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It’s back-to-school season, a time for parents, teachers and others who work in schools to say goodbye to summer and hello to the task of filling up that lunch box. And for those of us that aren’t going back to school, it’s a good time of year to get back into gear after a long, lazy summer and get into the habit of packing a lunch each day.
Brown-bag lunches have countless health and economical benefits. By packing your own lunch and snacks, you have control over ingredients and portions, making it easier to keep your diet in check. Brown-bagging it also saves money — restaurant and fast-food lunches can run up to $15 per day; imagine saving that money instead.
But planning lunches can be difficult. With all of the other responsibilities at home and at work, and 2 other meals a day to plan out, grabbing lunch on-the-go is often the easiest option. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible, though, and we love a challenge. So for the month of September, we’re challenging ourselves and our readers to eat a home-packed lunch each day of the workweek. Care to join us? We can do this together.
- The challenge: Bring your lunch to work each weekday for the month of September (Thursday, 9/1-Friday, 9/30).
- A Healthy Eats editor will blog several times per week about the challenge. We’ll offer recipes, tips, and inspiration to help with the struggles of packing a lunch.
- Each Tuesday, we’ll post on Healthy Eats with a roundup of links from other bloggers participating in the challenge. If you’d like to be included in the round-up, links are due by 5 pm ET each Monday.
- We’ll chat daily on Twitter about what we’re eating with the hashtag #brownbag.
- We’ll host a dietitian-led Facebook chat, mid-month, about healthy lunch options.
Think you can do it? Join in and help us spread the word on healthy, home-packed lunches. Simply email Healthy Eats at foodnetworkhealthyeats at gmail dot com to get in on the fun. We’ll send you any follow-up information, as well as a graphic you can use on your Brown Bag blog posts. Participants are encouraged to take the full challenge — one month without purchasing lunch on weekdays (it’s okay to eat out on weekends and Labor Day), but you can blog about the Brown Bag Challenge as often as you’d like; it doesn’t have to be daily. And you’re free to choose your favorite lunch container; you certainly do not have to use a brown bag.
True, time in the kitchen can be relaxing and therapeutic — but that doesn’t mean efficiency is a bad thing. There are lots of shortcuts that make cooking a healthy meal quicker and simpler. Here are ten favorite tricks of the trade. • Pomegranate seeds are like gold — especially if you have to takeRead more