Electrolux Newsroom Asia Pacific

Quick tips for packing a healthy lunch

Photos

A healthy packed lunch should contain all four main food groups.The Electrolux EBM5107SC fridge incorporates slide away shelves that you can use to customise storage spaces for different items.

Here’s an idea for cheaper, tastier and healthier lunch options – pack it from home. Given the rising costs of food and service these days, perhaps it might do to take a cue from our friends in India and Australia.

The latest Electrolux Asia Pacific Food Survey has found that 65% and 49% of respondents from India and Australia respectively pack lunch from home four to six times a week. Spanning 11 countries, the survey studied the cooking habits and preferences of 6,500 men and women between the ages of 20 to 59.

And why not? Packed lunches are cheaper, customised to personal tastes and usually healthier, as less oil and fat is used in home cooking.

They don’t have to be boring either. Packed lunches can be more than just a sandwich and an apple. Here are some suggestions for ingredients in lunches that incorporate each of the four main food groups.

Grains

This food group includes the carbohydrates we need for energy. Breads, cereals, rice, potatoes and pasta fall into it. For an Asian twist, rice and breads like chapattis, pita and naan can be used as accompaniments to the other dishes in the lunchbox instead of sliced bread.

For additional health points, use breads such as whole wheat or whole grain bread, and brown rice instead of white rice.

Fruits and Vegetables

One of the most important, yet least popular foods. This group provides vitamins, minerals and fibre to the mix. To get part of the five portions you need every day, include fresh fruit that is easy to carry and preserve such as apples, bananas and pears. Dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas and dates can also be included. Stir-fried vegetables, cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks also keep fairly well in room temperatures if you do not have access to a fridge.

lunch box

Credits: Daniel_Donatelli

A healthy packed lunch should contain all four main food groups.

Protein

Found in meat products, protein is required for growth and repair of muscles, as well as iron. Stir-frys, chicken tikka and kebabs go well with rice, although cured meat or cold cuts are just as delicious with breads.

For healthy living, use lean meat or fish like salmon and tuna as your protein source. Vegetarians can also turn to beans, lentils and tofu for non-meat sources of protein.

Dairy

The dairy group provides minerals such as calcium and vitamin D, which are important in keeping teeth and bones strong. Although high in calcium, milk can be a high-calorie, high fat drink. For healthier substitutes, try yoghurts, rice pudding and skimmed milk instead.

Optional treats

Now that you’ve been good, there’s nothing wrong with finishing with a small treat. Include a single-serving pack of reduced fat chips, plain popcorn, apple or banana chips, a fruit cake or unsalted nuts as a minor indulgence at the end of the meal.

As packed lunches will need to be stored at least four to six hours before they are eaten, ensure that the food is not stored near heat sources such as a radiator or in the sun. If prepared the night before, be sure to keep it in a fridge with a separate compartment for cooked food storage like the Electrolux EBM5107SC.

EBM5107SA

The Electrolux EBM5107SC fridge incorporates slide away shelves that you can use to customise storage spaces for different items.

If the lunch includes perishable foods such as cooked vegetables, meat, fish and cheese, make sure that it is kept chilled. If a fridge is not available, put in frozen gel packs within an insulated container to keep things cool.

Save and share this post