right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Any Suggestions for a Healthier Brown Bag Lunch?

2

Replies to: Any Suggestions for a Healthier Brown Bag Lunch?

  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 16
    I like ham, but try to limit myself to ham sandwiches no more than one week a month. Mostly I have turkey, some egg salad, all on whole wheat bread. I usually have a yogurt (found a la tide free one I can eat), and a fruit or veggie with it. Does he like grape tomatoes? They are sweeter than other tomatoes, and smaller & easier to eat than cherry tomatoes. Sometimes I just take a couple hard boiled eggs instead of s sandwich - you can peel them at home, too. I also sometimes poach chicken breasts for sandwiches - they can be frozen after poaching, so I can just take one out and use for a couple days of sandwiches.

    How about apples with peanut butter? Or hummus with baby carrots?
    edited May 16
    · Reply · Share
  • Hopeful820Hopeful820 239 replies67 threadsRegistered User Member
    @3js3ks, I do grocery shopping and I buy deli ham for him, he usually "slaps" his ham sandwich together with pickles and some romaine lettuce and include some chips on the side. I may throw in a piece of fruit for him.. If I can figure out more ways to pack dinner leftovers that can be eaten cold (and use a wrap), then I can be "in charge" of fixing his lunch instead. Hmmm, maybe I offer to take over packing his lunch to encourage more varieties!

    He is lactose intolerant, but does like non diary yogurt, he will eat that as snack at home, if I send in yogurt, have to figure out what else to go with it to make it more substantial.

    My S is always too busy or too lazy to eat, even lazy about taking his supplements! And he needs some form of exercise. Doctor did recommend that at his last checkup and vitamin D. Unlike his younger sister, who is a nutrition major finishing her master degree and vegan (I can never be a vegan myself, love meat too much), fixes her own meals and is a part time personal trainer. She tries to encourage him to eat healthier and exercise, but not much success.

    The two kids are so different!


    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Egg slicers— I used to include them in Easter baskets. I dont like much mayo either so I slice hard boiled eggs with those contraptions and the slices are then great sandwich fodder
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 74784 replies3278 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Please answer...

    1. Is this young man otherwise healthy?
    2. Does he eat better at every other meal?

    My DH takes a deli meat sandwich to work with an apple every day...and has done so for as long as I can remember. He is a grown up (like your son) and shops for his own luncheon meat. I never tell him what to get. His decision. For breakfast, he has yogurt and fruit, or cereal and fruit. And a cup of tea. For dinner, he often makes a huge chef salad. Or he eats a meal that I cook.

    He is very very healthy (thank goodness), an avid bicycle rider who does indoor cycling at the gym two to three times a week. He trains for century bike rides. He has great blood pressure and cholesterol. His BMI is terrific.

    My point is...I know you want him to eat less ham...but I’m not sure why this is an issue. What would you do if he had his own apartment? This is an adult...not a ten year old. He is using whole grain bread. Have him toss in a piece of fruit, if he will eat it. Get healthy choice ham...less sodium.

    Encourage him to exercise in some way.
    · Reply · Share
  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8927 replies333 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    When I changed my diet and wanted to get away from burgers and fries or deli sandwiches and chips I started replacing foods with like items. My husband cooks roasts or chicken breasts for me and slices it up so I can take it for lunch. If I need a quick lunch I can take a roll and make a sandwich, but mostly I try to avoid bread. I also take carrots, peanuts, or dried fruit instead of chips. It's still a finger food so it feels familiar, but it's not chips or fries.
    · Reply · Share
  • abasketabasket 19329 replies859 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is he asking for other suggestions or is this just bothering you???

    There are so many worse things he could be eating...

    Sounds like he is using mutigrain bread so that's a plus. Does he put any veggies on it - like lettuce, tomato, etc.??

    Does he like regular ham - not from the deli - like a ham steak or something? Maybe this would have less salt? You could cook a ham, slice it thin and use that for sandwiches.

    Unless he is across the school from the microwave, he really probably could heat up lunch a couple times a week - if he wanted to - I take his statements saying he "can't" to maybe mean it's not that important to him so he doesn't want to make the effort.

    · Reply · Share
  • HImomHImom 34315 replies391 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Maybe I would mention to a young adult who is a teacher how s/he is a role model and the students are picking up cues from him/her about good nutrition and good fitness habits. Sometimes that has more influence than what they might otherwise choose for himself/herself.

    I know as a young parent I tried to be healthier—eating and exercising to be a good example than I might otherwise have chosen.

    It sounds like your son is a very dedicated teacher and one the students would want to emulate. He may even start a fitness activity with the kids, like going for a walk/run every day at recess or something.
    · Reply · Share
  • greenbuttongreenbutton 2669 replies120 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We gave up processed meats some time ago, and it is admittedly more difficult to make a conventional lunch. But he's an adult? You could simply stop buying lunch meat, and see what happens. Hunger is very motivating. Processed meats are really, really, bad for you.

    We eat leftovers, and I usually reconfigure those as DH does dinner dishes. so if we had noodles as a side, I'll add veggies and cheese and box those for lunches. We do eat quinoa (celiac household of 15+ yrs) because it's filling and versatile -- pistachios/apricots, spinach/raisins, tuna/carrots.

    peanut butter and carrots. greek yogurt with granola. actual turkey in a wrap. hummus.

    I feel your pain, though, OP. Our oldest has gained maybe 20pounds since college and while I know better than to call him out, I worry.
    · Reply · Share
  • Hopeful820Hopeful820 239 replies67 threadsRegistered User Member
    @thumper1, he is otherwise healthy except his doctor had some concerns after his last blood test. He has a couple of minor issues. I guess because he is living with us that I fuss about his lunch choices, once he moves out, he is going to do whatever he wants to do, until then, maybe I can start help him modify his food choice (of course can't force him) so he is used to making better choice for himself when he moves out, or he may not!

    Everyone is built differently, I think because I have so many health issues now partly due to poor diet and NO exercise for all those years I was working, that I wish I could do it differently.

    @abasket, he does take dinner leftover to heat up once in a while, easy access to microwave since he has to walk to lunch room to get his lunch and microwave is right there. I think he prefers a sandwich because it is easier to eat while talking to his students, instead of using a fork for lunch.

    He usually have bagels or muffins for breakfast, as I said, dinner is usually good.

    I am not making a big deal out of this, just that everyone on this board are always helpful and full of ideas, I figure why not ask around.





    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree that this is not a good battle to fight if it’s going to get testy. I wish that were one of my bigger problems. However, no reason not to encourage healthier eating and lead by example.

    I worked early this year, outside of the house for the first time in decades. My coworkers tended to eat out, and if they brought anything from home, it was a microwaveable bowl of last nights leftovers, often from a restaurant. The big subject of the morning was what to get from where for lunch. I brought my lunch more than half the time. But participating in the lunch choices was a way to socialize a bit with my colleagues and so I did.

    They ate terribly. Unhealthy diets. Worse than my kids who are eating machines but have some semblance of a healthy diet and what’s bad from all of the years of nutrition counseling they got due to being athletes and my nagging, and hopefully by what we kept st home and what I packed and then advised in packing food.

    Imo , a positive effect that I made, if only a touch, is bringing in some ideas that they did not have before. Attractive home sandwiches. Attractive salad and rice bowls. Healthier alternatives. That hummus tastes pretty good and rice crackers dipped in it along with snow peas and carrots make for s good meal. That sharing a sandwich can be enough. Not huge changes but little ones. That flatbread tastes pretty good, and you don’t need a lot of mayo. That eating half of what you regularly grab for lunch but focusing more on taste and quality means it’s cheaper and that you can even lose a bit of weight or slow down the weight gain at least a bit.

    · Reply · Share
  • abasketabasket 19329 replies859 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well if breakfast is only a bagel or muffin and lunch is largely just a ham sandwich, he is currently loading up on carbs (and potentially sugar with the muffin) for 2 out of 3 regular meals.

    We have lots of ideas! But the one on the receiving end has to be willing to make a change.

    He might also make room for some variety if he was doing his own grocery shopping. Just because he is living at home doesn't mean he can't be responsible for his daily needs/routines.
    · Reply · Share
  • ClassicMom98ClassicMom98 141 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    27 years of teaching and my H has never eaten a school lunch. He assembles all 5 lunches in 5 containers every Sunday and stacks them in the refrig.

    How about he cook (i.e. heat) a rotisserie chicken and turn that into 5 sandwiches? My H does that from time to time. He also makes tuna salad sandwiches sometimes. I think most other things requiring heating in the microwave. I do think that if he makes sandwiches, he all everything else prepped and ready to go, and the sandwich just requires assembling in the morning, otherwise the bread would be gross.

    Also in 27 years, I've never made my H's lunch!!! I'm a PB & Bagel person myself. I could eat that every day for lunch for the rest of my life and be happy, so I understand where your S is coming from.
    · Reply · Share
  • HImomHImom 34315 replies391 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My H ate peanut butter & jelly sandwiches nearly every day for decades and continues to be very healthy. For breakfast, he had oatmeal and fruit. We all had a balanced and delicious dinner.
    · Reply · Share
  • mom60mom60 7880 replies505 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    When I don’t have leftovers for myself I make a yogurt bowl with toppings. I use plain yogurt since I don’t want added sugars.
    Toppings suggestions
    Cut up fresh fruits
    For added protein ideas-
    unsalted walnuts, almonds or cashews
    A few scoops of peanut butter or almond butter
    Chia seeds
    Flax seed
    I also like goji berries

    Costco sells single serving sizes of hummus that can be paired with cut up carrots, celery and peppers. Leftover pieces of chicken can be dipped in the hummus.
    · Reply · Share
  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1479 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @mom60
    That is my go-to lunch. I use whole milk organic Greek plain yogurt, fresh blueberry/pine nuts/tahini/dry gojis/ground cumin.
    · Reply · Share
  • thumper1thumper1 74784 replies3278 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 16
    Maybe I would mention to a young adult who is a teacher how s/he is a role model

    @HImom it’s highly unlikely that this teacher is eating lunch with his students. And if he is...it isn’t everyday.
    edited May 16
    · Reply · Share
  • 1Dreamer1Dreamer 531 replies3 threadsRegistered User Member
    I could eat the same thing every day and be fine, so I get where some people just don’t care that much about switching it up, and when you’re his age, as long as you’re otherwise healthy, things like eating processed meats, salt intake, nitrates, etc. aren’t things you think you’re going to have to worry about for a couple of decades. So if you think you’re going to ween him off of ham sandwiches with organic Greek yogurt, hummus, and carrot sticks, good luck with that. :wink:

    I think your best shot is to stick to sandwiches, and the most feasible idea I’ve seen is rotisserie chicken sandwiches if he’ll go for chicken over ham. If you have a Costco nearby, they also sell just the breast meat in 2.5 lb sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator section. You might have more luck with that because he wouldn't have to cut the meat or deal with bones and could freeze any excess to be used later.

    https://www.costcobusinessdelivery.com/Rotisserie-Chicken-Breast-Meat,-2.62-lbs.product.11975863.html

    It’s a healthier choice, but Costco chickens are still injected with a saltwater solution that contains phosphates, so probably still a high sodium content.
    · Reply · Share
  • HImomHImom 34315 replies391 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Whether or not the teacher actually eats with the students s/he is still a role model—for good or ill.
    · Reply · Share
  • doschicosdoschicos 21113 replies219 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "It’s a healthier choice, but Costco chickens are still injected with a saltwater solution that contains phosphates, so probably still a high sodium content."

    Yup. Really no better than deli ham and why I suggested in an earlier post cooking your own natural chicken. Easy to do and you'll get a lot of lunches out of it.
    · Reply · Share
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2806 replies154 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Healthy means more fruits and vegetables. PB&J can be high in sugar. Eggs are high in cholesterol. So is any mayo based tuna or chicken salad.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity