Monday, September 19, 2011

Ask Us Anything: How Can I Add Variety to My Bagged Lunches?

"I eat the same thing for lunch every day - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a 100-calorie snack pack and a banana. I'm tired of this routine and am looking for healthy foods that I can bring to work without any preparation needed (i.e. no microwave or toaster oven). Do you have any suggestions on lunches that are both healthy and filling?"

Registered Dietitian Amy Julicher Responds:

Adding variety to your daily meals is not only healthy, but can be done with relative ease.

Instead of a sandwich, try small whole wheat pita pockets. Stuff them with turkey or tuna, veggies (cole slaw mix, sliced mushrooms and peppers, mixed lettuces all work well) and a dollop of lite mayo or hummus.

Low fat cottage cheese mixed with fruit and served with wheat crackers and baby carrots is another option.

Change up your fruit choice as well; substitute the banana with other fruits such as apples, pears, plums, nectarines and oranges. Prepared fruit cups in natural juice (avoid syrup) are also a healthy and easy alternative.

Incorporating foods such as vegetables, low fat yogurt, low fat cheeses, hummus, and high fiber breads or crackers will still give you the nutrients your body needs while preventing you from getting bored with your routine.

If meal planning continues to be a challenge, you may wish to speak with a Registered Dietitian who can assist you with creating healthy meals that include a variety of different foods.

— Amy Julicher, Clinical Nutrition Manager at Sisters Hospital

Amy Julicher graduated from Buffalo State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and became a Registered Dietitian shortly after. She has worked as a staff dietitian at Sisters Hospital and as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at Mercy Hospital. She currently holds the position of Clinical Nutrition Manager at Sisters Hospital. She is married with two children and lives in Buffalo.

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