Healthia Moments Lunch

A pleasing balance

A balanced lunch includes a wide variety of healthy foods in specific proportions. It may seem a little complicated, but creating a menu is simply combining items from the following food groups:

  • Vegetables;
  • Cereals (rice, pasta, pulses, potatoes or bread);
  • Proteins (meat, fish or eggs);
  • Fresh fruit and/or low-fat dairy products;
  • A beverage, preferably water.

Too many foodstuffs for a single meal? You just have to choose a few and combine them properly with a sprinkle of enthusiasm. Seeing a couple of examples will make it much clearer.

Menu 1
Starter: salad.
Main course: fish with side servings of wild rice and roast potatoes.
Dessert: a fresh fruit salad.
Accompanied by: wholemeal bread and water.

Menu 2
Starter: spiral pasta (or another type of pasta) with tomato.
Main course: roast chicken with a green side salad.
Dessert: pineapple.
Accompanied by: wholemeal bread and water.

The trick is to combine foods with flair. So, when choosing a starter (or first course) of salad or vegetables, the side serving for the second course can be starchy. And vice versa. In other words, if your first course is a cereal, the side dish for the second course should be vegetables.

Five golden tips

1. Protein. It is vital to moderate your protein consumption (meat, fish and eggs). This food group should be another component in the menu, not the main ingredient. Remember that we tend to eat too much protein.
That is why when you order a second course or a main that is meat-, fish- or egg-based, it is preferable for the starter to be fresh, raw or cooked vegetables with no dressing or seasoning from an animal source. For example, if as a second course you feel like having a filet of meat or fish, it is better to accompany it with vegetables than with a salad of chicken, egg or tuna.
2. Vegetables. We need to eat a daily minimum of two portions of vegetables, since they provide us with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. The ideal solution is for both lunch and dinner to include a generous portion from this healthy food group.
3. Cereals. It is also a good idea to have three portions of cereals or wholegrain derivatives every day. That is why it is important that lunch include a whole cereal, such as some slices of wholemeal bread or a wholegrain cereal on the side.
4. Fat-free. Opting for simple dishes, or those made with little fat, is preferable. So go for foods cooked on the grill, in the oven or steamed. Keep fried foods or dishes made with sauce for occasional consumption.
5. Water. Water is the healthiest drink. Make sure it is always on the table.
At Healthia hotels you have the chance to put all these tips into practice because vegetable-based starters, lean meats or fish cooked with little fat, wholegrain cereals and fresh fruit will always be readily available. 

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