Whether you're trying to maintain your weight, lose a few pounds or help your family eat more healthfully, set calorie meal plans can help you achieve your goals. A 1400-calorie daily meal plan should include balanced, nutritious foods you and your family enjoys. Explore some sample meals that can help you meet your daily calorie goal and adjust menus to suit your own nutritional needs and food preferences.
Serve around 400 calories for breakfast, including a combination of complex carbohydrates and low-fat proteins for sustained energy. Use breakfast as a way to get at least one of the five daily recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. For example, the morning meal might be a cup of low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup of whole-grain cereal and an orange or peach. You could also make a simple smoothie on mornings when you're pressed for time by blending a cup of frozen berries, a banana, and low-fat milk or soy milk.
Like breakfast, lunch should contain about 400 calories. Plan portable lunches you can take to work or pack in a school lunch. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich with 1 or 2 tbsp. of peanut butter and 1 tbsp. of fruit preserves spread on whole-grain bread makes a great meal that packs in 300 to 400 calories. For another easy low-calorie lunch option, stuff a few lean deli turkey slices into a whole-wheat pita pocket with light salad dressing, lettuce and tomato. A serving of baby carrots or cucumber slices and a piece of fruit turn a sandwich into a satisfying meal.
For a simple, but tasty dinner, try a veggie burger on a whole-wheat bun with a slice of low-fat cheese or a 5-oz. grilled pork chop. Serve your main course with a large side of mixed greens tossed with a small amount of light dressing to make you feel more full and a small baked potato topped with a pat of margarine. Other nutritious simple side dishes include roasted potatoes, steamed veggies or whole-wheat rolls.
Snacks and Desserts
Plan a few healthy snacks to keep hunger under control between meals. Try celery sticks dipped in 1 tbsp. of peanut butter, apple slices or a handful of raw almonds, which each clock in under 150 calories. If the dinner menu includes dessert, cut an apple in half and microwave it with a tsp. of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon for a low-calorie treat. Other dessert options for your 1400-calorie meal plan include a square of dark chocolate, a cup of mixed fruit, or 1/2 cup of fat-free frozen yogurt.
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