If you want to get more calcium and fiber in your diet, try creating a healthy lunch out of a combination of yogurt and oatmeal. Yogurt will give you calcium as well as protein to make your lunch more filling, and oatmeal will provide you with fiber, including a type called beta-glucan which may help you lower your cholesterol.
Make a batch of overnight oats and your meal will be all set to take with you to work by the time you get up in the morning, potentially shaving a few minutes off your morning routine. Simply mix equal parts plain low-fat yogurt, skim milk and rolled oats and add a handful of your favorite fruit and a tiny bit of vanilla and cinnamon. Pack it in a container that travels well and put it in the fridge the night before you want to eat it. Grab it on the way out the door in the morning and store it in the fridge at work until you are ready to enjoy your oats at lunch.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Toast your oats or combine them with other ingredients to make a granola and use this in a fruit and yogurt parfait. Layer your favorite low-fat yogurt with your choice of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and top with the oats. Flavored varieties of yogurt can be high in sugar, so check the nutrition facts label to find the varieties with the least sugar or stick with plain yogurt. Likewise, opt for fruit canned in juice over fruit canned in syrup to limit the amount of added sugar in your meal and keep it healthy.
Oatmeal With a Side of Yogurt
For a very portable and easy lunch, bring a package of instant oatmeal and a container of your favorite low-sugar flavored yogurt with you when you leave the house in the morning. At lunch time, add hot water to make your oatmeal, and either eat it alongside your container of yogurt or top the oatmeal with a dollop of yogurt to add extra flavor and creaminess.
Smoothies make a quick, portable and healthy lunch. Mix your favorite fruits with low-fat yogurt, milk or 100-percent fruit juice and oatmeal for a protein- and fiber-filled meal. Your smoothie will be smoother if you blend the oats into flour or cook them before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. Other add-ins you can include to increase the nutrients in your smoothie include nut butters, spinach or other green leafy vegetables, silken tofu or flax or chia seeds.
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.