Skip the fast food, try these healthier options

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It's easy to just grab a quick snack from the vending machine at work, or run out for fast food on your lunch break.

But a rushed lunch can easily lead to poor food choices.

Linda McLean with Weight Watches stopped by FOX8 to go over some tips that will get you eating a healthy lunch in no time at all.

And we’re going to show you two make-ahead recipes that you can grab or put together just before heading out the door.

1. Shop savvy: When you’re out shopping, there a few things you can do to help you make sure you always have a healthy lunch ready to go. First, stock up on containers of various shapes and sizes to accommodate different food types and servings. Just make sure they are microwave safe. Next, invest in a collapsible cooler or tote that can hold hot and cold items. Last, when you’re at the grocery store, think Power Foods- an apple and a cheese stick, individual serving of peanut butter and celery, Greek Yogurt and your favorite berries. Bananas and oranges are the ultimate "prepackaged" fruits.

2. Hydrate: Don't forget to pack beverages. Flavored seltzer waters, vitamin waters, and diet sodas come in their own cans and bottles. Or bring your own concoction such as iced herbal teas and fruit smoothies in a reusable beverage bottle designed for that purpose. This way, you’ll not only save on empty calories, but you’ll save yourself some extra dollars as well.

3. Cook smart: Make-ahead meals are a great way to be sure that you always have a healthy lunch at your disposal. Make a batch of soup on Sunday, divvy it up into portion-controlled containers for workday lunches, and pop them into the freezer. (Remember to leave room at the top of the container for expansion.) Other good make-ahead dishes that keep well include healthy dips, such as hummus and chicken breast to use in sandwiches and on top of salads. Here, we have a delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup that’s creamy without the extra fat and calories.

Broccoli Cheese Soup


2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup(s) uncooked onion(s), minced
16 oz frozen chopped broccoli
29 oz canned chicken broth
4 oz low fat cheddar or colby cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup(s) fat free skim milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup(s) water
1/4 cup(s) cornstarch

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes, until soft. Add broccoli and broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 3 minutes, until broccoli is tender.

2. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and stir until cheese melts; stir in milk and garlic powder.

3. Whisk together water and cornstarch. Add mixture to pan and simmer 2 minutes, until thick. Serve hot. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

Pasta Primavera
Combine cooked whole-wheat pasta with roasted, chopped tomatoes, peppers, and/or onions. Sprinkle with chopped fresh Italian herbs and fat-free shredded mozzarella. To boost up the flavor, try adding in crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and/or minced garlic.

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