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AHA fosters and supports community efforts to make healthy eating and physical activity the way of life in Wake County.

Healthy Brown Bag Challenge: Are You Ready?

AHA’s Healthy Brown Bag Challenge kicks off next Monday, March 26 and continues through Friday, March 30! Thanks to all who already have signed up for the challenge! We’re looking forward to sharing ideas later this week and all next week to help you keep packing a healthy lunch.

Planning Ahead


While we wish there was a magic wand to provide us with healthy, economical meals in a jiffy, in most cases, a little prep work and planning is needed. So we have pulled together a number of resources to help get you started, including our Healthy Brown Bag Challenge Mix and Match Menu. AHA’s Community Connections Work Group developed this menu to provide you with flexibility for personal preferences and time constraints.  So we’re sharing the menu with you today so you can print it, post it on your refrigerator or pantry door, and begin thinking about what you want your lunch to look like next week (and perhaps even this week!).

We also wanted to go beyond the mere suggestion to have a salad or a turkey sandwich. We wanted to share a little bit of inspiration and some fresh ideas, so we sorted through recipes from a variety of sources (most of which provide the nutritional information) to save you time. You can click through the recipe links on the Mix and Match Menu PDF to access the recipes. We also have offered a variety of choices to round out your lunch meals. Some suggestions on the menu will need to be prepared in advance, and others you will want to take some short cuts to make them simple for making lunch each morning. If you have other time-saving tips, let us know!

This grocery shopping list (be sure you check out the second age for the list) is a terrific tool for stocking your pantry and your refrigerator. Your list for next week, of course, will depend on which items you decide to enjoy. As you’re planning and preparing lunch, keep the portion plate in mind! Again, make sure you look at the second page of this flier to remind yourself what healthy portion sizes look like. In our supersized world, that is something many of us have forgotten!

More Resources to Come


We will be posting additional blog articles and resource to support you in your healthy lunch packing mission, so stay tuned! Look for information on:

  • Packing a Green Lunch
  • Making the Most of Leftovers
  • Frozen Meal Pitfalls
  • Getting More Fruits and Veggies
  • Saving Money
  • Shopping Locally
  • and more!

Get Social with Us!

We hope you’re an AHA fan on Facebook and/or following us on Twitter! We’ll be sharing information and tweeting all next week about healthy lunches and hope that you’ll join in and share with everyone taking the challenge what you’ve packed for lunch and how you’re getting along with the challenge! 

Not Signed Up Yet?


If you have not signed up for the challenge yet,  sign up now! We are tracking the number of Healthy Brown Bag Challenge participants and want to hear from you! If you’re not in Wake County, or even in North Carolina, that’s OK too! Join us! Just list the city and state in place of the county on our sign up.

Also, a note for those who did already sign up but may have forgotten…if you attempt to sign up but already have, you will see a Survey Monkey sign in page. That’s your hint that you already signed up! Thanks for taking the challenge!

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