healthy packed lunch

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Learn the Japanese Word for "This Lunch Looks Amazing"
Even if you aren't up for arranging hard-boiled eggs to look like bunnies, or cutting strawberries into mini flowers, Japanese bento boxes are the key to making enticing portable lunches. Atlanta nutritionist Marisa Moore, a past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says separating your lunch's different components, so they don't get all jumbled together, is a great way to add variety to your meal and make you feel excited about eating the lunch you've brought. Any compartmentalized lunch box works; nutritionists Michal Hertz and Rebecca Appleman, co-founders of the nutrition app Honey, like these stainless steel models because they're easy to clean and come with a wide range of accompanying pieces.
stacked vegetables

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Include an Amuse-Bouche
Whetting your appetite may not seem necessary when you've had a crazy morning, but Moore has a good reason for this next tip. Separate from your main lunch, consider including a container of vegetables and—this part is key—pack it on top of the rest of your lunch when you place everything in your bag. Eating cut-up raw veggies prior to anything else is one of Moore's best strategies for keeping calories in check; if she sees them before the other items she's packed when she opens her lunch bag, she'll eat them first...and wind up eating fewer calories in the end.
make a better sandwich

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Ditch the White Bread, But for a Different Reason
We know that "light" versions of breads are often not all they're cracked up to be (they usually contain artificial sugars) and that regular whole-grain breads will keep you full longer. There's even more to love about sandwiches made with those hearty slices, though: They hold up much better in transit and are less likely to turn soggy after a couple of hours. Moore also likes to use sprouted-grain breads, or even collard-green or kale wraps. Hertz and Appleman have two more smart moves: lightly toast the bread before you build, which will remove some of the moisture; and, spread condiments between the sandwich layers instead of directly onto the bread.
dip jars

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Stock Up on Snack Jars
Neglecting to pack an afternoon nibble is a classic mistake, nutritionists say, but if you're already making lunch, it only takes another minute (or even less time) to throw together something that will prevent an afternoon vending-machine run. Again, having the right containers can make this worlds easier. Hertz and Appleman are fans of glass baby-food jars, while Moore swears by four-ounce plastic reusable containers. They're perfect for yogurt, peanut butter (to dip apples in), hummus or guacamole (to eat with raw veggies).