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Adult packed lunch ideas(26 Posts)
My DH takes a packed lunch to work and he'd like to reduce the calories and make it healthier.
He currently takes (and believe it or not he's in his 30s, not eight ):
Ham or cheese sandwich on brown sliced bread
Apple or orange
*Mr Kipling cake bar thing
*Packet of crisps
I reckon he needs to replace the crisps and cake thing for starters. He works at a desk job (own room) and doesn't get a lunch break as such, so tends to eat at snatched moments at his desk whilst doing admin between patients or in the car between doing visits. For this reason he needs:
- stuff he can just grab and eat quickly on the go
- no offensive smells (so no leftovers/soup to heat up and stink out his room)
- stuff that will help keep him full as he's out of the house for 12-13 hours
Any ideas for how we can substitute the crisps and cake? His only idea was dried fruit, which will give that sweet kick but shedloads might not be great for his tummy. I thought of carrot sticks for the crunch like crisps.
to substitute for the crisps, maybe try chickpea puffs?
instead of the cake maybe wrap 3 or 4 squares of dark chocolate in foil, and also pop some dried fruit in too
Flapjack, nuts (Although as it sounds like he works with patients, maybe not allowed due to allergies), mini babybels (or other cheesy bites!). Anything high protein would be good.
Yes to carrot sticks. More fruit - take two apples. Bananas are filling. Those individual packs of cheddar are good too.
Is there anything he doesn't like?
My DS has been watching his weight and isn't a vegetable fan. In his lunch box he has:
Sandwich either wholemeal bread or folded flat breads or toasted bagle - meat is lower in calories than cheese but he's a bit of a cheese hound, we buy stronger cheese so we can slice it thinner so he gets the taste without too many calories. Cheese spread is ok. He'll also have tuna with a little low fat mayo. then he'll have maybe chicken drumsticks (no skin) or other bits of leftover chicken or a boiled egg or some sort of protein snack. a couple of bits of fruit, usually grapes plus small oranges or apple etc and a pack of baked type crisps/corn snacks or some popcorn. Sometime he has crispbake breads with spreading cheese. It would be better if he would eat salad but sadly not. Tinned mackerel is a good option but maybe a bit smelly. He'd be better with a biscuit than cake. We get some low sugar oat ones that are lovely. DS has lost 3 stone and hasn't been hungry.
I take a packed lunch every day. We have similar rules to your DH but do have access to a toaster. I toast two Warburtons thins and make them into huge sandwiches with deli sliced turkey, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and light mayonnaise mixed with mustard. I also boil 10 eggs on a Sunday and take two a day for when hunger hits in the afternoon. I don't really eat crisps etc, partly because one bag doesn't vaguely fill you up and just makes me more hungry than before.
Sorry for delay - DS is teething and super grumpy!
Thanks for all your ideas! I've made a little list and will get plenty of bits on the online order tomorrow. Grapes - fab idea as you can just pick at them and I know he likes bananas so I might suggest that for the evening slump after surgery whilst he's doing admin.
Thank you SilverGiraffe7 for reminding me about nuts - it's a GP surgery so yes imagine it's nut-free. He loves a nice dark chocolate too!
Cheese sticks and eggs good ideas for protein hit.
WaxOn wow, congratulations to your son on his amazing weight loss! He was obviously very determined and has made some helpful diet changes.
Can anyone rec any yogurts with low calories? I normally get Activia 0% fat but that's fat rather than calorie isn't it?
We get the low fat yoghurts too as they have less calories. Technically if you are not trying to lose weight, the full fat (natural) yoghurt is probably healthier and just add in your own fruit but with DS it was a means to an end. He's only 17 so he's done well. It was his choice and I just helped him. He's a big lad (6'2") and he's gone from a 38 waist down to a 34. Essentially he has cut out cakes and pastry and watched his portion control. Before he would have had thicker cheese in his sandwiches, he'd have had some mini sausage rolls and a mini cake bar or similar and would have had some kind of donut or cake type thing for supper. Now he will generally just have some cornflakes or a bit of toast with jam. I still do him a cooked breakfast from time to time, but it's low fat sausage, bacon medallions, toasted thin bagel, poached egg, mushrooms and grilled tomato. He's a pizza lover but instead of having a whole pizza for dinner, i buy (or make) a small one and he has a slice in his lunch box from time to time.
For a chocolaty hit, I get the chocolate chip snack-a-jacks, about 70 calories in one.
If he absolutely loves the crisps and needs something crunchy and savoury, has he tried Walkers French Fries? I think the multipack size packets are about 100 calories or so for a single pack (please check, I'm relying on memory) and are really satisfyingly crunchy and snappy in texture. The salt and vinegar ones are amazing.
I'd second the hard boiled egg idea for a really satisfying protein fix that will keep him going.
Unbuttered, pre-sliced malt loaf is also a good option - it's sweet and sticky, but not too calorie heavy as a sweet treat. It's lovely topped with sliced apple. The malt loaf is about 100 calories a slice, and an apple is about 50 calories.
Instead of a cake, how about a couple of scotch pancakes/drop scones? They could be warmed quickly in a toaster for a sweet end to his lunch, with a handful of berries. I know you can buy them but they're dead easy to make and can be frozen in pairs for a quick grab each morning. If he likes raisins, shove a handful in the mix before cooking and there's his sweet snack sorted.
Thanks Bloomcounty, I remember french fries from when I was younger! Yum! Great news about the calories though.
Little pancakes a really good idea too - I've been making baby pancakes (egg and banana) for DS who's weaning and have been surprised at how quick and easy it was!
We sometimes do a box of fresh salad stuff with protein in like chicken, beans or chickpeas (leftovers essentially) with a separate tiny glass screw top jar of dressing to add at the last moment. Once you get in the habit its as easy as doing a sandwich in the morning.
Small tub of houmous (you can buy packs of 3 in most supermarkets) and salad sticks (carrots, peppers, cucumber)
Celery and low sugar peanut butter (the natural types are low sugar but quite expensive or Sunpat has a protein plus version which is low sugar). Also Apple slices and low sugar peanut butter! But this is a little more difficult to pre-prepare
Packs of oatcakes are great (cheese flavoured, plain, ginger flavoured) with houmous or slices of cheese? I find they keep me going and trick my brain into thinking I’ve had a biscuit.
Oatcakes, yes Nightmanagerfan! I ate the cheese ones to stave off sickness when I was pregnant. I think I'll be eating those! Funny how we 'forget' about foods isn't it.
Thanks for the suggestions all. Supermarket today - list at hand!
Make a batch of parkin. Will satisfy the craving for sweetness and also keep him feeling full as it's full of lard and oatmeal.
I realised some people will see the word lard and scream but a small bit of parkin will satisfy as much as two or three cake bars or bags of crisps.
I take a tub of nuts and dried apricots, a small handful of mixed nuts, 3 Brazil nuts and a few salted cashews in a small tub. I then put 3-4 dried apricots in but they make the nuts go soggy so I wrap them in a small bit of foil.
Yoghurt, just buy natural, no sugar, but full fat, add a few raspberries/blueberries etc, and if you need the sweet hit, some granola on top.
I LOVE parkin *BlackForestCake'! 'Tis the season for it! My grandma's recipe uses butter and oatmeal I think .
Nakd bars can be a nice 'cake thing' replacement, although I only buy them when on offer.
I buy big pots of proper, full fat, Greek yoghurt and decant it into small pots with fruit (raspberries or blueberries) and some seeds. Frozen blueberries are good and they've defrosted by lunchtime. Or take a banana and slice it into the yog when ready to eat.
Yoghurt coated cranberries are nice for a sugar hit.
Traybake chicken and roasted veg (can buy frozen ready to roast from Waitrose) chopped into rice can be eaten quickly.
Falafel, houmous, grated carrot, beetroot, cucumber and a flat bread.
Added sugar free banana bread (mash up 4 big bananas, mix in two eggs and a littl milk, 50g melted butter. Add 200g S-R flour and raisins. Bake 180'c until set (30 mins for muffins, 70-90 mins for loaf)
Whole milk rice pudding served warm (in thermos) or cold
Cold roast leftovers in a whole meal pitta with salad or in a pasta/rice salad
Tea loaf (soak 500g nice dried fruit in tea overnight, next day add 250g S-R flour and an egg or two and bake 180'c for an hour or so, maybe cover top with foil if it looks like it might catch).
Itsu seaweed snack packs
Roasted/dry fried pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Cold French toast?
I am finding it very hard to think of nice filling wholesome food that is cold and not smelly.
Maybe a nice thermos of warm tea or broth he can sip so he doesn't feel freezing as I always find that makes me eat a lot more
duriandurian, thanks. Currently trapped under feeding baby but reading your ideas has made me so hungry!
Cous cous with things stirred through,
Pre-prepared lentil packs,
Whole chicken breast (can cook yourself or buy pre cooked in most supermarkets)
My DH needs filling lunches so I usually alternate between these and multiple rolls (he takes two) plus a bag of low fat crisps and grapes.
Then he tends to buy a naked bar when he escapes to the coffee outlet to get away from his desk.
Mostlly keeps him going.
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