News 4 at 4

Jan 19, 2012 6:23 PM

Smart Choices: Thinking outside the lunch box

TUCSON - Today on "Smart Choices on News 4 at 4, our food and nutrition coach, Hana Feeney, stopped by to discuss thinking outside of your lunch box.

Lunch is a very important meal, but some people skip it or eat it in a rush. Many people don't pack the right foods to get you through till dinner.

Here's what Hana had to say:

Get a good lunch bag
You need something to easily and efficiently carry your lunch. Ideally this is more than grocery bag, but it could be that simple. Try an insulated bag and cold pack. You can also make ice packs by freezing water in zip lock bags.

Glass is best
Rather than plastic containers that leach chemicals into your food, invest in a set of glass storage containers. You can easily go from stove or over to freezer or fridge and back to the microwave for reheating.Pyrex containers.

Tried and true sandwiches, done right
Simple, simple. Sandwiches and wraps can be done in a variety of ways. Just be sure you are starting with the best ingredients. Choose 100% whole grain bread and tortillas without tons of additives. Use canola mayonnaise instead of regular; canola oil is anti-inflammatory whereas traditionally mayo is made with inflammatory soybean oil. Instead of deli meat use leftover chicken or canned salmon to make a salad like tuna salad. Always look for natural peanut butter without added oils or sugar.

Try something new. Mix and match
A sandwich or wrap can be convenient and filling, but we all need variety and whole grains and beans are more healthful sources of carbohydrate. Whole grains, beans, edamame are also plant-based protein sources. Dried fruit and nuts are really tasty and satisfying; they can really pull together a salad or a grain-bean pilaf.


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