When you are stuck having lunch in the office cafeteria, it can be tough to eat healthy. Here’s what a pair of registered dietitians recommend you pick from the array of food options for a healthier lunch that also keeps you full during a busy day.
Image from mdenison.
Besides the obvious tips to skip foods like greasy pizza or the dessert bar, keep these guidelines in mind when picking what goes on your tray:
- Fill up on veggies. If there’s a salad bar, pile your plate with a flavorful salad that will help keep you full without adding a ton of calories (be wary of fatty dressings). If you’re not in the mood for salad, load up on vegetable side dishes like steamed greens, broccoli, or roasted carrots.
- Be thoughtful with your drink choice. Skip the sugary drinks, like soft drink or juice with added sugar. Water or unsweetened tea are much better options.
- Go for grilled or baked over fried foods. Rather than chicken nuggets or french fries, choose grilled chicken or baked or roasted potatoes.
- Opt for whole grains. Whether you’re picking pasta, rice, or bread, whole grains will help keep you full longer, just remember to keep portion sizes in check.
As with most dishes, you have to be mindful of sauces and toppings that add a lot of fat, sugar, and salt. If you’re talking with your kids about what they should choose for lunch at school, explain why their choices matter and how it will affect them immediately (energy, health, how they feel after lunch) so that they’re more likely to actually make healthy choices since you’re not there to see what they end up eating.