Healthy Food For Lunch Definition
Source : Google.com.pk
Taking a healthy lunch to work is one of the simplest ways to trim your budget. Most people think nothing of spending $10 or so for a restaurant lunch, but over the course of a month -- or a year -- the expense can really add up.
Beyond the cost savings, most meals packed at home are healthier than foods at restaurants. When we eat out, we're often faced with whopper portions and fattening extras -- like the french fries that routinely come with sandwiches. But when you pack lunch at home, you can control your portions and choose healthier ingredients.
Still, unless you're willing to eat the same peanut butter sandwich day in and day out, it's easy to run out of ideas and fall back into the restaurant rut. So WebMD asked the experts to recommend healthy, creative lunch ideas that are not only cheap, but easy to prepare.
First of all, make sure your lunch is balanced, experts recommend. Lunches that include some lean or low-fat protein along with carbohydrates will keep your body fueled for the afternoon, says Connie Diekman, RD, president of the American Dietetic Association.
"The combination of protein and fiber from whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables and/or fruit will give you the most satisfying and nutritious combination of foods that will keep you feeling full until dinner," she says
If you love sandwiches, use a variety of whole-grain breads, pitas, and wraps. Choose lean fillings like sliced eggs, tuna fish, cheese or lean meats. Then jazz up your sandwiches with assorted greens, fresh basil, sprouts, sliced cucumbers, onions, and/or tomatoes.
But sandwiches are far from your only option when you're brown-bagging it. Last night's dinner, hard boiled eggs, vegetarian wraps, cereal -- anything you enjoy at home can be packed up and eaten for lunch.
In fact, you might want to make extra food for dinner so you'll have leftovers to bring for lunch, experts suggest.
"Leftovers are the perfect food to pack and take for lunch because you can control the portions and calories in the meal to ensure it will be nutritious, filling and delicious," says Diekman.
For example, she suggests packing the leftovers of a black bean, brown rice and salsa dinner casserole, topped with shredded cheddar cheese, into a reusable container that can be microwaved at the office. Add some carrot, celery, and pepper strips for a hearty and satisfying lunch.
To take this idea a bit further, try cooking in bulk. On the weekend, make a big pot of chili, soup, or rice and beans and freeze into individual portions that are ready to take to work in a flash.
Convenience foods can also make quick and easy lunches. Canned soups and frozen meals can be inexpensive, especially if you stock up when they're on sale, and all you have to do is grab one when you're running out the door. Pair these portion-controlled items with a side salad or piece of fruit to provide enough calories to keep you feeling full.
If you're a parent of school-age kids, you're probably no stranger to brown bananas and smashed sandwiches aging in the bottom of your child's backpack. By the end of the school year, most kids are tired of eating the same bag lunch day after day at school. Even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can grow old.
Summer brings a change of weather and daytime activities. Why not change what you pack in your children’s camp or summer school lunches?
These 15 kids’ lunchbox ideas are based on four key elements. Use them when you fix your summer lunches, too:
Include more whole foods and less processed foods. Choose lunch items with higher amounts of fiber and nutrients children need (like calcium, protein, and vitamin C). Include fewer processed foods such as cookies, chips, and snack cakes, which have higher sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat.
Be creative. Think outside the lunchbox. Does your child enjoy spanakopita triangles, Chinese chicken salad, or veggie/soy corn dogs at home? With a little forethought and a reusable cold pack, you can probably pack them for lunch, too.
Keep it cold. For safety's sake, pack lunch with a reusable ice pack. Better yet, freeze a small water bottle or box of 100% juice. Your child will have a slushy drink to enjoy at lunch and won't have to worry about bringing an ice pack home.
Keep it fun. Include items that kids can stack or mix up to their taste when they eat. Remember that kids like to dunk, and include healthy dips with vegetables or other items. Cut foods into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
Try these menu items to jazz up bag lunches.
Pasta Lover's Lunch Salad. Pack a cold pasta salad and a plastic fork, and your pasta lover will love you, too! Make the salad with lean meat or low-fat cheese (so it has some protein), lots of vegetables to boost fiber and nutrition, and whole wheat or whole-grain pasta. Toss everything together with a light bottled vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.
Mediterranean Pita Pocket. Fill a pita pocket with falafel balls and some homemade or store-bought hummus. Some falafel balls come cooked and ready to add.
Fruit and Cheese Plate. Fill a divided plastic container with assorted cubes or slices of reduced fat cheese, easy-to-eat fruit such as apple and pear slices, grapes, berries or melon and whole-wheat crackers.
Peanut Butter Fun Pack. Make a peanut butter fun pack by spooning two tablespoons of natural-style peanut butter in a reusable plastic container, along with whole wheat crackers or whole wheat pita pocket wedges and raw vegetables such as celery, zucchini, or jicama sticks.
Everything Is Better on a Mini Bagel. Whole-wheat bagels are a wonderful foundation for hardy sandwiches that stand up to being in a backpack or locker all morning. Start with one regular or a few mini bagels. Add tuna or lean, roasted, and sliced turkey or roast beef. Top it off with reduced-fat cheese and fresh tomato, onion, and Romaine lettuce or sprouts. Two mini bagels can supply 6 grams of fiber to the meal.