March is National Nutrition Month and this year the theme is Personalize Your Plate. With a year of staying at home, mealtimes – especially lunch – has looked different and had its own set of challenges. A new study of 2,000 Americans working from home found that 7/10 people say they find themselves stumped on what to make for lunch. 64% admit that their nutrition takes a backseat when they work from home. 3/10 employees don’t take a lunch break when working from home and 6/10 feel guilty for taking any kind of break during work hours.
However, I’ve got a few ideas to help you and your family members personalize their plate without the added stress of making multiple entrees for the same meal. March is also National Deli Meat Month and today I’m sponsored by Beef check-off and the National Pork Board to help not only simplify family mealtime but diversify it as well. Deli meats are a very diverse category that offers choices to meet a variety of nutritional, budget and taste preferences. Because deli meats are pre-cooked, they make an easy, on-the-go nutrient dense source of protein, and the iron and zinc found in meats are more bioavailable than vegetarian protein sources. Plus, you can always find low sodium, low-fat options in the deli case to build your own lunch.
Charcuterie boards, boxes and even “jar-cuteries” have been on our radar for a while, and as a parent, I love their convenience and the flexibility for everyone to choose their own lunch combo. However, to keep from feeling boxed in by the charcuterie board, here are some tips to conveniently personalize your plate while keeping your options open.
If you’re craving a hot meal, simply load up a couple slices of whole grain bread with your deli meats, cheeses and veggies and either place it under the broiler, toaster oven or counter-top grill and you’ve got a delicious charcuterie-built panini.
If you’re looking to add more greens and veggies into your lunch, simply grab a generous handful of greens or shredded cabbage, coarsely chop or tear by hand the charcuterie board items and you’ve got a great satisfying main dish salad.
Charcuterie boards lend themselves to wraps and even creative tossed pasta dishes so that you can continue to enjoy the charcuterie board all sorts of different ways without ever resorting to the idea of less-appetizing leftovers.