National Brown-Bag-It Day

Just in the nick of time when your “lunch palate” needs a kick start after the long school year, we are celebrating National Brown Bag It Day which is observed every May 25th!

A few days ago I was making sandwiches for the homeless and the smell of the bread brought me right back to my grade school days. Every day in grades one through eight I enjoyed a sandwich made of white bread slathered with mayo and topped with Wisconsin cheese tucked into a wax paper bag. Often, when I smell mayo I am reminded of my grade school sandwich. Mom never thought of making me something different and I never asked. My friend Jill Murphy often had Pop Tarts which mom did not believe in buying. We never had any processed or packaged food at our house and we topped off our lunches with an apple and a homemade peanut butter cookie.

So, if you are tired of the same old sandwich or maybe your new resolution is to start eating lunch you will enjoy these lunch box ideas from my Registered Dietitian Nutritionist friends. Taking your lunch to work or school is really one of the best ways to get the best nutrition for your buck and save you time and energy too.

#Brown-Bag-It Day

Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS, RD

Check out Lorraine’s Chicken Burrito Bowl Mason Jar.

She recommends making a few of these jars ahead of time so you have a lunch that is grab and go. @NJnutrition

Lisa R Young, PhD, RD

Lisa loves a turkey avocado wrap on a whole grain tortilla. She fills it with mixed greens and her favorite veggies. (if you are a vegetarian, you can modify by substituting turkey for chick peas and hummus).

Here’s what Lisa loves about this quick lunch: Easy to prepare! Ready to transport!   Easy to eat! And super healthy- good protein, good fats, whole grains, fiber and antioxidants! Filling and yummy!

She recommends your favorite berries for dessert. @drlisayoung

Jeanne Petrucci, MS, RDN

Jeanne’s nutrition practice Living Plate Nutrition Education and Counseling Center New Jersey conducts lots of community nutrition education programming and brown bag lunches are a very popular class. Parents are always looking for ways to make wholesome foods more appealing to their families.

Jeanne’s team has a formula that can turn any brown bagged lunch into a meal worthy of a child’s discriminating food selection. They call it the New Brown Bag!

They recommend four ounces of the main food and combining with an accent food which results in a healthy portable snack or meal ready to bring out the kid in anyone. #Fun! @livingplate

Kathleen Oswalt, MS, RDN, LD, CLT

Kathleen aka “Your Food Sensitivity Detective” is excited to share Chickpea of the Sea Salad which is a cool faux tuna salad. It offers a nice crunch from the chickpeas, celery and green onion and a light summer flavor that comes from adding lemon juice, capers, and dill.

She recommends adding it to a nice big green salad, or spread on whole wheat bread or rice crackers if you are gluten free. Don’t forget to add your favorite fruit to your lunch for that extra something of a little sweet!

Holley Grainger MS RD

Holley the “RD Lunch Box Expert” loves BLT Skewers where crunchy lettuce, juicy tomato, and crispy bacon all come together to create one delicious sandwich–except on a skewer to “glamorize” the traditional sandwich. Holley recommends packing them for your kid’s lunch or serving them as an appetizer. And, perfect for summer lunch picnics too.

Holley’s recipe for Pb and Strawberry Sushi will have you looking like an all-star mom in no time. All you need is a tortilla, peanut butter, and some strawberries. Only 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to impress your kids!

Need more lunch box ideas? Check out Holley’s 125 Healthy Lunchboxes for kids. @holleygrainger

What’s your favorite lunchbox idea? We can’t wait for you to share! Happy Brown Bag It Day Everyone!



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