Fit Bits: Brighten Up Your Lunch

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

An apple a day keeps the doctor away…but some fruits and veggies will still make the doctor pretty happy. It’s easy to run out of time before school, and yes, a pack of Oreos, chips and a sandwich make for a quick lunch when you’re running out the door. However, fruit and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals for keeping your body at peak health. Try these quick and easy ideas to to add extra nutrition and flavor to your lunch.


  1. Carrots & Hummus: Carrots are low-calorie and packed with beta carotene, which helps promote good vision, and they’re generally inexpensive as far as fresh produce goes. Add hummus (I like Sabra Hummus singles) for healthy fats and proteins that will keep you full longer. Slice and wash some carrots and include one serving (about 1/4 cup) of hummus in a small container to dip later.
  2. IMG_9352Yogurt & Fruit: Nonfat greek yogurt is protein-packed, and pairing it with chopped fruit takes off some of the tartness. Sprinkle granola or a cereal like Grape-Nuts on the top to add a little crunch, although take care not to go overboard, as granola is nutritious but high-calorie. Pre-cut the fruit, either pineapple or whatever berry that is in season, the night before and keep it in a separate container from the granola so the granola doesn’t get soggy.
  3. IMG_9420Chips & Salsa: Salsa may not be fresh produce, but it still provides some much needed color to your lunch. Pair about a 1/4 cup of salsa with one serving of multigrain chips (I like these from Trader Joe’s) to add some fiber and carbs to round out your snack.
  4. Apples & Peanut Butter: No, Mr. Simmons, apples and peanut butter aren’t just a snack for runners. All you need to do is slice up an apple, throw it in a bag, and add a container with two tablespoons of peanut butter (or another nut butter of your choosing). If you don’t want your apples to brown, you can add an acidic juice or fruit with the apples, like oranges, however, this will give your apples an orange-y flavor.
  5. Tomatoes & Balsamic Dressing: I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge tomato fan, but my little brother has been swearing by this snack for years. Wash some cherry tomatoes and put them in a bag. In a separate container, add some balsamic dressing (make sure you seal the lid tight). Bring a toothpick with you to lunch to dip the tomatoes in the dressing.