With cafeterias, food courts and communal kitchens being closed during this phase of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s wise to start bringing a lunch to work if you are going back to the office.
But if “brown-bagging it” full-time feels like a drag, consider creating your own mini pantry near your workspace so that you can re-stock it on a weekly or biweekly basis — instead of having to pack a lunch every night. The best part? Following this pantry checklist will ensure you’re eating nutritionally-dense lunches and snacks to optimize your energy and brainpower all day.
- Your own trail mix (toss some low-sugar dry cereal, nuts, seeds and dried fruit with no added sugar together in an airtight container)
- Kale or apple chips
- Nut or seed butter
- Unsweetened apple sauce
- Canned tuna or salmon (opt for the 85g flavoured ones — they pair perfectly with whole grain crackers!)
- Roasted lentils or chickpeas (the brand Three Little Farmers offers them in 50g snack packs, which contain the same amount of protein as two large eggs!)
- Low-sugar protein bars
- Whole grain bread or crackers
- Plain popped popcorn
- Canned unsweetened fruit in water
- Beef jerky
- Homemade muffins (they will last a few days or up to one week without refrigeration)
- Roasted seaweed snacks
- Cherry tomatoes (they are the firmest tomato variety and do not require refrigeration)
- Firm avocados (they will ripen throughout the week)
- Dark chocolate-covered almonds (just be sure to avoid candied or praline almonds, which are high in sugar, and opt for 70% or higher dark chocolate)
- A bowl of fruit (bananas, apples, pears, peaches and plums do not require refrigeration)
Eating well during times of stress can be a major challenge. Our team of Registered Dietitians is available to provide individualized guidance and support virtually.