Last week, I received a request to talk about easy lunches and meal prep. Everyone has their own preference for how they eat during the day. Some people strictly follow breakfast, lunch and dinner. Others, including many college students, fall into the category of ‘grazers.’ These people eat when they’re hungry, utilizing whatever resources are possible to obtain their recommended daily intakes: food carts, free food on campus, Badger Markets, etc.
As a grazer myself, I don’t really have the strategic planning necessary to cook a meal in the morning and pack an entire lunch. Additionally, a lot of people have class from 11a.m.-2 p.m., prime time for getting something to eat. These people require quick, easy to manage nourishment that they can eat on the go or in class without spilling on themselves or making a lot of noise. While alternative options exist such as granola bars and cliff bars, I find myself wanting something different than sweetened dried grains.
As a former frequent to Badger Markets on campus, I am all too familiar with the astronomical cost of buying a small lunch and/or snacks throughout the day. Thus, rather than giving you all a recipe this week, I decided to share with you some of my favorite products to buy to make your grazing easier throughout the day without breaking the bank.
A lot of the products I’m going to share I bought at Costco, however like many of you I do not have a membership or reliable transportation to buy food from there on a regular basis. For those products, I will share with you how you can transform ‘bulk’ products at the grocery store into individually portioned nourishments. Note that you could probably find all of these things in a camp lunch for an 8-year-old, but college vs camp — what’s the difference?
Chobani Flip Yogurts
These yogurts are the bomb. They come in a lot of different flavors, including some for breakfast; they are a great source of protein. My favorites are ‘Almond Coco Loco’ and ‘Key Lime Crumble.’ You flip the toppings into the yogurt, stir and enjoy. I eat one for breakfast every morning.
Sargento Balanced Breaks
These ‘Balanced Breaks’ include cheese, nuts and dried fruit. Again, they are a great source of protein. Throw one in your bag and enjoy.
I bought these at Costco in a 40 pack for under $15. If you can’t go to Costco, buy a big thing of Cheese-Its, portion them into ziplock bags at the beginning of the week, and use them throughout the week.
Hummus and Pretzels
I bought both these products at Costco. Costco sells 20 hummus singles for $10 and again a 40 pack of the pretzels for under $15. This is a great snack/lunch item and can be easily thrown in your backpack. If you don’t have a Costco membership, portion yourself the pretzels at the beginning of the week. As for the hummus, portion it into little Tupperware. Sabra also now sells singles for about a dollar a piece.
Apple Sauce Squeeze Pouches
These are a great substitution for fruit. I bought this specific type at Costco, but the store brand name is called Gogo Squeez. You can buy packs of 4-12, and the very nice thing about these is that they do not go bad. Warning, you will look like a 3-year-old when you eat these.
Capri Sun 100% Juice Pouches
I love juice. We all know Capri Sun from our elementary school days to see who could chug the pouch the fastest and would then blow them up with air only to stomp on them. The fun is still alive, but Capri Sun now makes multiple 100% juice varieties. Again, these can easily be thrown in your bag, you don’t need to refrigerate them, and they won’t go bad. However, if you are a pulp person, you will be disappointed
All fruits are good to throw in your bag. Citrus fruits are really good though. You can buy large bags of oranges or clementines at the store, and as long as you eat them within about a month, they will be fine.
That is all for now,