Social media is full of adorable pictures of perfectly boxed up bento-style lunches, but there isn’t just one way to pack a lunch. A Tupperware full of leftovers is just as nourishing as a neatly organized lunch box. What you take for lunch, or what you send along with your kids, depends on time, taste, budget, and countless other factors. These are some things to consider when bringing lunch from home. 

leftovers for lunch

Option one: pack up those leftovers

Pros: Reduce food waste and save time by packing leftovers for lunch. Today’s noodles will be just as delicious at lunch the next day. Some foods even taste better after they’ve had some time for flavors to mingle. 

If you love taking leftovers for lunch, planning ahead can be your friend. Make extra large portions of foods like noodles, chili, and enchiladas. These meals all reheat well. For couples, consider ordering a 4 serving Blue Apron meal. That way you can eat half for dinner and save the rest for lunch. 

Cons: For some, variety is the spice of life. Some people may not want to eat the same thing for lunch that they ate for dinner. 

sandwich lunch box

Option two: box up a sandwich and sides

Pros: For particular eaters, the no-mess aesthetic of a neatly packed lunch box can be a delight. Including lots of sides creates an opportunity to add servings of vegetables or fruits to lunch, and multiple courses makes grazing through lunch feel fun. 

Cons: This method takes a little extra time. Cutting carrot sticks, cubing cheese, and de-stemming grapes make for an adorable packed lunch, but it also means waking up early to prep or getting started the night before. Some sandwiches, like chicken salad, are best made the day of. Preparing a sandwich with a moist filling the night before can lead to soggy bread. 

Option three: make things even easier 

Blue Apron Heat and Eat meals are ready in just minutes. There’s no need to repeat meals or to plan ahead. Bring these pre-made nutritious meals for lunch, pop them in the microwave, and enjoy.