The 5 Qualities of a Great Lunch at Work

Published on: 01/05/2021

Lunch break is a time that most employees look forward to, and it's only right that we make sure it's as enjoyable and healthy as possible.

For those who are still reporting for work at the office, it can be tempting to forget about your diet when you have settled down for lunch. With a busy work schedule, you can simply eat a fast-food combo meal because it’s convenient. You may also eat whatever is available in the canteen or other nearby places. 

Nonetheless, to lead a healthy lifestyle, we have to look at the everyday choices we are making, and these include our meals. Let's find out what are the things that make a great lunch at work. 

Regardless if it is packed or bought outside, it’s important to take note of these qualities for a filling and delicious lunch:

1. Warm

To make a meal appetizing, heat is very essential. If your office has an oven or microwave, it becomes more feasible to have packed lunches. If not, make sure to pack food that still tastes great regardless of the temperature, or at least retains heat well until your lunchtime.

If you opt to purchase food outside, it's always best to consume your meal as soon as possible. In some places, dining in is not yet allowed due to quarantine restrictions, so make sure to enjoy your take-out order (maybe back at the office) while it's still warm. 

2. Compact

Whatever bag or suitcase you take to your job, a packed lunch should be able to fit comfortably in it. This may put a limit on how much food you can carry (especially if you only bring a small bag to work), but it gives you an incentive to better plan your meals. 

Sandwiches are very easy to pack, while rice-based meals are entirely dependent on how big your lunchbox is. For food bought outside, sandwiches are likewise the best options when you are in a rush. 

3. Healthy

This should already be a given, but it's essential to highlight the importance of a healthy lunch. Most people tend to have packed lunches with processed food-like luncheon meat, hotdogs, or other cold cuts. While these may not be the healthiest viands for a packed lunch, you can always compromise by adding healthy side dishes. 

That said, try adding more vegetables to your meal. A hotdog with carrots, green beans, and rice is a healthier alternative to two hotdogs and rice. If you are ordering, review the menu well. Restaurants usually offer a variety of sides and add-ons, so you could take your pick from those.

4. Filling

What’s lunch if not to fill you up for the rest of the day until dinner? While it’s important to keep your lunch within your caloric intake, it’s also vital that you don’t starve yourself at work. Your lunch should be packed with both protein and nutrients, while still being a satisfying meal. 

Keep in mind that the latter half of the day is potentially the most work-intensive — you'll most likely need the energy to go back to your workstation and catch your deadlines. While you can control the portions for your packed lunch, the same can’t be said for food outside. Make sure you know how much you actually get for your money because restaurants and their menus aren't created the same.

5. Aesthetic

It cannot be overstated how much a well-presented lunch will brighten the day. In Japan, bento boxes are treated meticulously for this very reason. It’s comforting to know that you or a loved one, took the time to make your lunch look as good as it tastes. 

Outside food can be cooked in a number of ways, though food from fast food joints can seem more "processed" than in-house food establishments.

Take note of these qualities so you can make your lunch meals healthier and more enjoyable. You’ll be sure to look forward to lunchtime even more than you did before.