Brown bag lunches turn creative and healthy

Laura Angle, Staff Writer

If it’s Friday, it must be turkey and gravy with mashed potatoes. Wednesday? That’s easy— Asian style Oriental bar. Monday consists of some sort of noodles and a watery sauce with a breadstick. The same food is offered on the same day of the week without fail.

An alternative, and seemingly better choice, is to bring a lunch from home. This does not mean a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crusts cut off, an apple, and a carton of milk. A variety of different food exist outside the paper bag lunch.

Eating the same thing every day can get tiresome; that’s why some kids, like Daniel Johns, bring their lunch.

“I feel like I have more variety when I bring my lunch from home,” Johns said, “School lunches are pretty good, but I would like to see healthier food being served.”

Instead of a sandwich, try a wrap instead. A typical pre-made chicken wrap can range in flavors from buffalo chicken filled with blue cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, spicy buffalo sauce — to a caesar chicken wrap, which consists of creamy caesar salad dressing, parmesan cheese, romaine lettuce, and chopped croutons. Or one could be made from home with just whole-grain tortilla, turkey, and assorted vegetables.

Instead of salty, artificially flavored chips, replace them with multi-grain sweet potato barbecue chips, which still taste like the addictive, unhealthy chips, but are lower in sodium and calories.

Another alternative is Sun Chips, which are still delicious, yet full of the whole grains needed every day. Sophomore Mason Aguila says he brings Sun Chips every day because it’s healthy and tastes good.

Granola is yet another way to snack healthy without compromising flavor. Jello, yogurt, or string cheese can be used as snacks for lunch.

“I don’t want to eat the unhealthy food they have here, that’s why I always bring carrots, yogurt, and an apple,” sophomore Katie Biddle said.

To help with the sweet tooth, fruit can be the answer. Fruit has natural sugars that are beneficial to a person’s health, because people do need sugar, just the right kind. A little medley of fruits such as apples, grapes, oranges, pomegranates, and pineapples fills a lunch with flavor and nutrition.

Vegetables are often the most difficult food group to get enough of. Baby carrots or celery dipped in either hummus or Ranch dressing can make the veggies go down easier.

Lunch time does not have to consist of milk cartons, pizza dripping grease, unidentifiable foods in plastic bowls, or rock-hard hamburgers with what appears to be cheese on top. Meals should not be a guessing game. Instead, make it a tasty, healthy, and enjoyable part of the day.