A lesson in healthy lunches, courtesy CTMC
By CANDICE BRUSUELAS
Central Texas Medical Center’s monthly Healthy Cooking Demo took place last week and gave us some insight into making healthy lunches, for both kids and adults. Clinical dietitian Stephanie Burns hosted the demonstration, giving healthy food options with which we can build ourselves a balanced and energizing lunch.
Some suggested whole grain options included whole wheat bread, whole grain crackers, a whole wheat wrap and quinoa. Burns made quinoa with low-sodium vegetable broth and suggested using it in wraps or mixing with meat and veggies. Suggested protein options included turkey, ham, tuna or chicken salad, boiled eggs, smoked salmon, hummus or nuts. Vegetables included spinach, bell peppers, tomato and red onion. Fruits included apple, orange, pear, grapes, berries or a fruit cup. A dairy item or treat is considered optional according to the handout Burns passed around, but include low-fat milk products, soy milk and almond milk; and for treat options, a piece of dark chocolate, fruit leather, a granola bar or trail mix.
Water is also essential to a healthy work or school day and Burns reminded those at the demo to make sure to drink enough, not only with lunch, but throughout the day.
Instead of making these in the morning before work, Burns recommends making and preparing these healthy foods the night before, and preparing ingredients that can be made into various lunch dishes can add variety to your lunches with minimal effort.
Here are a couple of Burns’ recipes, one for a chicken salad, to incorporate into a sandwich or eat with crackers; and a hummus recipe.