Five Lunch Packing Ideas For Time Management

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I used to either eat out or eat garbage – frozen lunches with high nitrate and sodium – but then I would see my colleague with an array of or colorful vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Some signs of disservice to myself that I had noticed after lunch was that I was extremely lethargic and craved salt. Two sure signs of dehydration.
Being able to time manage and pack a decent lunch is becoming less and less common. People find themselves with malnutrition, high cholesterol, and all that comes with a poor diet.  However, just like any other occupation, OT’s view meal prep as part of instrumental activities of daily living. Throwing a frozen burrito or TV dinner in your lunch bag is not necessarily meal prep. It’s conveniently lazy. 

Is it archaic or generational-neglect to create a substantially nutritious lunch with produce from a home refrigerator?

Perhaps, it’s all about time. Time management skills may also be something that can be worked on. It didn’t take me overnight to learn a skill to pack a good meal for work.  It did take prioritizing, planning ahead, and changing the water-cooler talk from gossip to questions like “what’s a quick healthy meal you make for yourself?” Now, instead of ogling over my coworker’s sack lunch, I made lifestyle changes…coworkers oogle over mine.

Below are five lunch packing ideas for time management, including a recipe and affordable solutions.


Makes: 16 Bars  Oven Temp: 325 degrees F


10”x18” Jellyroll pan or cookie sheet,

parchment lining paper, wax paper

Sift together into bowl:

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour

¼ Cup Tapioca Flour

½ tsp. Baking Powder

¼ tsp. Salt

Mix into dry ingredients:

1/3 Cup Dried Coconut

½ Cup Roasted Sunflower Seeds

½ Cup Pinenuts

½ Cup Craisins or Raisins

½ Cup Dried Figs or Apricots, finely chopped

In a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl, mix together:

½ Cup Cashew Butter

¼ Cup Honey

½ Banana, mashed (1 Banana, if not adding egg)

1 Lemon, shredded zest & juice

1 Egg (optional)

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Bring dough together and lay out between two 20” long pieces of wax paper. With a rolling pin, roll out evenly in thickness to a rectangle 8”x16” (pushing in on sides and ends to make them as straight as possible). With wax paper still on, move dough onto a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet and place in freezer for about 15 minutes or more. Then, remove from feezer, place on a cutting board and peel off top wax paper. With a long chopping knife, cut in half length-wise and cross-wise, with a chopping down motion. Then continue to cut so you have 4 across and 4 down. Quickly lift up the pieces while attached to the wax paper and invert onto the parchment-lined jellyroll pan. Move bars slightly apart on the parchment and bake in a 325 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cool and wrap individually in wax paper. Store in closed container or freezer.