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How can I plan my breakfast and lunch?

Q: I am a software professional from India but nowadays I am in London for a year. I make my own dinner here, but breakfast and lunch I am not able to eat the way I used to in India due to lack of time and cooking issues here. Could you suggest me what could be the best diet in breakfast and lunch that is energetic and also nutritious. Due to improper diet in day time I feel weak in the evening time. Currently I am having a glass of milk and corn flakes in breakfast and a sandwich in lunch.

A:Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The name itself means you are breaking an overnight fast and need to replenish your bodys energy stores. This meal should provide about one quarter of your total daily nutrition requirements so you can be at peak performance at work. Without a good breakfast, you may become sleepy in the late morning, lose energy, and even lose the ability to perform mental tasks. People who eat breakfast are also more likely to eat well at lunch and consume a more balanced diet overall. But the time crunch on busy work mornings is undeniable. The solution? Make your breakfast the night before, when you are already around the kitchen. Then store it in the refrigerator and cook / reheat it in the morning while youre getting ready to go. Like an omelette. You could mix all the ingredients the night before, and simply pour it onto a pan. While it’s cooking your toast could get done at the same time too. Top it off with a huge glass of orange juice instead of coffee. Or just make your upma or poha the night before and pack it in a microwavable box. Pop it in the oven in the morning and you'll have a piping hot breakfast in minutes. You can be creative. Breakfast doesn't have to be eggs and toast. Think about eating what appeals to you in the morning. A simple pasta, chicken and fruit salad would be an excellent breakfast. Try a sandwich or baked tortilla / nacho chips with some salsa and cheese. Remember to plan ahead. Think about the whole week when youre planning shopping lists. Dinner leftovers can be transformed into breakfast foods - an extra cooked chicken breast can be used in an omelette, or made into a sandwich with quick breads. Leftover croutons, cooked pasta, or toasted bread can be used. Ideally, lunch should include 2 to 3 servings of fruits and/or vegetables; one serving of low-fat milk, curd or cheese; one or two servings from the grain group; one serving from the meat group; and one small treat for added pleasure. A sandwich, although not perfect is a good way to include many of the food groups. Add some fruit and low-fat milk/ lassi/ chaas as the beverage, and you're well on your way to a balanced meal. If morning is hectic at your house, try packing lunches while you are clearing away supper. When preparing fresh fruits and vegetables for dinner, place some in containers for use in lunches the next day. Here’s a few ways you can add value to your simple lunch.

  • Add cucumber, carrot or raddish strips to your lunch box.
  • Use spinach, tomatoes and sprouts in sandwiches instead of lettuce
  • Include one fresh fruit and one fresh vegetable in all lunches
  • Pack a low-fat pasta salad or vegetable salad with low-fat dressing
  • Pack leftovers from your healthy dinner
  • Make sandwiches on different breads, muffins, or pita pockets. Load up with veggies.

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