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Lighten Lunch! 7 Ideas for Fast, Waist-Friendly Lunches

Healthier Lunch Ideas

By the time lunch rolls around, you’re hungry for something filling, but delicious. Try 7 lighter options, a guilt-free way to fill your belly fast AND satisfy your taste buds.

Contributed By:
Sarah Caron

Back when I worked in an office, we had a great cafeteria that made delicious paninis, amazing pizzas and more. The only problem? It was definitely not waist-friendly. In fact, I’d call it the antithesis of healthy. They used melted butter by the ladleful!

The solution? Bring my own lunch. Yes, it was tough to resist the pull of crunchy onion rings or their salad pizza, but it was the only way to ensure my waist (and wallet) remained intact.

Now that I work at home, I have the luxury of being able to make lunch whenever I want – and it can involve cooking. But let’s be real here: most days, I barely have time to brush my hair, let alone make an elaborate lunch.

These 7 easy ideas to lighten up your lunch are fast, flavorful and realistic. You might just forget you’re eating healthier!

Easy and Fast

1. Easy and Fast

Pack a Nature Valley® bar (I’m partial to the Peanut Butter flavor), a Yoplait® yogurt (hello, calcium!) and a banana. Done!


2. Parfait in a Jiffy

Yoplait® yogurt, ½ cup Fiber One® Honey Clusters, ½ cup strawberries. Layer it and enjoy!

Progresso Clam Chowder

3. Comfort on Cool Days

Progresso® Light New England Clam Chowder (only 100 calories per serving—200 in the whole can!) with a slice of whole grain toast and an apple.

Cascadian Farms Stir-Fry

4. Stir-Fry in a Flash

1 cup Cascadian Farms® Chinese-Style Stirfry Blend, 3 oz precooked, sliced chicken breast, ½ cup cooked white rice, 1 tbsp teriyaki glaze. To make this, simply heat the veggies and chicken and toss with the teriyaki glaze. Serve over rice. Make the night before if brown bagging.

Progresso Sante Fe Chicken

5. Super Southwest

Progresso® Zesty Santa Fe Style Chicken soup, one serving tortilla chips (don’t go overboard) and ¼ cup salsa.

Turkey Sandwich

6. High-Impact Sandwich

2 slices whole grain bread, 2 oz turkey deli meat, 1 oz Swiss cheese, 1 slice bacon (cooked), ½ avocado (sliced), 2 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce, 1 slice tomato. Layer the turkey, Swiss, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato on the bread and enjoy!

Pasta Salad

7. Might Make-Ahead Pasta

½ lb small pasta shells, 1 cup Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic (minced), ½ cup feta cheese and salt and pepper. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente, adding the frozen spinach to the water during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain. Heat olive oil and sauté garlic for 1 minute. Toss the pasta and spinach with the olive oil and garlic, feta, salt and pepper. Serve hot or chilled.

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