Source: Web exclusive, September 2011
Hi Sue! I am a teacher and need to make my lunch every day for school. I find myself going out to fast-food places because I do not have an inspiring lunch. Do you have any suggestions for my lunchtime issues? As well, I only have 20 minutes to eat, and three other lunches to make for my three little monkeys! – Sherrie Guthrie
Hi Sherrie, and thanks for your question! Fast-food is O.K. once in a while, but the fat, calories and sodium can really add up quickly. Here are five lunch ideas to try:
2. Pasta salad
For my crew, I make a big bowl of pasta salad for everyone’s lunch, then I customize each one. My seven-year-old daughter loves hers with bits of baked chicken, cucumbers and carrots. For mine, I toss in some sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers to give it some grown-up flavour.
3. Finger foods
Try low-fat cheese with whole-grain crackers, hummus on mini pitas or homemade guacamole with tortilla chips (my son’s fave). Pack in some other finger-friendly veggies like baby carrots and red pepper strips.
4. Lunch for Mom
Ask your kids to pack a lunch for you. There’s no way you’d ever trade that in for fast-food, right? Your junior chefs can help you put together an Avocado and Chicken Club Sandwich or mix up a batch of Apple Spice Muffins (the recipe makes a dozen, so everyone can take one for lunch). It’s a great teaching opportunity to get them thinking about healthy foods and develop their kitchen skills too.
5. Frozen entree
There are healthier choices available now. Look for a frozen meal that has less than 8 grams of fat per serving, less than 25 percent DV for sodium, at least 2 grams of fibre and at least one serving of vegetables. Round out the meal by packing a low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit for dessert.
Sue Mah, the Best Health Challenge Eat Well expert, is a dietitian and daughter of a chef, and has a passion for good, wholesome food. She has appeared in over 100 media impressions across Canada, and is owner of Nutrition Solutions in Toronto.
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