When it comes to lunch for construction workers, convenience, versatility and high-energy foods are the key. In most circumstances, heating your food or keeping it cool is not an option. You require food that provides a high amount of energy, along with the calories and nutrients your body needs most when performing physical activities.
Convenient Snack Foods
Pack plenty of finger foods that can also serve as snacks. For example, a sliced apple is a low-glycemic-index food that provides sustained energy, particularly when paired with a single-serving cup of peanut butter. Almonds are packed with protein. Cutting up raw vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and beets, will give you nutrients to keep up your energy and help you feel full. Brownies made with black beans and dates provide long-lasting protein and energy that will keep you going until next break.
Pack Plenty of Protein
When it comes to protein, choose your sources wisely. Cold cuts and deli meats are not good choices, as they are high in nitrates and sodium. Stick to unprocessed sources, such as roasted chicken, smoked salmon, roast beef and soy beans. All can be enjoyed cold and can be eaten without utensils. Stuff them into a Romaine lettuce leaf, and you have an energy-packed food that will keep you functioning at peak performance. Include an ice pack in your lunch box to ensure they stay at the proper temperature while you work. If you require something more substantial, include hearty whole-grain bread or wraps.
Whole Grains for Sustained Energy
Eating a salad or a bowl of brown rice may not be convenient at most job sites. What makes more sense are whole-grain breakfast bars that do not contain hydrogenated oils. If they contain the powerful seed known as quinoa, all the better. Quinoa not only reduces inflammation, but it also provides a complete protein source and long-sustained energy — something you need for physical labor. Oatmeal cookies can be another good choice if baked with healthy ingredients. Instead of sugar, try using pureed dates.
Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated, supplementing with an electrolyte-packed drink if the weather is hot. When your body sweats, it loses valuable minerals that help keep your cells hydrated. Coffee can also provide a quick pick-me-up if it is not overconsumed.