Quick and Tasty Lunch Ideas to Take to Work

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2014

(StatePoint) The work week can be busy and stressful, from shuttling the family around to packing everyone’s lunch.

If you’re constantly taking care of others, ask yourself, are you taking sufficient care of yourself? At mealtime, it’s important to take a minute to re-energize, particularly during a long work day.

Rather than ordering heavy meals or packing the same old thing day in and day out, find yourself other quick and tasty lunch ideas that are satisfying and have nutritional value.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

• What’s possible? When planning your meals, consider the amenities of your work environment. Do you have access to a refrigerator? If not, think shelf stability.

• Heat it Up: Tired of cold sandwiches? You don’t need to spend all afternoon lingering in a bistro for a quality Italian lunch. Single-serve, portable pasta meals can be ready in one minute. For example, Barilla Italian Entrées are shelf stable and easy to eat on the job. Since the pasta and sauce are stored separately, the taste and texture of the ingredients are maintained until you’re ready to eat.

At 350 calories or less, they contain 10-13 grams of protein and six and 11 grams of fiber per meal. They come in a variety of options for meat lovers or vegetarians, such as Vegetable Marinara Whole Grain Fusilli and Meat Sauce Gemelli. For lunch ideas, visit www.barilla.com/italianentrees.

• Nutrition: Some meals can offer a quick burst of energy only to cause you to crash soon after.

To truly take care of yourself throughout the day and get through that afternoon slump, make sure your meals are packed with protein and fiber to help you feel full. Look for a wholesome way to stay fueled.

• Be Balanced: It’s important to eat well-balanced meals as much as possible. Eating pasta or a sandwich at lunch? Try incorporating vegetables and fruit on the side to add valuable vitamins and nutrients. All you need is a bag of baby carrots or celery sticks and you’re set.

No matter what you choose, you needn’t resign yourself to forgoing meals or getting bored. If you’re juggling work, parenting duties and chores, challenge yourself to find ways to prepare tasty, nourishing lunches in just a minute or two, so you don’t go hungry or renege on important responsibilities.

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