When working from home in the comfort of a home office or a desk nestled away somewhere, it can be tempting the snack throughout the day rather than have specific meals. With the kitchen always in reach, grabbing some crisps or chocolate when in need of a boost is all too easy.

There’s nothing wrong with a snack here or there and eating the foods you enjoy, but not eating properly can have an impact on your mood, productivity, and alertness. If you’ve been feeling more sluggish when working from home and want to eat a little better, read on.

The rise of working from home

Over the last 12 to 18 months, home working has become a necessity for many people in order to continue working effectively during the pandemic. Now that we’re looking toward the future and what that potentially looks like for returning to the office, home working is likely set to stay in some capacity.

With many favouring working from home due to the additional lifestyle benefits it can have, a hybrid working model could be implemented by many businesses to support their staff. Real lunches over meal deals, an extra hour in bed instead of on the road, clocking out and immediately being home – it’s easy to see why there’s an appeal to home working.

Keeping a healthy routine when home working

For those who will be continuing to work from home in some capacity going forward, there are a range of things you can do to adjust your approach to be a little healthier.

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself or giving yourself a small lift on difficult days, but if you want to make some changes to feel healthier then here’s what you can do:

  • Make time for a good breakfast – resisting the urge to snooze your alarm and waking up a bit earlier can give you time to sit and enjoy a proper breakfast. This can stop you from feeling hungry around 10-11am and starting the snack hunt.
  • Don’t overload on caffeine caffeine from coffee can stay in your system for up to 10 hours, with tea and soft drink also having a bigger impact than you’d expect. Try to space out your caffeinated drinks and avoid drinking them too late in the day.
  • Schedule your lunches – depending on how long you have for lunch, make sure you take time to disconnect from your computer and give yourself enough time to enjoy your food.
  • Take advantage of meal prep – if you find that you’re short on time at lunch, why not double up your dinner plans and have leftover for lunch? This can be an excellent time-saver without requiring hours of extra meal prep.
  • Drink plenty of water – many of us had water bottles on our desks to remind us to sip water regularly and stay hydrated. Bring that same mentality into working from home and take water breaks every so often.
  • Simple snack switches – there’s nothing wrong with a treat (everything in moderation, including moderation) but if you’ve already had a packet of crisps and fancy another, try swapping in something with a better nutritional profile.

Quick and easy home working lunches

If inspiration for more nutritious lunches is what you’re after, here are three options to get you started. These recipes can offer a balance of nutrition and speed when you need your lunch in a hurry:

  • Cheese and tomato omelette cracking a few eggs into a non-stick frying pan with a little butter and milk then whisk to combine. Sprinkling in a few extras takes less than 10 minutes and provides a filling lunchtime meal.
  • Falafel pitta bread – fry off or bake some falafel while you prep some salad to pack out your pitta bread. Load in your falafel once heated through, smother in sauce and you’re all set.
  • Greek-style salad – serve up a range of Mediterranean veggies mixed up in a lemon pepper dressing with a crumbling of feta cheese over the top.

You can find plenty of other healthy lunch recipes to help get your imagination going and start planning out your lunches for the week. Thinking through what to make can help you buy the right ingredients in advance, so you aren’t left to improvise at lunchtime. Most of all, be kind to yourself. Some days we need to indulge a little and that’s okay!