Benefits of bringing a lunch from home

Though it seems small, bringing a homemade lunch can not only improve your lunch-time experience, but also your well being.

Alyson Folkens, Staff Writer

By the time fifth period begins, my stomach is growling like a rabid dog. It’s like clockwork. As the class comes closer to an end, I impatiently watch the clock, waiting for the 12:40 bell to ring. When it does, I sprint through the halls, down the stairs, but I never can get there fast enough.

When I arrive at the Lunch Loggia, my heart drops when I see all of my peers who have beaten me to the lunch line. As I sulk to the back of the line, I enviously watch kids that walk right past us all directly to their tables, their homemade lunches in hand. This image is what made me start to explore the benefits of making lunch at home. It may seem like a small thing— bringing your lunch from home— but there’s more to it and I’ve found the switch has made a world of difference.

Bringing lunch from home can seem like a burden. It takes extra time and energy before heading to school. For many, walking into the lunch loggia, picking up a well-organized meal from the local vendors, and punching in their account number is easier, even if it means waiting in a long line. 

But the benefits of getting up five minutes earlier to make your food strongly outweighs the disadvantages. By doing this simple task, you can have a lunch that is more specific to your food tastes, and with more choice and variety.  At minimum, a from-home lunch allows for a more healthy diet, with less processed ingredients and fresher ingredients. By having more options, you can track your intake and can add the nutrients you need. 

Packing your lunch is cheaper, too. Buying food from stores like Publix will save you money just by buying in bulk. For example, during Snack Break in the loggia, a bag of Doritos costs $1.25, while buying a 16 serving size bag from Publix is just $6.19 (less than $0.60 a serving). On an item by item basis, packed lunch is cheaper, too.  A green salad at school costs $8.75, while you can get one from Publix for only $4.41. Even the Kraft Mac n Cheese at Publix is $1.42 a cup instead of $2.00 at the lunch loggia. 

Packing a homemade lunch can improve your health and lunch-time experience by shortening your wait time, but even the simple act of preparing a lunch has also helped me stay energized and motivated while getting ready for school.

Making my own lunch in the morning, even if I have to wake up earlier, has allowed me to start the day productively and allowed me to take control of the rest of my day. Here are some of my tips for lunch prep success. 

When making lunch in the morning, it is important that you set aside an amount of time to get it done without rushing, decreasing stress. I do this by waking up slightly earlier; and by doing this every day, I’ve set a routine that increases my energy and productivity for the day. 

Getting used to preparing lunch every morning took a short while to get used to, but with so many delicious and easy lunch recipe ideas online, I now look forward to improving my lunchtime experience. Some of my favorite lunch recipes include pasta, PB&J, ravioli, and steak salad. After adding some tasty snacks and zipping up my lunch box, I feel a sense of accomplishment as I walk out the door, giving me confidence to start off the day. 

Though the Saint Stephen’s Lunch Loggia provides a quick, tasty and easy lunch option, the unfortunate long lines and limited amount of food can take up a lot of time from a lunch period. 

Making a packed lunch, for me, has not only been cheaper but also helped me feel ready and accomplished in the morning. Then when lunch time comes around, I can relax and enjoy my home made lunch. If you start every day off by putting together a healthy meal, you will not only see an improvement in your wellbeing, but you’ll save so much time staying out of the lunch line.

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