When It Comes to Lunch, Skip This, Pack That

If you want to save money and calories every week, brown-bagging it is the way to go. But are your lunches from home as healthy as they can be? Find out which food swaps you should be making that offer more protein, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you feeling fuller longer.

Skip This Pack This Reasons Why

Deli meatSliced tofu, roasted meat, or grilled chickenThey’ll offer protein without added sodium and fat.Regular chicken saladLow-cal chicken saladUse Greek yogurt instead of mayo for this lightened-up recipe.One whole-wheat wrapTwo slices of whole-wheat breadA wrap might offer fewer calories, but the whole-wheat bread is a great source of protein and fiber. MayonnaiseAvocadoTo save on saturated fat and increase the fiber, spread avocado on your sandwich instead of mayo.CroutonsSunflower seedsThe sunflower seeds will add the crunch you’re after in your salad as well as protein and healthy fats. Wheat ThinsTriscuits Triscuits are made with whole-wheat flour instead of enriched flour, so they offer more fiber per serving, plus fewer calories.Cream cheese on a bagelNatural peanut butter on a bagelThe nut butter might offer more calories, but it’s also higher in fiber, lower in saturated fat, and higher in protein. Orange juiceOrangeOpt for the actual fruit to increase your lunch’s fiber content and save you liquid calories.Regular pastaWhole-wheat pastaWhether it’s your kid’s mac ‘n’ cheese or lasagna for yourself, always opt for whole-wheat pasta for added fiber.Brown riceQuinoaAlthough brown rice is an excellent source of fiber and protein, quinoa offers more of both, and for fewer calories too. ApplesauceAppleThe apple peel offers extra fiber and nutrients, plus chewing food always makes you feel more full than slurping it. Lay’s Potato ChipsFood Should Taste Good Multigrain ChipsIf you’re craving something salty, the corn chips are lower in calories and sodium, but are also higher in fiber and protein. RaisinsGrapesPop some cold grapes in your mouth and even toss them on your salad instead of raisins for extra fiber and fewer calories.Yoplait GogurtChobani Kids TubesGreek yogurt offers four times the amount of protein, which is so important for kids’ development. Choose Greek yogurt for the grown-ups too.GoldfishAnnie’s Whole-Wheat Cheddar BunniesThe Cheddar Bunnies are made with whole-wheat flour instead of enriched flour. They’re also lower in saturated fat and offer more fiber per serving.CookiesDark chocolateEveryone is entitled to finish off with a sweet treat, so go for the antioxidant-rich dark chocolate rather than a cookie bursting with white flour and butter.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lizzie Fuhr