Tips on how to assemble healthy lunches for you and your children
It’s important for you – as well as your children – to have lunches that will help you stay focused and able to complete the tasks you need to accomplish throughout the day. While breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, lunch is just as important. Eating lunch keeps your metabolism going, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. Proper nutrition will also help prevent you and your children from getting sick.
In order for a lunch to be filling, it needs to be nutritionally complete and include the five main food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and dairy.
In this post, we’ve outlined some examples of nutritionally complete lunches that are easy to make and transport to work or school. Whenever possible, use foods that will stay fresh without refrigeration.
You can make a classic, nutritious lunch out of a sandwich made with whole-grain bread, two or three ounces of a lean meat such as turkey breast, a small amount of a condiment like mayonnaise or mustard, a tomato slice and lettuce. As a side for the sandwich, a cup of raw baby carrots or grapes makes a delicious snack. A bottle of water to help you stay hydrated completes the meal.
Replacing the bread with a wrap or even pita bread is a fun and nutritious way to change up the routine, as well as a good way to incorporate more veggies into the meal by using a spinach wrap or by tucking in some more of your favorite vegetables like peppers, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers or olives.
Another great meal option is a salad made with leafy greens high in iron, like spinach, with chicken and a variety of vegetables. Remember that the darker the lettuce you use, the more nutritious it is for you. Iceberg lettuce is a common go-to salad component and, while it isn’t bad for you, it actually has very little nutritional value. When enjoying a green leafy salad for lunch, bring a low-calorie dressing in a small, separate container; this will keep the salad from getting soggy before lunch and will allow you to control the amount you use. You can also add nuts and hard-boiled eggs to your salad to give it color and add even more nutrients.
For something different, you can keep a nutritious soup in a sealed thermos that can keep its contents warm for three to five hours if prepared properly. You can even pack some foods that need to stay chilled with ice packs and bring them along.
Good options for snackers of any age include nuts (if you aren’t allergic), low-fat cheese sticks and granola bars. Other options include fruits that don’t need refrigeration like apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries or a 100-percent juice canned fruit cocktail.
Keep away from these types of snacks:
Foods high in fats, salts and calories like chips, candy and snack cakes
Sweetened drinks like soda pop
The medical experts at Velocity Care centers care about you and your family. Owned and operated by board-certified, emergency medicine physicians, Velocity Care provides premier medical care with little or no wait. Connect with us on Twitter for additional tips and information.
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