Lunch ideas

Use Your Loaf – sandwiches don’t have to be boring; check out a few of the following fillings.

Fibre

TIP: Think brown, try and buy wholegrain varieties of bread as you’ll get more nutrients and fibre than white varieties. Other good sources of fibre are other cereal based foods, vegetables and fruit.

In summary – Fibre helps keep you regular, we’ll say no more than that!

Fibre should be a crucial part of what you eat everyday. It helps the digestive system work properly because it encourages the gut to retain water. This exercises the bowel a bit more, while making it easier for the bowel to clear itself out. The less processing that cereals undergo, the more likely it is to have lots of fibre.

Key steps

Start your packed lunch off with some starchy carbohydrate to give you long-lasting energy. For a change from ordinary bread you could try:

  • pittas
  • bagels
  • baguettes
  • ciabatta
  • rolls
  • wraps
  • crackers
  • rice cakes

And then.....

Add some protein, such as lean meat, fish or cheese and a few vegetables and fruit. Here are a few filling ideas to try, or you could make up your own combinations:

  • Cheddar cheese with apple slices
  • Cooked chicken or turkey, mustard, tomatoes, and lettuce
  • Cottage cheese and dried apricots
  • Tuna, cucumber, green pepper, sweetcorn and tomato
  • Brie and cranberry sauce or jam
  • Peanut butter and mashed banana
  • Chicken and avocado wrap

Add some fruit to help fill you up (and help you reach your 5-a-day). Try to have a different type every day – you don’t always need to pick an orange and an apple, why not try kiwi, grapes, pear, chunks of melon, or small packets of dried fruit?

Baked Potatoes

In one year the world grows enough potatoes to cover a 4-lane motorway circling the earth six times. If that doesn’t make you sit up and take notice, a potato is also about 80% water.

High sugar cakes and sweet stuff can taste good, though may not give you the nutrients you need. Go for slow release complex carbohydrates like a baked potato or pasta at lunchtime. These release slow burning energy in the afternoon, which will keep you going as well as fill you up. Baked potatoes are great value and really easy to make. Pierce the potato with a fork so that steam can escape. Turn the oven to 200°C and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 – 50 mins (test with a fork to see that it’s cooked through).

Other quick and easy snacks

TOAST AND…
Sardines
Canned sardines are cheap to buy and contain iron and omega 3 fatty acids. You should be aiming to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. Roasted tomatoes are good with this. Simply oven bake as many tomatoes as you want in the oven at 175°C for 10 minutes (or until the tomatoes start to split). Instead of toast you can have this with a crusty toasted roll.

FACT: Fish such as canned sardines, pilchards and salmon – where you also eat the bones – are also good sources of calcium and phosphorous, which help make our bones stronger..

Beans
Did you know that 3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans counts as one of your 5 portions?
Add some grated cheddar cheese. Tasty!