Give your lunch a healthy makeover

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

lunch yummy
Don’t be shy about cutting sandwiches into fun shapes.

Taking a sack lunch to school is probably not the most appealing meal option for the afternoon. Chances are that little brown bag contains some of last night’s dinner (boring!) or a plain ol’ peanut butter sandwich. Well, believe it or not, you can pump some nutritional life into that sack by following a few simple tricks!

First, try spicing lunch up with some exotic seasonings and flavors. Are you still using ranch dip for those crunchy carrots and celery sticks? Boring! Replace it with some healthy-yet-tasty hummus, which is basically a creamy dip made from garbanzo beans. Heck, throw in some non-traditional veggies with those carrots while you’re at it, like bright violet beets, crispy asparagus, and poppin’ red bell peppers! After all, a meal is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the mouth, which brings us to the next tip…

If your lunch has become unlovable lately, causing your mouth to open for a yawn rather than to let in some food, throw as much color into the mix as possible. You may not realize it, but other senses besides taste are hard at work when we eat. In fact, the way our food smells, feels, and even looks can mean the difference between yet another lame meal… and a lunch we actually look forward to eating! So, go ahead and cut your sandwiches into quirky animal faces, or chop your veggies into cool patterns.

Finally, throw in some yummy dessert! No, this doesn’t mean packing a sugary donut or a fat-filled candy bar. There are quite a few flavorful treats that are healthy and guaranteed to satisfy that greedy sweet tooth. For instance, try a few pieces of dark chocolate, green apple slices with peanut butter, or a fiber-filled granola bar. Just don’t get too crazy with the portions!

Images courtesy of Wendy Copley on Flickr.