In theory, packing a lunch sounds like a simple thing. But it's always those simple things that turn out to be the toughest to tackle. Even with the best of intentions and best-laid plans, packing a lunch can be a tall order. But these smart tips will make it a little easier for you.
1. Start by planning to pack your lunch for a few days a week.
Follow Ariel's lead and start by planning to pack your lunch a few days a week, rather than jumping into the deep end and committing to every day right off the bat. By keeping your goals and expectations realistic, you're setting yourself up for success. And once you've mastered a few days, then up the ante to the full week.
Read More: This Is How I'm Bringing My Lunch to Work More Often This Year
2. Pack foods you actually want to eat.
This seems totally obvious, but when you're prepping lunch and pressed for time, it might feel easiest to pack foods that are the most convenient (which might not be the foods you actually want to eat). When you pack something you want to eat — better yet, that you're excited to eat — you're more likely to actually eat it.
Read More: 5 Simple Habits That Help Me Pack a Lunch I Actually Want to Eat
3. Weekend prep time is golden.
From planning and shopping, to cooking and packaging, do as much as you can before the week gets rolling. Best-case scenario? Everything is prepped and all you have to do is grab your lunch from the fridge or freezer before heading out the door.
Read More: The 5 Things I Prepare on Sunday Night for My Lunches
4. Big-batch cooking is your friend.
From a big pot of grains to slow-cooker meals, rely on batch cooking to give you a few days (or a full week) of meals at once. It's an easy way to set yourself up for lunchtime success.
Read More: What's Your Best Advice for Taking Your Lunch to Work?
5. Use a lunch box or container that keeps your food fresh.
If the food you packed for lunch doesn't actually hold up well, you're not going to want to eat it. You're putting in the effort to make your lunch, so make sure you pack it in a decent container so it stays fresh and good until you're ready to eat.
Read More: 16 Smart Tips for Packing a Healthier Lunch
(Image credits: Faith Durand)