Packing healthy lunches every day is even harder when you try to include the 5 types of food that make a balanced meal. So, here are a few tricks to make it easier!
The 5 Food Groups
Let’s have a quick look at the essential elements of a balanced meal as you can find them on the USDA’s website.
- Vegetables: cucumber, carrot, tomatoes, zucchini etc..
- Grains : bread, pancakes, pasta, quinoa, rice, etc…
- Proteins: beef, chicken, eggs, pork sausages, tofu etc…
- Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt etc..
- Fruits: orange, apple, kiwi, grapes, watermelon, etc…
And of course: WATER as a preferred drink!
To help you on a daily basis, Teuko.com uses colorful dots that give you feedback depending on the food items you actually tag when uploading your lunchbox photo. This is a simple way for you to be aware of what you pack. No judgment: your lunch, your way. This information stays personal.
The 5 Food Groups Flashcards
If you want to make it easier to decide what to pack from every food family every day, why not try to make your own list of the food items you like or that you are the most likely to buy and cook.
Not sure where to start? To facilitate the decision while encouraging more variety, Teuko made flashcards free for you to use! These flashcards are not exhaustive, but they remind you of samples of food items or textures. You can use them as a guide before packing, going shopping or as a template to customize your own cards.
Get a printable version: Teuko Guide To The 5 Food Groups (printable)
Another tip to help you vary is to shop local and seasonal. It helps rotate fruits and vegetables or even try new foods and new recipes while saving money.
It may seem a lot of work, but at the end of the day, planning ahead stays the most efficient way for you to make sure that you have the food you need to fill in your lunch boxes all week long.
What our users say:
- Cecile already shared with us that one of her best lunchbox hacks was to plan ahead the whole week of menus with the help of a whiteboard. She likes the opportunity to involve the kids in the process of picking food items. It’s an efficient way for her to vary and rotate the main food items every day.
- Diane told us that after tracking her lunches, she likes to be able to look back at what she has done to plan her week ahead making sure that she varies more.
How to meal plan with Teuko:
- Step 1: Connect to Teuko.com, browse and save ideas from the community or simply look back at your history of lunches.
- Step 2: From “My Lunches”, pick lunchbox ideas you like from Uploaded/Saved/MyFavorites, and simply add the date of the day when you want to see the pic in your weekly calendar.
Want to get the grocery list to go shopping? Press the cart button to see the grocery list of the main food items for the week of lunches that is displayed. You can then print or send it to the device of your choice.
More readings for you …
- 5 simple food choices to make lunch packing easier.
- Meatless Lunches. Food alternatives.
- Ready for a little game? USDA published Food group quizzes for the most adventurous.
Remember to track what you pack for lunch with Teuko.com. It will inspire and encourage others while making it easier for you to plan or retrieve an idea later!