Brown Bag Adventures

author image

September 2, 2008

It’s back to school time and now we full timers rejoice. The weather is still good and the campgrounds are deserted, since all the families have to get back to school. I’m going to celebrate this beautiful fall weather and join the kids in packing a brown bag lunch and take myself on a hike.

It has been years since I fixed my kids brown bag lunches, but I’m so glad to see it is still a practice, particularly with those who care about what goes in their kid’s mouths. Whether you have kids or are a solo, maybe it’s been a while since you put some excitement into your midday meal. I have some ideas to mix and match your standard fare and benefit from the healthy way to eat. If you haven’t made yourself or others a lunch for a long time, here are some ideas for taste treats as well as health building brown bag fillers.

Start with the bread or a carbohydrate source which provides long lasting energy. Multi grain is the best way to go, to provide fiber as well as nutrients.
Just for starters how about:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal bread
  • Whole-wheat pita
  • Whole-wheat tortillas
  • Multi grain English muffins
  • Low fat multi grain crackers
  • Whole grain buns or sandwich rolls
  • Whole-wheat pasta salad
  • Whole grain wraps

And when you moisten the bread, instead of mayonnaise, experiment with healthier forms of fat, hummus, bean dip, Greek style yogurt, or mustard to add zest and spice.

Now add some protein to build muscle:

  • Water pack tuna
  • Cottage cheese
  • Baked tofu
  • Lean ham
  • Chicken or turkey
  • Peanut butter
  • Soy, almond or other nut butter
  • Low fat cheese
  • String cheese
  • Vegetarian patties
  • Egg salad
  • Broiled eggs
  • Chicken salad
  • Bean dip
  • Mashed beans

Next add some crunchy veggies and sweet fruits for a vitamin fiesta:
Lettuce, sprouts or cabbage inside the sandwich or wrap
Baby carrots- cucumber slices, broccoli or cauliflower flowerettes, pepper slices
100% vegetable juices
Salad made with greens, coleslaw, spinach salad or mixed fruits
Fresh fruit- apples, grapes, bananas, plums, peaches, cherries, oranges, berries, melon cubes figs, apricots, pluots, citrus fruits

And a dairy selection to keep your bones strong and teeth where they belong:

  • Skim or low fat milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese cubes
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Tofu
  • Goat cheese

Now put them altogether and take them on a walk with you. Enjoy the out of doors coming and going to your brown bag picnic. I have a neat little lunch box that has a re-usable freezer inset; it’s not really a brown bag, but keeps food fresher, in case I want to take a very long walk. Have a wonderful picnic. Happy healthy traveling.

Leave a Reply