A low-carbohydrate, high-protein lunch may seem daunting if you're trying to find a menu to please everyone in your family. Low-carb meals can be part of a healthy diet, particularly if you are trying to lose weight or following a low-carbohydrate eating plan. As you plan lunches, make it easier to include protein by planning ahead and preparing foods that fit with your tastes and lunchtime schedule. Always check with a doctor before encouraging your kids to eat low-carb.
Preparation and Packing
If you work or go to school, your midday hours can be rushed, which makes it tempting to eat convenient food that may not work with a low-carb, high-protein diet. To make it easier to eat low-carb lunches, prepare ahead of time. Buy sliced deli meat that you can put in salads or sandwiches or cook chicken breasts that you can refrigerate. Choose low-carb veggies such as celery and broccoli and cut them up into finger-food sized pieces. If you will be preparing lunches to take to school or work, pack the foods in a way that will be easy to grab and go: hard plastic containers, for example, or plastic bags that you can pop into your purse.
Meat as a Main Dish
The easiest way to add protein to your lunch without adding many carbs is to use meat. Start with a base of meat: a burger without a bun, for example, or deli meat wrapped around pickles or cheese sticks. You can also make chicken fingers by coating pieces of chicken in spices, such as a ranch seasoning mix, and baking them without adding oil. Instead of high-carb breads, make wraps with the meat and veggies wrapped in low-carb tortillas or even lettuce. At restaurants, get meats grilled or baked without breading to keep carbs down.
Even if you are a vegetarian, you can prepare lunches that are low in carbs and high in protein. Start with a vegetable base to provide healthy, filling bulk: salads are an ideal option that you can load with plenty of vegetables to keep you from getting hungry a few hours after lunch. Add protein with pieces of hard-boiled egg, beans or tofu. You can also throw in cheese and nuts, which have healthy fats and protein that will keep you feeling satisfied longer. If you are eating lunch at a restaurant, hold the croutons, which add carbs. Many salad dressings, such as a creamy southwest chipotle, are only 1 or 2 carbs per serving, so don't think you have to stick with vinegar and oil to eat low-carb.
When you want a filling, comforting meal that will not add too many carbs to your diet, go for soup. Buy soup that is marked as low carb or go for options that are loaded with vegetables. If you want to make your own, start with vegetable broth and add in low-carb vegetables and plenty of meat along with your favorite spices. Soup is filling and healthy, especially when you add in bulky vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
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