National Brown-Bag-It Day

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National Brown-Bag-It-Day is celebrated each year on May 25.  Use this creative holiday to think about ways to save yourself money at lunch time by taking your lunch to work.  With a little time and effort you can pack a fresh and tasty lunch for yourself or your children.  Remember to include foods from each of the food groups – Protein, Grains, Vegetables, Fruit and Dairy.
Make a plan: 
  • Plan lunch when you cook dinner.
  • Make extra portions for lunch the next day. This way you will be prepared in the morning. 
  • Combine dinner leftovers into a new lunch entree.
  • Buy certain items for lunches only.
  • Remember to pack snacks too. This will help avoid the afternoon vending machine visit.

New Ideas:
  •  Put tuna or chicken salad inside lettuce leaves to make a wrap - skip the sandwich.
  • Try a new salad combination - mix pasta with frozen vegetables.
  • Buy fruit in season - this add variety and helps keep costs down.
  • Check Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland for new recipe ideas. Adding new items can make brown bags fun again.
Play it Safe:
Insulated, soft-sided lunch boxes or bags are best for keeping food cold, but pack at least two ice sources with perishable food in any type of lunch bag or box you use. Of course, if there's a refrigerator available at work or school, store items there upon arrival. If you place your insulated bag in the refrigerator, leave the lid or bag open so that cold air can keep the food cold.
Use an insulated container to keep food like soup, chili, and stew hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the hot food. Keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food hot.

Visit the Food Safety and Inspection Service for more Food Safety Tips


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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall