If there is one meal that if often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is lunch! Many people, and especially mums, tend to “eat on the go” at this time of the day, or even to forego lunch completely. Unfortunately, that often leads to the classic “slump” around teatime, which often results in unhealthy pick-me-ups just to keep going when the busy after-school time arrives.
But with a little thought and planning, it is not that difficult to put a tasty, nutritious lunch together that will look and taste good and will give you enough energy to last until dinner time! You don’t need to prepare a huge meal, but sitting down for 15 minutes with a nutritious and tasty snack will make you feel much better and makes sure you are more productive too. Here are our top tips:
Always Eat salad
Make sure you always have some salad ingredients in your fridge, as they can be added to just about anything and will instantly increase your vitamin intake. You can even add salad to a shop-bought sandwich at work; just put some of your favourite salad ingredients in a small plastic container and slip into your bag before you set off in the morning.
Nothing beats the taste of homemade soup, but it can be quite a bit of work to make and is not really worth doing when you are eating by yourself, unless you can just whip a portion of soup from the freezer! At the weekend, make a big batch of your favourite soup with lots of pulses, vegetables or whatever takes your fancy, and freeze it in individual plastic bags. That way, you can defrost your soup during the morning or even blitz it in the microwave if you are in a hurry.
Many of our main evening meals can be utilised as tasty lunch dishes. Think of rice or pasta, chicken or salmon, or roast vegetables to name but a few. Get into the habit of preparing a little more than you need for your evening meal, and you will immediately create the basis of a delicious lunchtime meal for the next day! Add a little dressing to cold pasta or rice and meat, fish and/or vegetables, and you will have made a super-easy and quick salad.
Use stand-by ingredients
Every kitchen cabinet usually contains at least some tins of tuna, salmon or baked beans. If yours does not, now is the time to change that! Prick a large potato all over with a fork, cook on full power for a few minutes in the microwave, and add your chosen topping. Lunch ready in less than 10 minutes, full of goodness and great for people with busy lives.
Steal your kids’ food!
Just because you have bought something because the kids love it, does not mean you can’t eat it yourself! If your have a freezer full of fish fingers, sausages or chicken nuggets, these can make the basis of the quick and tasty lunch for mums too! Just make sure you choose the healthiest options when you buy, and oven-fry rather than deep-fry to make sure you get the taste without the calories.
If you are struggling to eat a well-balanced meal at lunchtime, you can also take the hard work out of preparing lunches by following a tailored food plan. At Jenny Craig, you are able to plan your meals for the whole week ahead and get portion and calorie-controlled meals delivered straight to your door to help you lose or maintain your weight. Choose from many delicious meals and snacks that have been created with the help of top chefs and nutritionists to give you all the flavour you want without going overboard on the calories. Quick and simple to prepare, they are a great solution for busy mums.