How to Pack Paleo-Approved Lunches and Snacks

If you work outside your home, packing your lunch becomes an essential part of living Paleo. While following the Paleo diet, you can absolutely eat at restaurants, but for optimal control over what you're putting into your body, you'll want to pack your lunch most of the time.

And the same rules apply for kids. A lunch packed at home — consisting of quality protein, fat, and lots of vegetables and fruits — is a healthier, better-tasting alternative to the sugar- and grain-laden lunches served in schools. A packed Paleo lunch is a wonderful way to grow a healthy kid.

Try these tips to make your co-workers envious of your luscious lunches and to ensure that your kids don't trade what's in their lunchbox for their friends' junk food:

  • Invest in BPA-free containers: A collection of containers in various sizes makes packing entrees, sauces, small servings of nuts, giant salads, and go-alongs easy. Be sure to get BPA-free containers with tight-fitting lids.

  • Make a schedule: One way to take the stress out of packing lunches is to set up an easy weekly schedule. Designate each day of the week with a theme and repeat each week. For example, tuna salad day, tossed salad day, stir-fry day — the possibilities are endless, but the peace of mind makes eating Paleo a breeze.

  • Put salad dressing on the bottom: If you're packing a green salad with protein, try this trick to minimize containers but maximize freshness:

    Place the salad dressing in the bottom of the container and top it with protein. Then add vegetables on top in layers, starting with sturdy ones like cucumbers or bell pepper strips and ending with lettuce on top. When it's time to eat, dump it into a large bowl to toss or make sure the lid is on tightly and give it a good shake, and you have a ready-to-eat salad with no fuss!

  • Welcome the leftovers: Try doubling some of your favorite recipes so you can enjoy leftovers for lunch. Anyone eating a cold sandwich will certainly eye your hot meal with envy.

  • Eat at the table: If your workspace provides a break room for lunch, take advantage of it! The same guidelines apply to eating at the office as they do at home: Sit at the table, use a real plate, chew slowly, and savor your food.

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