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4 ways to reclaim your lunch break for a healthier New Year

Group of women eating together at a table.

We hear a lot about the benefits of breakfast and dinner but what about lunch at work? With a hectic work day, it can be easy to skip lunch or work and eat at the same time. Let’s take a look at how can we improve our eating habits while also ensuring a productive work day in 2020 and beyond.

Too busy to take a break?

Did you know that when we take a break and connect with people, we are actually more efficient afterwards? A proper lunch break can provide valuable self-care for you and also allow you to maximize your capacity for your patients, clients, or projects. Win win! 

Where to start?

There can be a lot of pressure to find time to bring home-cooked food to work and enjoy food with others. Start small, with one of the ideas below, and do what you can:

  • Pick one day a week and plan to eat lunch with a colleague.

  • When you and your co-workers are eating together, aim to keep screens and phones turned off.

  • Suggest a weekly or monthly potluck to share cultural or family recipes and find new lunch ideas.

  • Instead of re-heating lunch in a plastic container, bring a real bowl or plate and cutlery from home.

  • Plan to have lunches together after meetings. 

What about at home?

Bowl of grains with sweet potatoe and spinach on a plate.If we’re packing lunch for work, that means planning ahead in the kitchen. If you have children, perhaps one of these 10 New Year’s resolution tips for getting kids in the kitchen will spark inspiration to cook together. You may be surprised at how much young children can do and how even teenagers can get excited to help out. 

How else can I eat healthier this year?

Giving ourselves permission to eat and creating a routine structure of meals and snacks during the day is the most influential habit we can develop to promote healthy eating. A healthy relationship with food and regularly timed meals and snacks leads to good nutrition. 

Looking for a new meal idea? Check out the grain bowl buffet. It makes for a versatile dinner and easy leftovers to pack for lunch.

Written by

Nicole Spencer and Vanessa Lam
Child and Youth Public Health Dietitians, Vancouver 

SOURCE: 4 ways to reclaim your lunch break for a healthier New Year ( )
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