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Healthy Lunch Ideas Recommended by Experts

Schoolchildren enjoying their lunch in a school cafeteria

Preparing healthy packed lunches for ourselves or our loved ones can be quite daunting especially if we have no culinary skills or have limited resources. Our options and ideas of a healthy meal tend to be narrow that we end up preparing the same lunches over and over again.

Packed lunches should not only be healthy, but easy and quick to prepare as well.

To expand your choices, here are four lunch ideas which are recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  1. For a high-protein meal, combine some whole wheat couscous and black beans or chick peas.
  2. Prepare a whole wheat tortilla wrap stuffed with skinless grilled chicken breast and vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes and onions are great choices).
  3. Prepare a baked potato with toppings such as salsa, broccoli, low-fat sour cream and a small amount of low-fat cheese.
  4. Add some low-fat feta cheese, chopped red onions and pears on a spinach salad for a filling low-fat meal.

Below is a list of other healthy packed lunches which you can easily prepare.

These ideas are recommended by Connie Diekman, RD, who’s the president of the American Dietetic Association. According to her, these lunches are affordable, and do not require complex preparation.

  1. Whole-wheat tortilla wrap of hummus lettuce, tomatoes (sliced), feta cheese and black olives; complement this with a carton of fat-free vanilla yogurt, and berries
  2. Whole wheat pita with vegetarian toppings like refried beans, salsa, lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese; plus apple slices with peanut butter
  3. A green salad made up of lots of canned light tuna chunks, carrot strips, pepper slices, tomato wedges, red beans, and dried cranberries with balsamic vinaigrette dressing; complement this with a cup of low fat chocolate milk
  4. A peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread; a piece of fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt
  5. Whole wheat tortilla roll with sliced turkey, sliced low-fat mozzarella cheese, red pepper strips, and lettuce leaf; plus fruit salad and a glass of skim milk
  6. Put into a microwaveable container some leftovers of black beans, brown rice and salsa dinner casserole, topped with shredded cheddar cheese. You can add some veggies too like Celery, pepper or carrot strips for a hearty and filling meal.

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