4 Reasons Mason Jars Are a Healthy Eater's Best Friend

4 Reasons Mason Jars Are a Healthy Eater's Best Friend
Courtesy of Getty Images

Forget Tupperware. It's time to embrace mason jars! Originally used by farmers for canning jams and pickles, the handy vessels are now essential for anyone looking to make smart food choices. You can find them at Target and select supermarkets, or order online. Get the ones with the lids! I recommend stocking up on both medium and large jars.

What exactly makes mason jars such a valuable tool for healthy eaters?

I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and I’m sharing four reasons why your kitchen isn't complete without them.

Perfect for Portion Control

Even Goldilocks would agree that the mason jar is just right. You can create a single-serving meal right in the jar!

I love food, and I don’t like to consider anything completely off-limits. Fill your jar with mostly healthy stuff (like lettuce and chicken, for a salad), and then add small amount of the more calorie-dense ingredients (like nuts and dressing). A quart-sized mason jar is ideal for salads and more. There’s literally no room to go overboard! Portion control is so important and you can keep sizes appropriate with a slew of tips and tricks. They're perfect to make a salad in a jar.

Built for Make-Ahead Meals

One of the best things you can do to become a successful dieter is plan ahead. Mason jars make meal planning simple. Use them to assemble healthy meals when you have time, and they'll be ready and waiting when hunger hits.

When you know what you're going to eat in advance, you're way less likely to make impulsive, unhealthy choices.

A lot of people struggle with breakfast because they have no time to prepare something in the morning. That's why making overnight oats in mason jars the night before is such a great idea!

Ideal for Bringing Lunch to Work

You're playing Russian roulette when you grab lunch from a restaurant: You never really know the exact calorie count, and the portions are often way too large. It’s much easier to track your food intake if you make your own lunch at home... in a mason jar, of course.

The tall but narrow shape makes it easy to pack and carry. One of my favorite mason-jar lunches is hearty chicken soup. Load your jar with frozen veggies, chopped cooked chicken breast, and broth. At lunchtime, just microwave until hot.

Bonus: Bringing your lunch to work is a major money saver! Speaking of saving cash while eating smart, make sure to follow the food-shopping tips your wallet will thank you for.

Recipe Friendly

I've created plenty of recipes with mason jars in mind, like a bunch of salad options, from fruity chicken to taco tuna! I have fun making salads in mason jars because it's like a Choose Your Own Adventure book (loved those!). Do I want romaine or iceberg? Chicken or shrimp? Reduced-fat cheddar or feta? You could literally have a different salad every day!

On the breakfast front, an overnight oatmeal parfait is excellent in a mid-sized mason jar. And don't be afraid to experiment: Swap out the strawberries for banana, and try coconut yogurt instead of vanilla.

So, what are you waiting for? Go get that Mason jar!

For more tips ’n tricks, plus guilt-free recipes, food finds, and more, sign up for free daily emails at hungry-girl.com

Continue Reading