The LEAN Team

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Free health and nutrtition tips

Regular Mealtimes - Taking a packed lunch to work

One in five workers, and one third of women say they never eat lunch and those that do take lunch, 40% of them take less than 15 minutes (great news for your company – but not such a great idea for you). So if you work 46 weeks of the year and skip your hour lunch break – that’s 230 extra hours, or over 28 days of free time you’re giving to your company!

There are two very big advantages of taking a packed lunch to work – it’s usually cheaper and you can control what goes in your lunch box. Pre-packed sandwiches are often loaded with fat and calories, though some outlets sell ‘healthy options’. If you’re taking a packed lunch, remember to leave your desk/office for at least a short stroll, after you've eaten it.

A common Myth and Misconception

  • “Lunch is for wimps!” - Lunch is for productive people who want to benefit from taking 20 minutes out to relax and refuel – the rise in blood sugar following the meal aids concentration and brainpower. A starch-based lunch will keep that afternoon slump away and help you get through the afternoon productively.


Tips and Tricks

  • If you struggle for time in the morning, make a sandwich the night before, pop it in a tub or bag and keep in the fridge over night ready to grab in the morning (and stick a post-it on your work bag / brief case reminding you to take them)
  • Keep it exciting by using a variety of breads, stuffed pitta, bagels, rolls, etc
  • A packed lunch does not have to just be sandwiches - cook extra pasta, couscous or rice (if you’re making it for dinner) and use it with chopped vegetables and/or nuts make a pasta, couscous or rice salad for the next day's lunch
  • If you’re making packed lunches for children, make yours at the same time – get the kids to help you choose foods and prepare them
  • Really organised? Make a week’s worth of sandwiches at the weekend, pop into individual bags and put them into the freezer - take a bag out in the morning and your sandwich will be defrosted by lunchtime
  • Plan ahead. Think about which fillings you’ll want when you do your weekly shop - make sure you have enough variety so you won’t get bored with the same sandwich every day (unless you want to it that is…)
  • Be creative and add the odd treat to your lunch box e.g. fruit, mini choc bar, muesli bar
  • Make a point of adding at least 1 of your 5 a day fruit and vegetable portions to your lunch – e.g. as a bowl of salad to accompany your sandwich, a portion of fruit (fresh, dried) after lunch
  • Throw the Tupperware away and pretend lunch time is play time - grab yourself a colourful lunch box for inspiring you to produce lunches others will envy!


We all like to be healthy and to be sure that we're doing the best we can for ourselves, and our families, health.