Why making your own lunch really is better than buying one

Food3 min read

Do-it-yourself lunches are a cut above the store-bought or takeaway varieties.  The proof is in the research, the rewards and the recipes.

Reap the research rewards

According to an exciting study in the journal Health Psychology, preparing healthy food options yourself can increase how much you enjoy that healthy food. The study, titled “Does self-prepared food taste better? Effects of food preparation on liking”, revealed that participants who made their own food (in this case, a healthy, low-kilojoule raspberry milkshake) enjoyed it more than when someone else made them the exact same shake.

What’s the key takeaway here (pun intended)? Don’t takeaway. Instead, save yourself that lunchtime trip to the deli, and make your own lunch at home. Trust us (and the research); you’ll like it more. An even better idea? Make your lunches as a family. That way, each of you gets the benefit of increased enjoyment of what you’ve made – and you get to spend that quality time together!

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More benefits of DIY lunches

Aside from being tastier than their takeaway or made-by-someone-else counterparts, self-made lunches have a number of other benefits:

  • You know what you’re getting. Say goodbye to mystery meat and cryptic condiments. When you make your own lunch, you can carefully read food labels (often unavailable or too challenging at takeaways and fast-food chains) and add only the healthy and delicious items you want you and your family to eat.
  • You manage portion size. By not ceding control of your serving size to someone else, you’re looking after exactly how much you eat.
  • You can choose from countless options and variations. No longer hostage to the cafe’s limited blackboard or the unsatisfactory offerings in the salad display case, the sky’s the limit for your menu. Simply stock up on a variety of your favourite deli meats, wholesome breads or wraps, fruits, vegies, mix-ins and toppings, and off you go.
  • You’ll save money. Australia can be an expensive place to buy lunch or eat out, especially if you’re doing it regularly. By shopping for your own supplies and making your own lunches, you can often make the food go further – and without stretching your budget.
  • You’ll save time. By planning and making your own lunch, you’ll eliminate all that time spent trying to decide what and where to eat come midday and, again, you’ll save yourself travel time. It also helps to have a lunch plan in place. If you do, you’re already one step ahead; if you don’t, our fortnightly template can get you started.

Inspiration for a lunch box that rocks!

When doing your DIY lunches, sandwiches and salads are still easy and delicious go-to lunchtime staples. Here are a few of our favourites:

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Making your own lunch allows room for some creativity too, especially if you’re keen to spend a little more time and throw in a few more ingredients. If you’re feeling a bit more inventive for your midday meal, try this trio of menu musts:

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Armed with all the evidence, advantages, inspiration and products you need, you’re now ready to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “Let’s do lunch”.


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