Aim for half of your plate (2 good handfuls) of lower starch vegetables. This is everything apart from potatoes and kumara.
Have enough protein! Aim for at least 20g of protein (palm size), this can come from foods such as meat, fish, chicken, eggs, pulses, tofu, nuts and seeds. If you don’t have enough, you maybe be more likely to get the 3pm sugar munchies.
Carbohydrates! How much you need depends on how active you are, but there is always value to having at least some as part of your lunch. Focus on a wholegrains or starchy vegetables such as potato or kumara for example.
Healthy fats! This includes things such as nuts, seeds and avocado. This can also help beat those 3pm sugar cravings.
Soup - An easy, nourishing and affordable lunch and is great as you can make a batch on the weekend, ready for the week ahead! Use veggies that are available/in season. Remember that a plain vegetable soup will not keep you full all afternoon. Make it more filling by adding in things like barley or pulses. Make sure you have enough protein overall too. Having a couple of wholegrain crackers with hummus, tuna, a mashed boiled egg or cottage cheese are some ideas.
Leftovers - These are great for a portable lunch the next day. Be sure to make sure you are getting enough veggies, add extra frozen veggies into left over mince for example
Sandwiches/wraps - Make sure your bread is grainy! It can also be difficult to get 2 handfuls of veggies into a sandwich. You may need to have a carrot, capsicum, cucumber or tomato on the side depending what is in season.
Salads - Can sometimes lack carbohydrate or healthy fats which can make you super hungry at 3pm! To achieve a balanced salad, you could add either roasted starchy vegetables, chickpeas, brown rice, or crackers. You can also add nuts, seeds, and avocado for healthy fats.
Crackers - Can be a really good base for lunch. Choose a wholegrain option e.g. vita wheats or corn thins. Avoid the flaky, greasy crackers like snax or meal mates. You could add sliced tomato, avocado, cottage cheese on top of your crackers.