Break for lunch
Lunch should be enjoyed, not hurried, so take some time out. This will give you a mental break as well as allowing time for digestion and absorption of essential minerals.
A healthy balanced lunch includes items from these five main food groups. You don’t need to include each food group in every meal — a balance of these over a day or a week is fine.
- Bread, cereals, pasta or potatoes as a source of carbohydrate and energy
- Fruit and vegetables for vitamins and minerals
- Milk and dairy foods for calcium, protein and minerals
- Meat, fish or vegetable protein
- Foods containing fat, foods containing sugar
This last group should be eaten in moderation and shouldn’t replace any of the other food groups.
No time to nip out to the deli or down to the canteen? All you need is a Tupperware box and some imagination… Try these tasty and nutritious lunch ideas
- Pitta bread stuffed with flaked salmon, steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, green beans), pear, fromage frais.
- Roast chicken, mango and cucumber sandwich. Apple muffin (made with wholemeal and wheatgerm, pineapple juice
- Wholegrain cheese scones with walnut, celery and apple salad, milk.
Remember to drink plenty of water to help digestion and aid vitality
Kidz in control
How do you pack a healthy lunch box they’ll eat?
Not all children will eat fruit happily, so include a carton of unsweetened fruit juice as an alternative.
Here are some ideas from our expert nutritionist
- Tuna and cucumber baguette, small packet of raisins, 3 Jaffa Cakes. Carton of milk.
- Egg and salad stuffed pitta bread. Fromage Frais, fruit salad (in own juice) or piece of fruit, cereal bar. Bottle of water.
- Sandwich with yeast extract, cream cheese dip with breadsticks/carrot/cucumber batons, Penguin biscuit, onion bhaji. Orange juice.
- 2 mini soft wholemeal rolls filled with ham and lettuce, satsuma, mini blueberry muffin. Fruit smoothie.
- Pasta shells mixed with diced chicken, sweetcorn, cheese cubes and cherry tomatoes in mayonnaise, apple, muffin. Bottle of water.
- If you are trying to cut down on the amount of fat you eat, try making sandwich fillings thinner and the bread thicker — except of course if the fillings are mostly vegetables!
- If the filling is moist, leave out the butter or margarine
- Include a piece of fruit to help reach your 5 a day target
You don’t have to ban the biscuits, snacks or chocolate, but read the labels and look at the fat, salt and sugars in them. A lot of packs now show the Reference Intakes (RIs) for these so that you can work out how much is “too much”