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Could You Pack Your Lunch Every Day for a Month?

Do you bring your lunch or buy it? Restaurant and take-out lunches can add up pretty quickly, and come with extra fat, salt and calories. Packing your own lunch and snacks can save some money and give you more control over what you’re eating.

That’s why Food Network’s Healthy Eats is challenging you to bring your lunch to work (or school) each workday for an entire month! The Brown-Bag Challenge starts today, and the goal is to eat a home-packed lunch every weekday in September. For some, that means thinking ahead and packing a frozen meal and for others, that means baking homemade bread for sandwiches. Whatever your level, we won’t judge, the important thing is to plan ahead so you have more control.

Think you can do it?

But just because you’re packing a lunch doesn’t mean you can’t travel in style. Throughout the challenge, Cooking Channel will be sharing new lunch tote ideas and where to find them.

Our first pick is the ”Nicole” lunch bag from KOKO.

KOKO Nicole Bag

You’ve got lots of room for lunch with this pretty number. Its magnetic snap and drawstring closure keeps everything insulated and in its proper place. Whether you like it embroidered with a flower, or plain and simple, the bag wipes clean in no time.

Find it here.

Need a lunch recipe to get started? Try Ellie’s Curried Chicken Salad recipe.

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Comments (1253)

  1. Monique Zawadzke posted 09/01/2011

    This is something I do every day for work. I'm looking forward to trying some new recipes and ideas.

  2. Pam posted 09/01/2011

    Oh I love this! I pack a lunch for my hubby 6 days a week and I also get a lot of use out of my bread machine so I have fresh bread for his sandwiches. Looking forward to finding some great bag lunch ideas.

  3. krose posted 09/01/2011

    I love packing my lunch. I got a cheap bento at the Asian market in town ($3.99 for one with four compartments!), and fill them with 1/4 meat/starch, 1/4 salad, 1/4 Asian coleslaw or saeurkrout, and 1/4 carrot sticks or celery stalks or edamame. :) It's fun to play with.

  4. Judy posted 09/04/2011

    My husband has taken a packed lunch for the last 35 years. Anything new would be welcomed.

    • Alex50 posted 09/14/2011

      I am an English women with a Jamaican background living in Ga, I use to saddle my moped to work in Fayetteville & plant my carefully planned lunches in my carry box in the summer I would poach chicken in chicken stock with herbs & spices grown from my own fair hands, made the most sumptious salads.
      My colleuges would all wait with bated breath to see my next creations.
      Out would come my china plate & silverware .
      I always enjoyed my packed lunches

  5. prplvette posted 09/06/2011

    Today I brought shrimp pasta salad with out of my garden orange,yellow, and red mini bell peppers, black olives and a little red onion. topped it off with a little balsamic vinegar.

  6. Terri posted 09/06/2011

    I've packed my husband's lunch for 24 years now. I often make extra at dinner so he can enjoy hot meals throughout the week. Divided dishes come in handy here. Always love hearing new ideas though.

  7. Diana posted 09/06/2011

    I brought Greek yogurt, with 1 pkg Truvia, & 1 Tsp sugar free + fiber strawberry preserves; a medium banana; handful of grape tomatoes & 1 lite cheese stick.

  8. Godfrey Little posted 09/07/2011

    I have been brown-bagging my lunch for over 2 yrs. I DO NOT eat fast food anymore. We eat a good breakfast…MY Lunch….and a healthy dinner. All my numbers @ last Dr.'s visit were the best, ever. I recommend this to everyone.

  9. Pat posted 09/07/2011

    I make my husband's lunch and my lunch every work day. We eat all of our meals at home. We hardly eat out, maybe once a month, if that.

  10. Bren posted 09/07/2011

    I can do this easily, but desperately want to learn how to make a work lunch for my husband who works offsite and nowhere near a fridge or microwave. Any ideas for something good tasting and something that will survive without something to keep it cold or cool would be SO welcome! Thanks!!

  11. 50Alex posted 09/14/2011

    I am an English women born to Jamaican parents living in Ga USA, I became so fed up with takeaways so I became very creative with preparing my own lunches which on occasion would share with some of my colleuges I hated plastic containers, and so would bring out my porcelain plates & silverware.
    instead of frying I would roast or poach my meats in stock with herbs & spices grown by my own fair hands.
    In the summer months I would saddle my moped & ride to Fayetteville in the beautiful summer mornings.
    My peers would wait with baited breath to see my creations, hooooow! I miss those days

  12. SaraTN posted 09/17/2011

    I prepare all of my food on Sunday for the week — both lunch and dinner so that all I have to do is reheat or build. Every other week I roast a whole turkey breast so that I have that on hand for homemade lunch meat. I see no point in paying 8-9 bucks a pound for high sodium lunch meat when I can roast a turkey breast and make great sammies or top a creative salad with it. I can get a 5lb whole breast for about 15 dollars. In addition, I use one or two proteins and make a few other meals out of it. As a person that tends to forget my lunch, I pack 4-5 days worth and put it in the fridge at work so all I have to do is remember to take it Monday and bring back the bag/containers on Thursday or Friday.

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