How to Start a Healthy Lunch Club

Healthy lunch clubs are springing up all over and are a great way to eat healthy and save money. Here are six tips for starting a successful lunch club at your workplace.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
4-minute read
Episode #417

Bringing your own lunch to work can help you eat healthier and spend less money.  But with all the other demands on you, it can be really challenging to find the time and energy to plan and prepare healthy lunches every day. That’s why I love this new trend that’s been catching on in workplaces around the country: Healthy lunch clubs.

Coworkers take turn bringing in healthy lunches for each other. You get a healthy, home-cooked lunch every day but only need to plan and prepare lunch once every week or two. Instead of eating the same old yogurt and protein bar at your desk every day, participating in a lunch club brings some welcome variety to your lunch menus and a chance to connect socially.

And if you think you can’t afford to take an actual lunch break, studies have found that workers who step away from their desks for lunch are actually more productive than those who eat hunched in front of their computers.

It’s genius!

Six Tips for a Successful Lunch Club

If all that sounds like something you’d like to try, here are some tips for setting up a successful lunch club.

1.  Keep it small. The ideal size for a lunch club is 4-8 members. Although a bigger group means you’ll be on the hook to cook less often, it also means you’ll have to cook for a crowd. If you have 30 people interested, consider setting up several smaller groups.

2. Do some match-making. Lunch clubs can be a fun way to get out of your food rut and try new things. At the same time, your club will be more successful when members have compatible dietary styles and goals. If you have a vegan in the group, for example, everyone would need to be willing to stick to vegan lunch menus. If someone has Celiac disease, all the meals must be gluten-free or have a gluten-free option. Those who are trying to lose weight might find it easier to team up with others who are also restricting calories—but those following a strict low-carb approach and those doing Weight Watchers may want to set up separate clubs.


About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.