It's that time of year again - a new school year! Or also known as "back to regular programming".
As you fall back into old routines, you may be feeling flustered at the thought of having to prepare lunches again. Not to stress - I've got your back with tips and tricks to easing back into that lunch routine + 11 plant-based back to school lunch ideas.
Tips and Tricks for Stress-Free Lunches
1. Strive for a Healthy Plate Model
When making your lunches, strive to make half of your lunch vegetables or fruit, a quarter whole grains, and the last quarter protein foods. To read more about the Healthy Plate Model, check out my previous post, Simple Guide to Healthy Eating in University.
2. Plan ahead
With the excitement of new school supplies like fancy pens and a fresh planner, put them to good use by planning out a week of lunches. Get into the habit of using your Sunday night to think ahead and strategically plan out lunches. For example, you may want to attempt batch cooking or cook once, eat twice meals to make your life a lot easier.
3. Make Extras!
Trust me future you will thank past you when you cook a big ole batch of whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, chop up a bunch of veggies and fruit, or store your extra canned beans or lentils in the fridge for later.
4. Reinvent Leftovers
Leftovers from dinner? Turn that into a kick-ass lunch the next day!
Some of my favourite reinvented meals include turning sweet potato and black bean chilli into a burrito with brown rice and all my fav burrito toppings, and taking my roasted veggies from dinner to make a roasted veg and hummus sandwich or a grain bowl.
5. Don't be afraid to lean on "convenient" foods
Take the work out of having to prepare lunches by leaning on "convenient" foods!
Bagged salads, canned beans and lentils, frozen falafels, quick-cooking whole wheat couscous, fruit and veggie trays, and trail mix turned salad toppers are all great healthy "convenient" foods to have at your finger tips if you are feeling like you're in a pinch to prepare a balanced lunch.
Some of my favourite lunches using convenient foods include lentil Mediterranean salad, Falafel bowls using Longo's Falafel Burgers (25% of your daily value of fibre in one burger!!), and whole wheat couscous with red wine vinegar dressing.