Healthy Lunch Ideas With Balanced Meals and Healthy Snack Recipes

Eating balanced meals and making wise food choices are critical. The main idea here is to establish life time eating habits that are rooted in positive choices rather than promoting a restrictive dieting mentality.

Making the right food choices such as healthy lunch ideas, may sound like a tough thing to do. It can be difficult when you are surrounded by fast-food restaurants, snack foods loaded with calories and fat, and enough soda to float a battleship. Where do you start establishing healthy eating habits? A good place to start is to learn to eat balanced meals. What are they? Who decides What constitutes a balanced meal? Can eating still be fun? Here are some answers to help you begin to establish a lifetime of proper eating habits.

USDA Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Lunch Ideas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have jointly developed a set of dietary guidelines for all Americans older than two years of age. These guidelines, based on current advice from nutritionists, form the basis for many federal nutrition policies. The guidelines include the following..

* Eat a variety of foods to get the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need for good health.

* Balance the food you eat with physical activity. Maintain or improve your Weight to reduce your chances of having high blood pressure, heart disease, a stroke, certain cancers, and the most common forms of diabetes.

* Choose a diet With plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits. These provide needed Vitamins minerals fiber and complex carbohydrates for healthy lunch ideas, and they can help you lower your intake of fat.

* Choose a diet moderate in sugar. A diet With lots of sugars has too many calories and too few nutrients for most people and can contribute to tooth decay.

* Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure.

Making the right food choices may sound like a tough thing to do. It can be difficult when you are surrounded by fast-food restaurants, snack foods loaded with calories and fat, and enough soda to float a battleship. Where do you start establishing healthy eating habits? A good place to start is to learn to eat balanced meals.

Energy and Fats with Healthy Lunch Ideas.

Fats, or lipids, have gotten a bad rap. They are blamed for everything from bulging bathing suits to life-threatening heart attacks. However fat can be used as energy by the body when glycogen (stored glucose) is depleted, or in the absence of carbohydrates. We can’t live without fat in our diets. But because fat supplies twice as many calories as do protein and carbohydrates, eating too much fat packs on the pounds.

Balanced Meals and Healthy Lunch Ideas.

Well-balanced meals are those that supply the right amount of calories from a variety of foods. They are the key to proper nutrition, weight control, and optimal health. Keep a lookout for answers to important questions such as.. What are nutrients and how many calories are found in different kinds of food? Try to eat a balanced meal based on healthy lunch ideas, watch your calories, fats and still have fun?

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Healthy Restaurant Eating On Your Lunch Break

While eating balanced meals at home may be easy, trying to eat healthy while on the go can be difficult for some. Not everyone diets or tries to eat healthy, but even those who do, often stray from their diets during their lunch break. Unfortunately, this is not always intentional. Nutrition is a deceptively complex subject and people are often in too much of a hurry to realize just how badly they are eating. A little nutritional education can go a long way towards a longer, healthier life, and in all likelihood shedding a few pounds.

Beyond the obvious advice of avoiding fast food as much and as often as possible, there are a few less insidious lunchtime traps that diners need to be aware of. The most basic is serving size. Most people naturally trust their judgment when determining an appropriate serving. This can quickly lead to overeating. A single serving of vegetables is about the size of half a tennis ball and a serving of meat is roughly six ounces or the mass of a pack of playing cards.

For certain this is not to say you cannot enjoy a 12 oz steak, only that you need to be aware that it counts as two daily servings of meat. When it comes to meat, fish provides a healthy alternative to beef, and there are many Spanish and Mediterranean restaurants that offer a number of exciting seafood-based dishes. .

Even diet drinks are less healthy than the average consumer would imagine. Ironically, studies have shown that aspartame causes weight gain and worse in many people. The common artificial sweetener has been shown to produce weight gain, mood swings, depression, migraines, and a host of other neurological complaints. So it is preferable to drink water or unsweetened beverages. That means avoid fruit juices as well.

They are essentially pure sugar and a person is far better off just eating an orange or an apple than flooding their system with sugar. Wines are a different story. In moderation red wine has even been shown to have very beneficial effects on heart health, and given the variety of types, it is hardly difficult to find a wine that suits your particular meal.

All foods are not created equal. Try to get most of your calories from complex carbohydrates. Broccoli, brown rice, beans, and the like are wonderful choices. Complex carbohydrates take longer to impact your blood sugar and as such keep you feeling fuller longer while avoiding the post meal fatigue that refined carbohydrates produce. In addition, most complex carbohydrates come in the form of high fiber foods. Fiber is filling, it contributes nothing to the waistline, has been shown to lower cholesterol, and it is great for digestive health.

When selecting proteins, cheese, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken are all excellent choices. Fish and seafood are equally healthy options. All of these are good sources of quality protein, but fish is leaner and cold water varieties have heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. The concern here isn’t the protein source, but the fat that accompanies it.

Fats should come from monounsaturated sources like olive oil, a common ingredient in Spanish and other Mediterranean cuisine, whenever possible. Monounsaturated fats do not contribute to LDL (bad cholesterol) and studies have shown monounsaturated fats may actually lower LDL levels while raising HDL levels.

Bill Oliveira is the owner of Chateau of Spain Restaurant located in Newark, NJ. The restaurant is conveniently located close to the Prudential Center. This establishment offers a wide variety of food for dine-in, catering, and more.http://www.chateauofspain.com

Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas

It can be a real problem to think of ideas for healthy packed lunches. In the winter a hot lunch will always be welcome, but how to do it? Well with a wide mouth thermos it is easy.

Hot Packed Lunch Ideas:

1. Soup

Of course soup is the first thing that springs to mind. Make a healthy, thick and nutritious soup and send it to school in a thermos. You do not even have to make it especially for the thermos, simply make more than you need when you make soup and pack the left over soup.

With this soup you can also pack some bread and a fruit and you will be sending your kid to school with a fully balanced meal.

2. Chili

The next idea is a tasty chili. On a cold winter’s day a chili is always very tasty. If your kid does not like it too hot, simply use less chili. Once again you can add a sandwich and some fruit to provide a fully balanced meal.

3. Stew

Any kind of stew will also be delicious. Make sure there are no bones on the meat. If you make this a really tasty stew with lots of vegetables you do not even have to add a sandwich to provide your kid with all the nutrition needed to keep going all day long.

Of course a thermos cannot only be used to keep food hot, it can also be used to keep food cold on a hot summer’s day.

Cold Packed Lunch Ideas:

1. Fruit salad

Fruit salad is an ideal choice here. Make a fruit salad with as wide a variety of fruit as possible. Add a cheese sandwich to provide the protein your kid needs and you once again end up with an excellent lunch for your kid. To make the fruit salad even tastier, you can add some yogurt to the fruit salad. I find that plain yogurt mixed into the salad works very well.

2. A substantial salad

Of course fruit salad is not the only salad that will work very well. You can send any kind of salad that is a substantial salad. With this I mean a salad containing some form of protein and carbohydrate and not only vegetables. Use all the vegetables you kid love with some cold meat and potatoes with a little mayonnaise and you have a tasty and healthy meal to send your kid to school with. Add a fruit juice as a drink and your kid will love this lunch.

So you see there a lots of ways you can send your kid to school with a healthy nutritious lunch.

You may now wonder what the best wide mouth thermos to get is. Well, I find that the Thermos Nissan is the best one. It will keep food hot or cold for very long. Read all about it at: http://www.squidoo.com/ThermosNissan

Four Recipes For Kids Lunch Boxes

Finding recipes for kids lunch boxes can be tricky. Most parents just reheat last night’s dinner left overs and send their kids on their way. Lunch is a pretty important meal during a child’s day, though, so if you have more time to think about and make what your kids will be taking to lunch at school, put in the extra effort. Making sure your kids are eating right in the middle of the day will definitely pay off in the future! Here are four recipes for kids lunch boxes:

· Tortilla Wrap

This is easy to do, and you can still use the leftovers! Wrap some meat and vegetables in a tortilla. You can add salsa, cheese, and/or sour cream if you like. Brown rice and beans are good additions too! Roll it up and put it in a sandwich bag or you can wrap it up in foil so it’s easy to hold. It’s a no fuss recipe that most kids will love, and it covers four of the five major food groups. Plus, you’re sure it’ll be healthier than anything your child can but at the school cafeteria!

· Chicken Salad Sandwich

Put some chopped chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber between slices of whole wheat bread. You can add cheese or salad dressing to this sandwich to make it yummier and more appealing. Remember that you don’t have to use chicken. You can substitute chicken for tuna, sliced beef, or sliced turkey. Almost any member of the protein group will go well with this sandwich, and so you can actually mix it up and have a different one everyday!

· Meatball Sub

Grab a mini baguette and line it with mustard (if your kid likes mustard), mayonnaise, cheese, tomatoes, and pickles. Put in some meatballs cooked in tomato sauce (you can use the leftovers from the spaghetti and meatballs you served the other night), and top it off with some sour cream. Wrap this well in a sandwich wrapper or foil, and your kid is ready to go!

· Croquettes

This recipe takes a bit more time to prepare. You can do the prep for it the night before, and just do the frying on the morning you’re going to pack it. While frying isn’t the healthiest form of cooking because of the excessive oil, croquettes are easy finger foods for kids. You can shape them into ping pong balls to make them easier to eat. Stuff them with mashed potatoes, tuna, turkey, or other healthy proteins. You can also just stuff them with bechamel and cheese, and your kids are in for a tasty treat!

Always try to put in a juice box and fruit cup into the lunch box apart from the above suggestions. Yogurt and granola bars can also work as a sweet snack. Ask your children what “extras” they’d like in their lunch boxes and keep them healthy!

Wish you could find more healthy recipe ideas for your kids? Need an easy way to feed your kids healthy foods? There is a place with your answers! Check out healthy recipes for kids and begin trying these quick and easy kid friendly, healthy recipes now!