You must have read number of articles regarding how breakfast is the main meal of the day. You must understand the importance of lunch too! By the time the clock struck 12 at noon, you must be running to a near fast food center. Why? You had decided to skip making mid-day meal because you had a healthy breakfast. What about a healthy lunch? Lunch is necessary to nourish your brain with food, oxygen and water. It will help you work better as small break is the key to keep the brain active and staying away from stress. Include the lunch in your 5-a-day meal plan, to keep up your energy levels for the rest of the day.
If you think making your mid-day meal is a challenge, then here are great ‘good food for lunch’ ideas with their nutrition value, preparation. Enter into the secrets of building a better lunchbox meal.
Keeping your lunch to 400 calories will keep you healthy. Light lunch menus have protein and fiber to keep you feeling satisfied, yet leave room for a healthy mid-afternoon snack.
How should your lunch plate look?
One half of your plate must contain fruits and vegetables. The veggies must take up slightly more space than fruits. The other half of plate must contain equal parts grains and proteins.
Have a glass of milk or a small portion of any dairy product for a complete meal. What a colorful looking plate it would be! Different colors mean different nutrients essential for your health.
Which foods you must include?
- Whole grains
- Low-fat protein: egg whites, oatmeal
- Dairy products
- Sea food: salmon, tuna
- Apple, oranges, pears, blueberries
Which nutrients should your lunch contain?
- Essential for building and repair of tissues
- Building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids:
- Very important for healthy heart and brain
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Helps in weight loss
- Improves health and reduces risk of diseases.
Which are the foods you must avoid for lunch?
Say No-No to the foods which are:
- High in saturated fat
- Trans fat
Processed foods contain more of the above ingredients which are less nutritious.
What must be the proportion of the contents in food?
- Refined grains should make up no more than half of your grain servings for the day.
- Total fat should provide less than 30 percent of your total daily calories, saturated fat less than 10 percent and trans fat less than 1 percent.
- Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams per day if you are otherwise healthy and are under the age of 51
- Limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams
- Limit added sugar to 6 teaspoons if you are a woman and 9 teaspoons if you are a man.