FOOD & FITNESS / JAN. 10, 2015
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5 Easy and Healthy Lunches Moms Can Prepare For the Office and Their Children

Eating healthier largely depends on the ingredients and method of preparation used. However, eating healthy should not mean having to give up amazing flavors. You can make healthier meals by using lower fat or non-fat substitutions without cutting down on the taste of your meals. Listed below are five healthy and easy-to-prepare meals that moms can prepare for the office and children at home. There are enough interesting twists on old recipes that will appeal to both children and adults.

Quinoa Salad

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First, rinse out ½ cup of quinoa and mix it in a bowl with 1 cup of water. Microwave the mixture at full heat for at least five minutes. Reduce the heat by 70 percent and set the timer for another five minutes. Prepare ¼ cup of chick peas (rinsed and thoroughly drained), 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of chopped bell paper. Fluff and stir in the microwaved mixture while adding salt and pepper to taste. Use less pepper in children’s salad and add ½ cup of tuna for a healthier meal. 

2. Taco Salad

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To prepare the salad, you need 2 cups of baby spinach, ½ cup of corn, 1 tablespoon of rinsed and drained black peas, 1 chopped scallion and ½ celery stalk (thinly sliced). Prepare the dressing using 1 tablespoon of low-fat yoghurt, ½ teaspoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of ground pepper and 2 tablespoons of salsa. Serve with lightly toasted tortilla strips.

3. Hawaiian Wrap

Dice ¼ cup of pineapple slices and toss together with 1 shredded carrot and 2 cubed slices of deli ham. For the dressing, mix ¼ cup of low-fat yoghurt, ½ teaspoon of caraway seeds and 1 teaspoon of vinegar in a bowl. Dress the vegetables and roll in a wheat wrap, either whole of sliced in half. Add ¼ head of thinly sliced Napa cabbage in the vegetables for a crunchier taste. 

4. Grilled Cheddar and Apple

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Layer 1 slice of cheddar cheese and ½ thinly sliced green apple between 2 slices of bread. Preferably, use cheddar cheese from the deli section at the supermarket and whole-grain bread to ensure a low calorie meal. Spread a teaspoon of deli mustard on each slice of bread and grill in a non-stick pan for 3 minutes until all the cheese is melted. Alternatively, use a panini press to melt the cheese for a richer and creamier taste.

5. Green Tortilla Pizza

Set the broiler to medium heat. On 1 whole-grain tortilla, spread 2 tablespoons of homemade pesto. Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped broccoli, 4 sliced baby mushrooms, a handful of chopped spinach, ½ chopped onion and two tablespoons of mozzarella (part-skim). Broil for 4 minutes or until cheese turns light brown.

Make a habit of preparing your meals at home to help you exercise better control over the food budget, nutritional content and general healthiness of the food. Choose the recipe that works best for you and your family, and allow for reasonable flexibility to ensure that everyone enjoys the meal.

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