Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

7 Healthy Lunches

Here’s a week’s worth of healthy lunch ideas to mix things up and help keep you going the rest of your day. All lunches are under 450 calories, easily fitting into the Daily Recommendations for a Healthy, Balanced Diet.

Depending on your age, sex, and physical activity level, your calorie recommendation may vary. Children and less active adults tend to need fewer calories per day and very active teenagers and adults tend to need more calories per day.

Tip: Eating small, frequent meals (including snacks) is important so adjust your calorie intake by increasing or decreasing your portion sizes at your main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Things to Remember …
Make Half Your Grains Whole
Vary Your Veggies
Focus on Fruits
Consume Calcium-Rich Foods
Go Lean with Protein
Weekly Menu Ideas: This Week's Menu. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org
Day 1

Meal Ingredients Calories/Serving
Lunch Tuna Pasta Salad with Avocado, Watermelon Strawberry Shake, Salad

1 serving Tuna Pasta Salad with Avocado

1 serving Watermelon Strawberry Shake

2 cups green leaf lettuce, bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp mozarrela cheese, part-skim, shredded
½ Tbsp Italian dressing, fat-free

2 cups (16 oz) water
446 Calories

Nutrition Info    
Total Calories: 446
% Fat: 12%
% Saturated Fat: 3%
% Carbohydrate: 67%
% Protein: 23%
Sodium: 529 mg
Cholesterol: 18 mg
Fiber: 8 g
Vitamin A: 49%
Vitamin C: 108%
Calcium: 23%
Grains: 2 ounces
Vegetables: 1 ½ cups
Fruits: 1 ¼ cups
Milk: ½ cup
Meat and Beans: 1 ½ ounces

Day 2

Meal Ingredients Calories/Serving
Lunch Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry with Brown Rice, Cantaloupe

1 serving Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry

1 medium wedge of cantaloupe (1/8 of melon half)

1 cup (8 oz) nonfat milk
446 Calories

Nutrition Info    
Total Calories: 446
% Fat: 18%
% Saturated Fat: 3%
% Carbohydrate: 47%
% Protein: 35%
Sodium: 409 mg
Cholesterol: 75 mg
Fiber: 5 g
Vitamin A: 44%
Vitamin C: 126%
Calcium: 37%
Grains: 1 ounce
Vegetables: 1 cup
Fruits: ½ cup
Milk: 1 cup
Meat and Beans: 3 ounces

Day 3

Meal Ingredients Calories/Serving
Lunch Rainbow Veggie Pocket with Black Beans, Apple and Cottage Cheese

1 serving Rainbow Veggie Pocket
¼ cup black beans, drained and rinsed (add to veggie pocket)

½ apple, diced
1 cup cottage cheese

2 cups (16 oz) water
459 Calories

Nutrition Info    
Total Calories: 459
% Fat: 19%
% Saturated Fat: 4%
% Carbohydrate: 65%
% Protein: 21%
Sodium: 1120 mg
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Fiber: 15 g
Vitamin A: 7%
Vitamin C: 32%
Calcium: 132%
Grains: 2 ounces
Vegetables: 1 ½ cups
Fruits: 1 ¼ cups
Milk: ¼ cup
Meat and Beans: 0 ounces

Day 4

Meal Ingredients Calories/Serving
Lunch Clementine, Raisin and Goat Cheese Salad, Tomato Juice, Rye Crisp Bread

1 serving Clementine, Raisin and Goat Cheese Sandwich (without bread)
2 cups mixed greens chopped

1 rye crisp bread, no fat added

1 cup (8 oz) tomato juice, low-sodium
443 Calories

Nutrition Info    
Total Calories: 443
% Fat: 31%*
% Saturated Fat: 10%
% Carbohydrate: 58%
% Protein: 14%
Sodium: 277 mg
Cholesterol: 29 mg
Fiber: 8 g
Vitamin A: 76%
Vitamin C: 111%
Calcium: 30%
Grains: ½ ounce
Vegetables: 2 cups
Fruits: 1 cup
Milk: ¾ cups
Meat and Beans: ½ ounce

*Ways to Reduce the Fat: Skip adding the walnuts or reduce the amount of goat cheese used.

Day 5

Meal Ingredients Calories/Serving
Lunch Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili, Applesauce

1 Serving Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
1 Tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 slices avocado

1 cup applesauce, unsweetened

1 cup (8 oz) nonfat milk
449 Calories

Nutrition Info    
Total Calories: 449
% Fat: 24%
% Saturated Fat: 6%
% Carbohydrate: 64%
% Protein: 18%
Sodium: 471 mg
Cholesterol: 12 mg
Fiber: 11 g
Vitamin A: 49%
Vitamin C: 2%
Calcium: 43%
Grains: ½ ounce
Vegetables: 1 cup
Fruits: 1 cup
Milk: 1 ¼ cups
Meat and Beans: 0 ounces

Day 6

Meal Ingredients Calories/Serving
Lunch Blueberry Shrimp Salad, Banana Raspberry Smoothie, Popcorn

1 serving Blueberry Shrimp Salad

1 serving Banana Raspberry Smoothie

2 cups microwave popcorn, low-fat and low-sodium
447 Calories

Nutrition Info    
Total Calories: 447
% Fat: 42%*
% Saturated Fat: 7%
% Carbohydrate: 41%
% Protein: 21%
Sodium: 596 mg
Cholesterol: 117 mg
Fiber: 11 g
Vitamin A: 27%
Vitamin C: 52%
Calcium: 22%
Grains: ½ ounce
Vegetables: ½ cup
Fruits: 1 ¼ cups
Milk: ½ cup
Meat and Beans: 2 ½ ounces

*Ways to Reduce the Fat: Use less oil in the dressing or serve the dressing on the side and dip individual bites to reduce total fat.

Day 7

Meal Ingredients Calories/Serving
Lunch Apple Turkey Gyro, Sunshine Salad, Cucumber Citrus Salad

1 serving Apple Turkey Gyro

1 serving Sunshine Salad

1 serving Cucumber Citrus Salad

1 cup (8 oz) nonfat milk
443 Calories

Nutrition Info    
Total Calories: 443
% Fat: 12%
% Saturated Fat: 2%
% Carbohydrate: 72%
% Protein: 22%
Sodium: 673 mg
Cholesterol: 27 mg
Fiber: 11 g
Vitamin A: 39%
Vitamin C: 215%
Calcium: 41%
Grains: 2 ounces
Vegetables: 1 ½ cups
Fruits: 1 ¼ cups
Milk: 1 cup
Meat and Beans: 1 ounce

Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to determine your daily calorie recommendation.
Weekly Menu Ideas: Daily Recommendations for a Healthy, Balanced Diet. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

  • Protein: 10-35%
  • Carbohydrates: 45-65%
  • Fats: 20-35%
  • Saturated fat: <10% of calories
  • Total fat: <35% of calories (unless naturally occurring)
  • Cholesterol: <300 mg
  • Sodium: <2,300 mg*
  • Fiber: 28g/2,000 calories
  • Water: 64 oz/day

*Further reduce intake of sodium to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 or older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

Back to Menu

This Week’s Healthy Menu Idea Archive

Fruit and Vegetable Recipe Search
Fruit & Vegetable Database
Getting Kids to Help You in the Kitchen
Ask The Expert About Fruits and Vegetables

Other Stories