It seems that lately our lives have been becoming busier and busier, so focusing on what you will eat each day for lunch has become less of a priority. Forgetting, or choosing not to, pack your own lunch will leave you in a tricky situation when you start to get hungry throughout the day. As you are running low on fuel, you will likely end up either mindlessly picking at a bag of chips for lunch or eating out.

Meals from restaurants and fast food establishments are not often the most nourishing lunch options, especially compared to bringing food from home. When eating out, portions are larger and you don’t get to have much say in what ingredients are used. Not to mention that buying lunch everyday will burn a hole in your pocket!

Many studies show that people who eat out more take in high amounts of total and saturated fats, calories and sodium. Studies also show that these people most likely have a higher BMI than those who eat home cooked meals. Preparing lunch at home gives you more control over the ingredients used and portion sizes, allowing you to make health-conscious decisions.

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With these healthy lunch recipes, you don’t have to worry about your lunch.

Here are 5 quick, healthy, and not to forget, yummy recipes for your mid-day meal:

1. Whole wheat pasta mixed with flaked salmon, ripe grape tomatoes and broccoli:

Pasta can be a great energy booster and a filling dish during lunch time.

For this dish, simply toss whole wheat pasta with flaked salmon, grape tomatoes and cooked broccoli, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Adding a tablespoon of reduced-fat parmesan cheese adds some extra flavor too.

The Nutrition Advantage:

The fiber in the whole wheat pasta will increase satiety and provide sustenance to your meal, thus you will stay satisfied for longer. Salmon is a terrific source of omega 3 fatty acids and tomatoes provide a healthy dose of lycopene, a phytochemical which can help your body fight off disease. Lastly, broccoli is a terrific source of fiber and can help you feel full, while aiding the movement of your GI tract.

2. Brown rice tossed with grilled chicken and assorted vegetables:


This dish can quickly be prepared on your day off before your stressful work week starts. All you need is grilled chicken breast and sautéed fresh or frozen carrots, broccoli, and peppers. For a kick of flavor, add a tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce. Avoid adding too much soy sauce because the sodium content is high, even in the low sodium varieties.

The Nutrition Advantage:

Brown rice is a whole grain thereby providing fiber which is absent in white rice. Whole grains also provide B vitamins which supports your metabolism and helps you feel energized. Grilled chicken is a good quality lean protein choice and your assorted veggies provide much needed fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.

3. Turkey, avocado and spinach wrap:

Lunch time is prime time for wraps and sandwiches. This combination is a healthier alternative to many sandwiches you can buy in the deli! Use whole grain bread over white refined bread and swap out mayonnaise or your typical fatty spread for fresh avocado.

The Nutrition Advantage:

Avocado brings this sandwich to life. Avocado is a healthy monounsaturated fat and will provide a similar creamy texture without as many calories or saturated fat as your usual fatty condiments. Adding fresh spinach to this sandwich provides a good source of iron.

4. Quick and easy personal pizza:

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Whoever told you pizza isn’t healthy simply has never made their own pizza. For this recipe, use a whole wheat pita for your dough and top with a low sodium tomato sauce and reduced-fat cheese. By switching the usual ingredients out for healthier options, pizza can be enjoyed without giving you a post-lunch energy lag. Top your mini-pizza with roasted veggies for even more flavor and nutrients.

The Nutrition Advantage:

This homemade personal pizza eliminates much of the fat you get at a local pizzeria due to the use of reduced-fat cheese. Although dairy products are great for your teeth and bones, it can add quite a bit of fat to an otherwise healthy dish. Using reduced-fat cheese helps keep all of the important nutrients, eliminates some of the fat, while keeping the great taste! The whole wheat pita bread also provides more fiber and nutrients than regular pizza dough and will keep you satisfied all the way until dinner.

5. Peanut butter and fresh fruit sandwich:

We all yearn for a little sweetness in our lives, especially during lunch time. This grown up twist on PB&J will keep your stomach and taste buds satisfied. Instead of using jelly on this sandwich, use fresh fruit such as sliced apples, sliced pears, sliced bananas or strawberries. Test out different combinations of fruit and nut butters.

The Nutrition Advantage:

By swapping out jelly for fresh fruit, you are cutting out the added sugars but you still get the sweetness you crave through natural sugar instead. The vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber provided by the fruit is an extra bonus. Peanut butter and other nuts butters are “healthy fats” and provide a dose of protein to keep you satisfied and running all afternoon.

Lunch time is the best time to get creative with what you are eating. You can prepare easy and healthy lunches for just under under 500 calories each. Mix and match using whole grains, lean protein, fruits, veggies and healthy fats for a complete meal that will leave you satisfied and have your friends begging to share.

If you are interested in even more healthy and easy lunch box food ideas, click here

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