Fondation Olo | Exemple d'un repas équilibré | Un dîner équilibré
1 May 2018

Examples of a balanced lunch

During the week, people often bring their lunch to work. So, naturally, lunch often includes foods that are fast to make, like leftovers, a frozen home-cooked meal, a main dish salad or a sandwich. It’s still important to make sure that your lunch is properly balanced, so you make it through the afternoon. 


Here are some examples of simple, balanced meals.


A balanced and nutritious lunch includes:

One food from each food group:

  • A protein food

Examples: chicken, lentils, tofu, beans, pork, tuna, salmon, shrimp, nuts, cheese, veggie pâté, yogourt, milk, etc.


  • A grain product

Choose whole grains where possible, because they make you feel fuller longer.

Examples: bread, pasta, rice, couscous, bagel, crackers, muffin, etc.


  • A vegetable

Examples: carrot, tomato, pepper, cucumber, celery, etc.


  • A fruit

Examples: banana, apple, orange, grapes, fruit compote, dried fruit, tomato, asparagus, etc.


  • A glass of milk or milk alternative

Examples: yogourt or fortified soy beverage


You can also have some water to make sure you stay hydrated.



Examples of a balanced lunch

Sandwich with salmon spread


A sandwich is made up of bread and toppings. But there are many possible combinations.

  • Vary your bread: tortilla wrap, pita, baguette, sliced bread, bagel, English muffin, hamburger bun, etc.

Choose whole grains where possible, because they make you feel fuller longer.

  • Choose protein-based toppings: eggs, chicken, tuna, cheese, hummus, veggie pâté, lunch meat, tofu, etc.

Protein will help you feel full until your next meal or snack.

  • For a balanced meal, accompany your sandwich with cut vegetables, a salad or soup. You can even add slices of apple or pear to your sandwich for a little sweet crunch.
  • For dessert, choose yogourt or a milk- or soy-based pudding.





Vegetable soup


Soups can take on all kinds of different flavours, depending on the foods, herbs and spices that go into it. It’s also a perfect way to use up fading veggies. 

  • For a complete meal, make sure to add some kind of protein like chicken or lentils, or serve the soup with hard-boiled eggs or some cheese.
  • To round off your meal, you can add leftover rice or pasta right into the soup, or serve the soup with bread or crackers.
  • Finish your lunch with a milk-based dessert, or some fruit and a glass of fortified soy beverage.





Other “on the go” lunch ideas

  • A main dish salad with yogourt:
    • Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pepper, carrot, celery, etc.
    • Canned fish, grilled chicken, beans, marinated tofu, etc.
    • Rice, couscous, quinoa, macaroni or other types of short pasta
  • Cut vegetables and crackers with a tofu spread, cheese and fruit
  • Pasta with a meat sauce, a piece of fruit and some cheese
  • Leftovers from the day before, with a fruit smoothie


Writing: Fondation Olo
Scientific review : Lyson Gélinas, nutritionist, Dt.P., M.Sc.

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