The same food every day is boring. Try to vary the type of bread you use. Keep a selection in the freezer and defrost enough slices for the day in the microwave.
Also use rolls, pittas, naans, bagels, crisp breads, crackers, rice cakes, muffins and oatcakes.
Always try to add a little salad to your sandwich.
Avoid soggy sandwiches by drying the salad.
Use less butter and margarine and avoid mayonnaise, or use lower fat versions.
Try New Fillings
cream cheese, chopped celery and sultanas
grated carrot and cheese with ‘lite’ mayo
cooked chicken, lettuce and ‘lite’ mayo
leftover roast meat with grated carrot, lettuce and chutney or pickle
lean ham, sliced cheese and pineapple
cheese spread and cucumber
cheddar and apple
brie and cranberry jelly
sardines and tomato
tuna, sweetcorn, green pepper and ‘lite’ mayo
cheese or ham salad
houmous, red pepper and grated carrot
You could try vegetable sticks, such as carrot, cucumber, celery and pepper with dips such as cream cheese, houmous or guacamole.
On cold days, take soup in a flask with some wholemeal bread.
In the summer, salads are light and refreshing. You could also sprinkle an assortment of seeds over the salad (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame or pine nuts) or dried fruits (sultanas, raisins or chopped apricots).
Cold rice or pasta salads are a good option.
Homemade pizza is also a good choice.
Try a slice of omelette or quiche.
It’s a good idea to have the above items as an evening meal and then save a bit for your lunch the next day.
Try to include a variety of vegetables and fruits in the lunchbox. These can be added as colourful and tasty fillings to sandwiches and wraps, chopped up as ‘side dishes’ or included in soups.
Swap sugary drinks such as cola, lemonade and high-sugar squash for sugar-free squash or water. Limit the amount of high calorie snacks such as crisps, chocolate, biscuits and sweets. Try adding fruit bread or currant buns as a healthier alternative.
Include wholegrain options for bread, rice and pasta wherever possible. Together with pulses such as beans, these will increase the fibre content of your lunch.
Instead of processed meat try using fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines. Other alternatives include turkey or chicken, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, boiled egg, houmous and salad vegetables.
Try replacing salty snacks such as crisps, salted nuts and shop-bought processed snack foods with fresh or dried fruit, seeds or homemade popcorn. Remember, pizzas, sausages and sauces are high in salt so try to prepare the food for the lunchbox yourself without adding any salt.
Keep an eye on the portion sizes in your lunchbox. Large portions may contribute to weight gain.
Children – get involved with preparing your own lunches!
For younger children, cut sandwiches into different shapes. Try making animal shapes or sandwich stacks. Use pastry cutters for more ideas.