Beyond the Apple: 5 Ideas for Eating More Fruit at Lunch

I am a lazy fruit eater. If I just pack an apple or an orange in my lunch bag, I'm not likely to stop and eat them. When I'm sitting in front of a computer, the last thing I want to do is get my fingers sticky or spray juice all over the keyboard. But I do want to eat much more fruit during the workday; it's a great snack and lunch accompaniment. So here are five ways I like to prep fruit ahead of time for easier on-the-go snacking.

  1. Hull and slice strawberries, nectarines, or peaches (depending on the season) and toss them with a tiny drizzle of balsamic or fruit vinegar. Strawberries are about to come into season, and they'll be juicy and flavorful. So pick up a carton at the farmers market, and hull and chop them ahead of time. Portion them out into baggies or half-pint jars for the office. After the strawberries are done, cut up nectarines or autumn peaches and do the same.
  2. Snip grapes into smaller clusters, or pull them entirely off the stems. - I find that grapes last longer in the fridge and are also easier to grab for a snack if I wash them ahead of time, then snip them into smaller clusters. Sometimes I pull the grapes off the stems entirely and make up small bags of loose grapes for quick snacking.
  3. Peel a few clementines and put them in a small bag. - Clementines and oranges are easy to peel, but a little messy. Again, I find that I just eat more of them if I think ahead and take a baggie of peeled clementine segments.
  4. Cut up a honeydew melon and a cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces. - In the summertime, this is my favorite way to eat fruit! I buy melons, cut them up, and put them in a big container in the fridge. It makes really delicious snacking!
  5. Take a little container of peanut butter and make a banana sandwich. - This particular tip may actually mean more more work at the office, not less, but it's also one of the most filling, satisfying snacks I know! I just take a tiny container with some peanut or almond butter (or better yet, leave a jar in the office refrigerator) and sandwich between banana slices for a mid-afternoon power snack.

These are all tiny, simple ideas, of course. But I do find that when I do one or more each week I end up eating a lot more fruit. What's more, when it's conveniently packaged, I reach for fruit instead of a cookie or a more processed snack food. It just takes a little forethought and planning.

Do you have any favorite tips or good ideas for packing more fruit into your lunch or your snacks?

More Good Fruit Ideas:
How To Select the Best Produce: Fruit
Recipe: Lemon and Honey Fruit Salad
Simple Pleasures: Ricotta with Honey and Fruit
Quick Tip: Add Fresh Fruit to Green Salads
Good Idea! Homemade Fruit Leather at Simply Recipes

(Images: Faith Durand)

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