The Best and Worst Lunch Choices

Pack a healthy lunch, and save a little cash: Ditch these food-industry Frankenfoods.

By Jean Nick


Pudding or Gelatin Cups

Packaged pudding and gelatin are two more once-healthy foods that have been gussied up with too much sugar plus additives to make them keep indefinitely. They're also packaged in throwaway containers and come with fancy price tags.

Better: Make real pudding from organic milk and flavorings, or try other traditional cooked puddings and pour them into small jars to grab when you need them. Even pudding made from a mix with your own fresh milk is probably better for you than the shelf-stable stuff. Make flavored Jello-style desserts by dissolving 1 packet of unflavored gelatin (or 1 teaspoon of agar powder if you're vegetarian) in one cup of warmed fruit juice and adding one cup of cold juice to make a total of 2 cups. (Use 2 packets of gelatin to make jiggly shapes.) Add bits of fresh fruit if you'd like, pour into small containers, and chill until set.