What's your 'lunch style'

March 02, 1999

They say "you are what you eat" and what a person eats for lunch says a lot. This old adage was put to the test recently as a new study about Americans' lunchtime eating habits reveals most people exhibit one of four lunching personalities or "lunch styles."

The survey. conducted by National Cheese Institute and American Dairy Association. identified the following four lunch styles:

* "Grazers," those who snack all day.

* "Explorers," those on the lookout to try something new for lunch.

* "Predictable," those who eat the same thing for lunch every day.

* "Lovers," those who love it all.

[cont. from lifestyle]

Women more often tend to be "explorers" (39 percent) and like to try different meals while most men are "predictable" (43 percent) and eat the same thing every day of the week.


While most of the 1,002 American men and women surveyed eat lunch every day, the "lunch hour" is a thing of the past, shrinking to an average of just 24 minutes spent on lunch. With such busy schedules and varying styles, foods that are quick and provide a nutrient boost are becoming increasingly important.

Adding a 1-ounce serving of Cheddar cheese to a ham sandwich on rye provides 20 percent of the recommended daily calcium intake needed to keep bones strong and help combat osteoporosis.

Cheese also can boost a bowl of soup into a calcium-rich reprieve in winter. It's simple and easy - top your favorite steaming soup with a quarter cup of shredded mozzarella for a satisfying meal.

Survey conducted among 1,002 men and women who like a variety of foods, including fruit, salad and cheese. Margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

"Sweet and Cheesy" Cracker Topper

  • 1 ounce cubed or sliced Colby-Jack, Muenster, brick or Gouda cheese
  • 1/4 cup each sliced apple, pear, grapes and strawberries
  • 6 water, rye crisp or soda crackers
  • 4 pre-cut mini carrots, 1 stalk celery, 2 broccoli or cauliflower flowerets
  • 6 ounces nonfat yogurt

Top crackers with slices of cheese and fruit. Score fun by mixing different cheeses and fruits with crackers, and then round out your lunch with vegetables and yogurt. Serves 1.

Ham and Cheese with a Twist

  • 2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup shredded packaged cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 1 ounce lean ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 1-ounce slice Cheddar, Swiss, Colby or brick cheese
  • 2 tomato slices
  • 2 slices rye bread

Blend fat-free mayonnaise with shredded cabbage. Layer ham, cheese and tomato on one slice of bread, top with slaw. Top with second slice of rye. Serves 1.

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All materials courtesy of American Dairy Association, National Cheese Institute and Ziploc

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