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Healthy Lunch Recipes

It's often been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but experts say lunch is key to keeping your mind focused throughout the afternoon and to prevent overeating later in the day.

To help you pack your lunchbox - and your kid's lunchbox, too - here are some quick and simple lunchtime ideas from the experts in BIDMC Nutrition Services:

Finger Foods

Cut-up veggies with hummus or sliced fruits with a low-fat yogurt dip are easy to make, healthy, and fun to eat. Add cubes of low-fat cheese for protein.

Healthy Mexican

Leftover brown rice, black beans, salsa and a sprinkling of low-fat grated cheddar wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla makes for a simple and delicious lunchtime fiesta.

A Big Salad Goes A Long Way

Toss a huge salad together on Sunday but hold the dressing. Then portion it out into plastic zip bags for lunches for the first half of the week. Keep an eye on how much dressing you're using by measuring out the right serving size and bringing it in a separate container. Tuna packed in water or slices of last night's chicken make a nice protein addition.

Turkey Sliders

Cook up turkey burgers for dinner one night during the week and make a few extra smaller burgers to include with lunch the next day. Turkey burgers without the bun taste great on top of a salad, can be eaten cold with pickles, lettuce and tomato for veggies and make a good lean protein choice. But be sure to properly refrigerate your lunch.

Pita Pizzas

Set your student (or yourself) up with a do-it-yourself pita pizza. Use a piece of whole wheat pita bread, a few tablespoons of tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes, shredded low-fat cheese, and whatever vegetables you want. Put everything in separate containers and let your little one (or you!) put it together at lunchtime.

Peanut Butter And Anything

Well, almost anything. Spread peanut butter on celery, sliced apple or whole wheat crackers for a quick and healthy hunger-fighting treat. Pay attention to how much peanut butter you're using - 2 tablespoons has about 190 calories.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted September 2010

Contact Information

Nutrition Services
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Rabb B06
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215