20 lunch ideas to brighten up your day

Avoid the mid-afternoon slump by eating a lunch that helps to balance blood sugar. The B group of vitamins, magnesium and chromium are important for this, so include some wholegrains like brown rice, quinoa or wholegrain bread and lean meats as well as plenty of leafy greens – watercress, rocket, kale, romaine lettuce are good examples. Combining protein and fibre with carbs will also help to get you through the afternoon.

Top Tips for the middle of the day

Fill up on fibre

Focus on plenty of vegetables and some beans or pulses. This could include a colourful salad or soup.

Watch the Carbs

If you struggle with slumps in the afternoon check you are not overdoing the bread. Instead go for a lighter option – choose a wholegrain wrap instead or ditch the bread altogether and include a couple of oat cakes or rye crispbreads.

Keep the Salt Low

Shop bought sandwiches, soups can be high in salt. Make your own to keep the salt levels down.

Make the most of leftovers

These save time, money and can offer a healthier choice (e.g cold, sliced frittata served with a green salad).

Watch the dressings

Ditch the creamy dressings and dress salads simply with a little balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or olive oil. Other healthy oils for dressings include macadamia nut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, hemp oil and flaxseed oil.

Go fishing

Try including some oily fish as part of your lunch at least twice a week e.g mackerel salad, canned salmon or sardines or some smoked salmon are easy options and can be served with salad.

Try Quinoa or Wild Rice Salads

Quinoa is a naturally gluten free grain and high in protein and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Cook up a batch and add a variety of prepared vegetables with some protein to make a healthy salad.

Make soups

Make your own vegetable and bean soup. Keep the saturated fat down by using a tomato based stock rather than cream or cheese. Beans and lentils are rich in soluble fibre known to help lower cholesterol and support bowel health.

Easy Egg dishes and Salad

Whether you make an omelette or fancy some poached eggs they are the perfect option for an energising lunch served with a colourful salad.

Lower Carb Protein Packed Wraps

Keep the carbohydrates low by opting for a wrap instead of a sandwich. Cram it with plenty of lean protein e.g chicken, fish and some leafy greens.

Healthy eating lunch suggestions

Within the following selection of lunches there are some that can be prepared at home in advance to take with you, some that can be part prepped and then finished off on the go and some that can be put together when you’re out and about.