How to plan your workday lunch box

The 1st to the 7th of July is Corporate Wellness Week, and Pick n Pay encourages you to pick up healthy eating habits at work.

The foods you eat at work are important to your overall health, productivity and well-being. Planning appropriate meals and snacks helps to maintain normal blood glucose levels, helps you meet your nutrient requirements each day, prevents you from snacking on more energy dense foods, which could cause weight gain in the long term, and helps you sustain your energy levels throughout the work day.

Choose 1 to 2 foods from each of the food groups below to build your balanced lunch box for work:

Lean protein
Roast chicken breast cut into strips
Chicken drum sticks
Boiled egg
Smoked chicken breast
Lean shaved turkey, chicken, ham (whole muscle)
Tuna
Lean biltong
Toasted, flavoured chickpeas
Meat leftovers from previous night’s dinner
Veggies
Carrot sticks / baby carrots
Cherry tomatoes
Mange tout
Cucumber sticks
Celery sticks
Bell pepper strips
Green beans
Coleslaw
Vegetable kebabs
Snap peas
Lettuce (for wraps and sandwich fillings)
Vegetable chips
Fruit
Raspberries
Blueberries
Strawberries
Mini fruit kebabs
Apple pieces
Banana chips
Watermelon
Naartjie
Pear sticks
Melon cubes
Mango
Pineapple
Any whole fruit chopped into bite-sized serving
Dairy
Mozzarella cheese
Cottage cheese
Milk carton
Drinking yoghurt without added sugar
Plain yoghurt
Homemade dairy smoothie
High fibre starchy food
Beans, chickpeas or legumes (in a salad)
Mini whole-wheat wrap
Whole-wheat roll
Whole-wheat pita
Whole-wheat pasta
Pearl Barley
Brown rice
Baby potato
Potato wedges
Sweet potato wedges
Popcorn (unsalted)
High fibre crackers
Mini corn
Sweet corn
Mini oat/bran/apple muffins
Plain instant oats
Healthy fat
Reduced oil salad cream
Hummus
Peanut butter without added sugar
Salsa
Guacamole
Peanuts and raisins (unsalted)
Raw nuts
Low-fat dressings and dips
Tzatziki
Bean dip

Other tips:

  • Remember to drink water throughout the workday – keep a jug or bottle on your desk for frequent sipping.
  • Keep your lunch safe in a clean insulated lunch box or bag. If possible, store the perishable foods in your lunch box in a fridge, or use a small re-freezable ice pack to help keep your food cold.

MEET OUR EXPERT - Leanne Kiezer

Registered Dietitian BSc Diet, PgD Diet UKZN, MSc Nutrition NWU. Leanne joined Pick n Pay as the resident dietitian in May 2014. She is the voice behind the Pick n Pay Health Hotline, providing advice to customers on a range of nutrition and health-related topics. She also provides nutrition input as part of the Pick n Pay food development team, and ensures that all communication is in line with the most recent advances in nutrition science and research.

Need some ideas of healthy lunch box snacks to pack for work?

Pick n Pay provides you with a few nutritious, easy-to-prepare and convenient to pack lunch box solutions here!

Roast veg chicken wrap
Vegetable crisps
Chicken kebabs peanut sauce
Veggie sandwich

Shopping List

The ingredients referred to in the recipes above are available from Pick n Pay:
Vegetables and fruit
Roasting vegetables
Carrots
Beetroot
Radishes
Baby marrow
Sweet potato
Butternut
Parsnip
Red cabbage
Condiments
Harissa paste
Lemon juice
Coconut milk
Red curry paste
Soy sauce
Dairy
Plain yoghurt
Fat-reduced feta
Legumes and lentils
Tinned chickpeas
Other
Wooden skewers
Protein
Rotisserie chicken
Chicken breasts
Starch
Whole wheat fusilli
Whole wheat spaghetti
Whole wheat penne
Fats and oils
Canola oil
Sugar-free peanut butter
Hummus
Avocado
Herbs and spices
Fresh coriander
Salt
Black pepper
Dill
Mint
Horseradish
Starchy foods
Whole-wheat wraps
Dumpy, low-GI, wholegrain, seeded bread

Pick n Pay is committed to promoting health and wellbeing among South Africans, and employs the services of a registered dietitian to provide food and nutrition-related advice to the public. For all your nutrition and health-related queries, email [email protected] or call 0800 11 22 88.