving.
Cookies Dark chocolate Everyone is entitled to finish off with a sweet treat, so go for the antioxidant-rich dark chocolate rather than a cookie bursting with white flour and butter.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 5 years
*Roasted Butternut Squash is my GO TO for snacking, sweets, etc! YUM!
3251247 3251247 5 years
The reduced fat wheat thins are not made from enriched flour. \u00a0Just saying. \u00a0 \u00a0
Jenny-Sugar Jenny-Sugar 6 years
lickety split - good point. And now I'm curious to know what you packed for lunch that the other child with the Twinkie wanted!
bjeanne18 bjeanne18 6 years
I love the thin crisps triscuits - they aren't as overwhelming :) Also, there's a pasta called Smart Taste that looks white but has a ton of fiber, etc - the kid would never know :)
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
if your child doesn't like what you pack, it will be thrown away or traded. be sure and ask your child what they like to EAT at kunch. my youngest kept asking for something in her lunch that she didn't eat at home. found out (much later) that she was trading it to a friend for her twinkie!
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