5 Brown Bag Lunches Under 500 Calories

by Together Counts Partner | January 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm | comments

Winter is the epitome of hearty dinners, holiday parties and family celebrations filled with laughter, loved ones and some of our favorite sweet indulgences.  As you take part in your family’s favorite holiday food traditions, consider making a commitment to the Together Counts’™ emphasis on energy balance by packing a balanced lunch for yourself and your kids. These five easy options will not only help you keep tabs on your family’s calories, but they’ll also keep your energy levels up and save a few dollars in your grocery budget.

(See also Eating Well at Work)

1. Salmon salad wrap

Fill 1 whole wheat tortilla with a mixture of 1, 5-ounce can Bumble Bee® Skinless and Boneless Pink Salmon, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon nonfat plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce and 1/4 cup chopped tomato. Serve with a side of 1 cup cooked (in-shell) edamame.

2. Fruit and nut butter sandwich with a side of cinnamon honey yogurt

Spread one whole wheat wrap with 1 1/2 tablespoons of natural nut butter like almond or peanut butter. Then, layer 3/4 cup of mixed fruit like thinly sliced apples, pears, or bananas on top. Roll up and eat with a cup of non-fat plain Greek-style yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey and cinnamon to taste.

3. Egg salad in lettuce cups

Combine 1 hard cooked egg and 2 hard cooked egg whites (roughly chopped with a fork) with 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon non-fat Greek style plain yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/3 cup chopped red pepper, 1/4 cup chopped celery. Fill two washed whole Romaine lettuce leaves (bottoms chopped off) with the egg salad mixture. Serve with 1 ounce of whole grain crackers.

4. Mediterranean tuna salad w/garbanzo beans over greens

Mix 1, 5-ounce can Bumble Bee Sensations® Seasoned Tuna Medley Lemon & Cracked Pepper  with 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, 1/3 cup garbanzo beans, 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped kalamata olives, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 cup chopped celery, and black pepper to taste. Serve with 1/2 of a large whole wheat pita.

5. Black bean veggie and rice bowl

In a microwave safe container combine 1 cup microwavable brown rice (already cooked), 1/2 cup black beans, 1 cup broccoli florets, and 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil, a pinch salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder to taste. Heat 1-2 minutes in the microwave before eating. Top with hot red pepper sauce to taste.

Be green tip: Don’t forget to invest in a reusable lunch bag to cut back on your carbon footprint! Choose one that can accommodate an ice pack if necessary – you’ll save on the cost of paper bags and it’ll be easier to neatly carry all the components of your lunch together.

What are some of your favorite nutritious packable lunches?

This post was originally published on the BeeWell for Life blog. BeeWell for LifeTM is a health and wellness community created by Bumble Bee Foods® to promote healthy lifestyles and raise donations to fight diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer.

Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, the authors of this post, are registered dietitians and the dynamic duo behind C&J Nutrition, the popular nutrition consulting and communications company based in New York City. You’ll find Stephanie and Willow featured as experts on the news, in health and lifestyle magazines and professional journals, and as contributing nutrition experts and writers for SELF magazine. They’re passionate about showing people that eating healthy can be delicious and can work with any lifestyle as they happily cook, eat, dine out, and nibble their ways through each day.

Be sure to check out other great resources from Together Counts!