Lunch is one of the important meals of the day. Nutritious meal ideas are ideal for days when there is a need for quick lunch preparation. Simple, filling dishes makes a person want them repeatedly. It also makes us look forward to lunchtime.
Making your own packed lunch at home provides you control over the foods and ingredients used and can be a healthy and delectable option.
The secret to a balanced packed lunch is variety and choosing the perfect combination of foods to provide the nutrients we need to stay healthy.
The meals and snacks we eat throughout the day make up most of our daily calorie and nutrient consumption. An ideal plan for distributing calories throughout the day is to consume 20% of the total calories for breakfast, 30% for lunch, 30% for supper, and 20% for snacks. This also accounts for the calories we consume from beverages.
What does a healthy lunch look like?
Lunch should be a balanced meal with a variety of nutrients. Using at least three of the dietary groups—vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy products—will make it easy to create a balanced meal.
Lunch should always contain good and comfortable food. Even the healthiest foods are useless if we don’t like consuming them.
Cut back on processed foods like sodas, deli meats, canned soups and sauces. Unprocessed foods (fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and nuts) and minimally processed foods (pre-cut and frozen fruit and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna) can be chosen.
Healthy Indian lunch ideas
Brown rice pulao
Pulao is an Indian rice dish that is related to pilaf and biryani. Pulao is usually a lighter and less filling variation of biryani without additional spices and can contain different vegetables.
Rice can also be flavoured with meats like chicken and mutton. The pulao in this dish is made using brown rice. Due to its lower calories and high fibre content, brown rice is said to be healthier than white rice.
To prepare brown rice pulao,
- Wash the brown rice and soak it in water for some time.
- In the meantime, add ghee to a pressure cooker, add cumin seeds, cloves, chillies and cinnamon sticks.
- Add onion and garlic and stir them till they turn light brown.
- Add the soaked rice and preferred vegetables.
- Add salt and mix them well.
- Pour the required water and pressure cook for four whistles.
It tastes great when eaten with raita. It can also be garnished with coriander leaves.
Fruit, vegetables and cheese plate
The healthy fruit, veggie, and cheese plate is ideal for a tasty snack-style supper at home or to go on a picnic.
All we require for preparing the fruit, vegetable and cheese plate is
- Avocado hummus
- Carrot – Cut as sticks
- Green grapes – 1 cup
- Green bell pepper – 1
- Cheddar cheese
- Orange – Cut as wedges
- Whole wheat crackers
- Dark chocolate
Divide the ingredients into four plates equally and relish.
Chickpea salad combines favourite fresh vegetables in one delightful bite.
This quick salad recipe is a wonderful lunch option or an excellent dish for any supper.
Chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and creamy avocado is best for making this delicious chickpea salad.
- Cut a ripe avocado and mix it with lemon juice. Add the ingredients of the salad and mix well.
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and pour it over the salad. Toss lightly.
- Add pepper and salt to taste.
This salad is a wonderful lunch option because it keeps well in the fridge for days. Avoid adding the avocado while making this ahead of time; do it right before serving!
Sesame instant ramen noodles with broccoli & soft-boiled egg
You can jazz up plain ramen noodles with quick-cooked broccoli, toasted sesame oil, and a jammy soft-boiled egg. Look for ramen variations with less than 600 mg of sodium per serving or use less of the spice package to reduce the salt intake.
- Bring water to a boil in a pan. Add broccoli after 2 minutes.
- Add the noodles and simmer for 3 minutes. Heat till the noodles is cooked.
- Add sesame seeds, sesame oil, and half of the seasoning packet. Transfer to a bowl, add an egg on top, and serve.
Quinoa upma is a filling, protein-rich dish with quinoa, veggies, curry leaves, and green chilli.
Adding quinoa instead of semolina makes this recipe comparable to the classic Upma made in India.
Quinoa upma is both gluten-free and vegan. Quinoa is a whole grain and is a complete protein. It is one of the healthiest grains in the world. It has a lot of fibre, heart-healthy fats, and folic acid.
Avocado toast makes a healthier brunch or lunch option for those seeking a quick and healthy recipe.
Avocados are a fruit that contains monounsaturated fats. Fat makes us feel fuller after eating since it takes the body longer to absorb. Avocado and 100% whole grain bread are a satisfying combination of excellent fat and nourishing fibre that will make us feel even more full.
Combine avocado, salt, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl. Use the fork’s back to crush the food gently.
Add mashed avocado mixture to the toast. Sprinkle chosen toppings over and drizzle with olive oil.
Avocado, egg salad
This recipe elevates the normal egg salad with the addition of creamy avocado. Serve it on a soft lettuce leaf or a slice of toasty whole-grain bread. Avocados oxidise quickly, so eat them within 2 hours of preparation.
- Avocado – 2
- Boiled eggs – 6 (cut)
- Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
- Mayonnaise – 1 serving
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Celery – 1/3 cup
- Pepper powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Combine the eggs, avocado, lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Mash until well combined and creamy. Add celery and mix. The avocado and egg salad are ready.
Paneer Kathi Rolls are warm, layered parathas stuffed with hot paneer, chillies and sweet caramelised onions.
Paneer is a protein source with fewer calories that helps in weight loss. It is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D, essential to support healthy bones.
Additionally, paneer has probiotics that can aid in digestive health and are a source of B-complex vitamins that support the heart, metabolism, and brain.
- Add sliced onion and green peppers to a pan and saute.
- Add the tomatoes, turmeric, and ginger-garlic paste to the pan. Mix it well.
- Pour in the tomato puree, stir well, and cook it over high heat.
- Add paneer, salt, and any more spices required to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Place a chapathi on the surface and spread curd, chutney, mint and coriander evenly.
- Fill the chapathi with the paneer filling and roll it tightly to one side.
- Serve it hot and relish!
Moon dal wrap
This healthy meal uses the beneficial properties of sprouts. Sprouts are beans or lentils that, over time, grow and become nutritious meals.
The whole-wheat dough is rolled into circular shapes to make rotis. These are then fried on a tawa and set aside. Green moong dal is used to sprout the grains, and the sprouts are then spiced up with salt, onions, tomatoes, and red chilli powder.
These are then combined with brand-new methi leaves. For lunch, this mixture is placed inside the rotis that have been cooked and rolled into wraps.
Why prefer a healthy lunch?
“Eat to live” is an old proverb that describes how important food is to humans. A well-known saying goes, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” This demonstrates how healthy meals serve as both food and medicine. There are many families who regularly eat fast food for lunch. This arises because of the time constraints for working women.
Unhealthy lunches make us ill and causes health issues down the road. Therefore, it is essential to consume healthy and hygienic foods if they want to have a long life of good health.
It is more important to watch what we eat for lunch. Eat well to maintain health for life. Nowadays, a lot of the vegetables that are grown are produced artificially using pesticides and other chemical insect repellents. Eat wholesome, naturally grown vegetables instead, which are more hygienic and safer to consume.
A healthy meal can provide all the nutrition one needs. It’s vital to consume one type of green vegetable, one type of legume, and one type of lentil per day. This lunch set provides us with all the vitamins, minerals, proteins, iron, magnesium, and phosphorous that the body needs to function more effectively and keep us energetic.
Lunch is one of the essential meals of the day. It provides energy and nutrition to keep the body functioning effectively for the rest of the day.
Having control over the foods and components in our packed lunch by making it at home can be a healthy and delicious option. Include food from different food groups and make it a nutritious indulgence.
Which Indian food is good for lunch?
Healthy Indian food for lunch would be roti stuffed with vegetables, dhal with millet, brown rice pulao and anything with whole grains, vegetables and pulses.
Is chapati a light meal?
Chapathi is an Indian flatbread made from whole wheat flour, water, and oil. It is a filling, low-calorie food that also contains fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Hence, it is a light food.
What is a balanced lunch?
Lunch should be a balanced meal with several nutrients. Using at least three of the dietary groups—vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy products—will make it easy to make a balanced meal.
Is it OK to avoid lunch?
Skipping lunch results in hunger sensations, low blood sugar, and irritation. The person will also consume more food in the evening as a result.