Foods like bread, fruit and beans tend to be high in carbs. Unfortunately, these are the same kinds of foods that typically make up you and your family's brown bag lunches. Creating a low-carb brown bag lunch without these foods can be challenging, but is possible if you stick to high-protein salads, alternative sandwiches and other creative options.
The world of salad offers a huge variety of low-carb brown bag options. Vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, radishes and bell peppers all contain relatively few carbohydrates and are suitable for a low-carb salad. To make a balanced and satisfying meal you need to add some protein to a lunch salad. Try filling the salad out with chopped hard boiled egg, cheddar cheese, sliced chicken or beef, shrimp or tuna. Oils and dairy are considered low-carb, so pack single serve containers of salad dressing.
Sandwiches and Sandwich Alternatives
Your family doesn't have to give up sandwiches if you choose to go on a low-carb meal plan. There are low-carb breads and wraps available, some of which are made with soybean flour. Note that low-carb breads and wraps still contain some carbs, but the human body needs some carbs to function properly. Try using only one slice of bread for an open faced sandwich or forego bread all together and simply make a lunchbox full of sandwich fillings like meat and cheese. Another alternative is to wrap sandwich filling in lettuce leaves to create a low-carb lettuce wrap.
Other Entree Options
Salads and sandwiches aren't your only options when it comes to the main part of your brown bag lunch. Sashimi, which is essentially sushi without the rice, makes for a good low-carb lunch for adults, but must be kept refrigerated. You can pack a powdered protein smoothie in your older child's lunch bag and have her mix it with water when lunch time rolls around. Don't skimp when you're packing your child's lunch, even if your family is following a low carb diet. Pack leftovers from a low-carb dinner, such as meat and veggies like broccoli and green beans, fresh vegetables and creamy dips and cubed deli meats.
Filling Up the Rest of the Bag
Fill out a brown bag lunch with a few low-carb snacks to nibble on. Cheese and hunks of smoked sausage are both good low-carb choices to nibble on. Olives and pickles are also low in carbohydrates. If you're looking for something really filling, buy some low-carb protein bars. You can also purchase low-carb puddings and desserts from specialty food stores if you crave something sweet at lunchtime.