You already know a healthy breakfast and lunch are part of a well-balanced diet. But do you know how to make them fast and tasty? Now you do.
To start, review Everyday portion control to get a good understanding of food groups, recommended servings of each and portion sizes.
Now you’re ready to tackle your breakfast and lunch challenge with smarts. With just a little preparation and a handful of healthy ingredients, you can whip up breakfasts and lunches that are both nutritious and easy to make – or order when you’re eating out.
Mix it up
Keeping track of food group servings can feel like a fulltime job. But here’s an easy rule of thumb: Pick from three food groups for a healthy breakfast and four for a well-balanced lunch.
- Breakfast idea:
- 30 g cereal (grain)
- 175 g yogurt (milk and alternatives)
- 125 mL orange juice (vegetables and fruit)
- Lunch idea:
- 35 g whole-wheat crackers (grain)
- 75 g turkey slices (meat and alternatives)
- 50 g cheese cubes (milk and alternatives)
- 125 mL bit-sized carrots and cucumbers (vegetables and fruit)
On busy schooldays
Your school-age child may be out of sight during the day but you can still keep their eating habits on your radar.
- Breakfast idea: Pop half a whole wheat bun or English muffin with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese into your toaster oven for a quick breakfast
- Lunch idea: For an easy brown-bag lunch, create a Mexican fiesta by packing a bean and vegetable burrito, a 250 mL container of lower fat milk and a serving of fruit such as an orange or pear
When time is really tight
You’d be surprised by the dishes you can make with ingredients you have on hand.
- Breakfast idea: Before you toss that softened banana into the garbage, throw it in a blender with a ½ cup of milk and a handful of strawberries for a refreshing breakfast smoothie
- Lunch idea: Mix together tuna, celery, mayonnaise and shredded cheese for a quick tuna melt that spreads easily on a slice of whole wheat bread
When taking a “time-out”
Dining out may be quick and fun but it can also be healthy with a few simple tricks. Search the menu for low-fat choices and don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions or to have your food cooked in a healthier way (like broiled versus fried). Read Beat the restaurant diet sabotage blues for tips and tricks when eating out. Also, it can be easy to go overboard so watch your portion sizes.
- Breakfast idea: Poached eggs, whole grain toast and orange juice
- Lunch idea: Tossed salad (with lower-fat dressing), grilled fish, rice and a glass of skim milk
Looking for recipes? Check out our recipes for delicious and nutritious meals and snacks.