Eating healthy and balanced lunches at work


Adopting healthy eating habits is key to maintaining a balanced diet. That said, eating healthy at work can be challenging. Sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation to just buy your lunch. Eating homemade lunches helps you ensure a healthy and balanced diet and saves you money.

In a 2018 Desjardins Insurance Financial Health and Wellness Survey of nearly 3,000 Canadians:

63% of Canadians said they avoid eating out and buying take-out.

It’s a great habit that starts with creating a grocery budget that includes everything you need to make healthy lunches. Want to know more about making quick and easy brown bag lunches? Here are some tips to inspire you to eat healthy at work and save money!

Getting started

  • Consider all the essential nutrients needed for a balanced meal. Your lunch should include a half-portion of fruits and vegetables, a good source of protein (eggs, cheese, meat, legumes or tofu) and whole grains (whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread or brown rice).
  • Avoid frozen or prepared meals—they’re high in salt and sugar and aren’t overly nutritious.
  • Keep in mind that single-serving foods contain lots of sodium and sugar—they may be convenient, but they’re not good for your health, the environment or your budget.
  • Always have "emergency foods" in your pantry and fridge, like whole grain pasta, frozen vegetables, canned tuna or eggs for sandwiches. Here’s a list of pantry staples to have on hand so you’ll be ready for anything.

Making healthy lunches

  • Reinvent the sandwich! Change up toppings, spreads or even the bread. Try pairing up different foods, like peanut butter and apples.
  • Don’t eat the same thing every day. Prepare finger foods, like crackers, veggies, hummus, fruit and cheese cubes.
  • Use up last night’s leftovers. Cook extra portions at dinner so you can pack leftover soup, pasta, salad or stir-fry for your lunch the next day.
  • Plan ahead. Try new recipes and make foods you can eat throughout the week.
  • Choose healthy snacks you can keep at your desk, like crackers, dry fruit and nuts. You can even make your own trail mix!

Now you’re ready to make all sorts of healthy and delicious lunches. You’ll be motivated to eat healthy at work all week and save money!

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