Healthy Swaps: Bag Lunches

Dressing being poored into a glass pitcher

We’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you're eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.

Packing up for our Brown Bag Challenge? Use these swaps to make your lunch healthy and delicious.

Instead of: Regular cold cuts
Choose: Lower sodium varieties

The Payoff: As much as a 50-percent reduction in salt. Check labels or company websites for info on your favorite brand

Instead of: Creamy salad dressing
Choose: Vinaigrette dressing

The Payoff: A 25-percent reduction in fat and calories

Instead of: Peanut Butter & Fluff
Choose: PB & B (banana)

The Payoff: A kid-friendly sandwich without corn syrup and added sugar

Instead of: Veggie-only salads

Choose: Add-ins like hard boiled egg, beans, chicken or shrimp

The Payoff: Satisfying protein and energizing B-vitamins

Instead of: Junk-filled yogurt

Choose: Plain Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit and nuts

The Payoff: A protein boost and no added sugar or artificial sweeteners

Tell Us: What are your favorite healthy bagged lunch items?

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Healthy Swaps: School Lunches

Packing a healthy lunch that your kids will actually eat can be tricky. We took a look at some less-than-healthy school lunch staples and gave them an upgrade. Tuck these better (but still yummy) options into your little one’s lunchbox.

Robin's Healthy Take: Better Brown-Bag Lunches

I love packing lunch for my two boys every day. It’s a little part of me that I send in a brown bag (actually, a thermal lunch bag.) It like to imagine them opening lunch to find my surprises. These are my favorite simple, healthy foods to pack up, plus, my easy tips for packing it all up.

Healthy Swaps: Thanksgiving Fare

Shopping for the right Thanksgiving ingredients can make all the difference. Simple changes can cut down on calories, sugar, fat, preservatives and your overall health without compromising flavor. As you hit the market to pick up your Thanksgiving fare, think about making these swaps.

Healthy Swaps: Summer Cocktails

There’s nothing wrong with sipping on a cocktail or two, just don't overdo it. Make smart choices for those alcoholic drinks – try our healthy swaps.

Healthy Swaps: Side Dishes

Side dishes are supposed to be an accompaniment, but many favorites can jam in more calories than you want for an entire meal. Lighten up your plate with these healthy (but still delicious) substitutions.

Healthy Swaps: Salads

Salads made our list of 9 Healthy Foods to Skip because they can be deceptively high in calories, especially if you pile on the toppings and dressing. But not all salads are calorie nightmares and it’s ok to indulge in some --not all -- of your favorite higher calorie ingredients. Use our tips to build a better salad.

Healthy Swaps: Halloween Treats

You can probably figure out that candy isn’t the healthiest option, but this time of year it’s pretty much unavoidable. Explore the options below for improved candy picks.

Easy Healthy Recipe Swaps

Katie Cavuto Boyle shares her simple swaps for upping the health factor in your favorite recipes.

Healthy Swaps: Smoothies

Sse these tips to swap empty-calorie smoothie components with smarter, high-energy ingredients for a leaner, meaner frozen treat.