Lunch is a very crucial hour of our daily routine because it makes us realise that half of the day has gone and we need to eat something now. It also gives us energy for the other half of the day. Lunch raises the blood sugar levels in the middle of the day, helping one maintain focus for the rest of the afternoon. For kids, lunch is even more important because this is when they get their vitamins and nutrients for the day.
But in this busy lifestyle, are we really doing justice with our day meal? Are we managing a balanced diet or just eating to satisfy hunger? Well, here are 10 Healthy Lunch Tips which can surely help you get the most out of your meal!
- Follow the “My Plate” Rule: My plate illustrates the perfect way to have a balanced diet. It includes all the 5 food groups and represents the ideal portion size for each food group.
- Simplify the diet plan: Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of colour, variety, and freshness.
- Half cup of Green Peas Pulao served with Bottle Gourd (Lauki) raita is a great alternative to plain boiled rice and a perfect combination with any main course, vegetarian or meat-based. In addition, you can also try brown rice as it contains more fibre, and has a low Glycaemic index.
- Include a variety of flattened breads or Rotis in a week. Try using different flours such as Ragi, Bajra, multigrain wheat and/or buckwheat to add all nutrients in the meal. Pack the rotis is a cotton cloth to sustain freshness.
- Include a small milk-based drink (curd or buttermilk) in lunch to add probiotics for a healthy gut. If you have to carry it to the office, freeze it overnight, wrap it in a cloth and carry it along the next day. This would avoid souring of curd or buttermilk and would be chilled enough to enjoy with your meal.
- Lean on Protein: Protein adds two benefits when added in lunch. Firstly, it takes longer to digest, so helps you avoid hunger pangs. Secondly, it helps you build and maintain metabolism-boosting muscle mass which turns the body into a calorie-burning machine.
- Make the Meal Fiber Rich: Salads are equally important as other food items which we end up neglecting. Salads are the natural way of adding fiber, which will not only help in weight management but will also help you avoid the trap of eating high calories in the meal. Most importantly, salads are not boring. Only cucumber and tomato is not a salad. We can create very tasty and healthy salads with other fruits, vegetables, seeds and legumes as well.
- Grease your Chapatis with a bit of ghee, especially if packed in the morning. Ghee, in moderate quantities, can be taken as it is a nutritional powerhouse and keeps your gut healthy. Also greasing ghee will keep the chapatis remain fresh!
- Treat your sweet tooth with a small piece of jaggery, dark chocolate, yogurt or granola. These are healthier options and they not only satisfy your taste buds but also add various nutrients to your diet.
- Avoid Distractions and focus on Mindful Eating. Avoid sitting in front of a TV or using mobile phones while on the lunch table. This leads to overeating or incomplete chewing of food. Rather, spend time with family, friends, enjoy a healthy conversation and charge yourself up for the next half of the day.
We hope these healthy lunch tips help you add more value to your meals! Make your lunch healthy and yourself healthier! What do you usually eat for lunch? Share it with us in the comments below!