What's inside the nutritionist's lunch box?

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 06 Mar, 2017

Preparing your own lunch can save you a load of money and calories – so it's definitely worth putting in a little extra time and effort. I was nominated to share what's in my lunch box! So here's a typical working day for me...

11am: Mid-morning snack – 252 calories

200g vegetable crudités, 1 light Babybel, 25g pistachios.

(16.4g fat, 3.5g sat fat, 13.7g carbs, 10.8g sugar, 11.7g protein and 0.48g salt)


I like to get in a selection of nutrients and have plenty to nibble on while I work away – so I opt for vegetable crudités, nuts and a Babybel – vitamins, calcium, protein and good fats! This also provides almost 2 and a half of my 5-a-day target and keeps me occupied for ages!

2pm: Lunch – 445 calories

60g dried wholewheat penne pasta, tomato sauce of passata, onions, chilli and herbs, with green pepper, mushrooms and tuna. Served with a handful of fresh spinach and 25g light feta cheese. With 45g red grapes for afters.

(9.9g fat, 2.7g sat fat, 59.4g carbs, 21.8g sugar, 27.6g protein and 1.36g salt)

I try to be pretty good at deciding and preparing my meals in advance so I often batch cook things like pasta, rice or soup to have over a few days – this week was pasta! I always choose wholewheat versions to boost the fibre content and keep me feeling fuller, and throw in lots of veg and healthy protein choices. The addition of spinach and feta helps to boost my iron and calcium intake for the day too.

I have a bit (OK a lot!) of a sweet tooth, so I always need something sweet after my lunch. I try to satisfy it with some fruit – but there are the odd days when only a cup of tea and a biscuit will do (just one of course!).

5pm: Late afternoon snack – 148 calories

A medium apple, 100g low fat plain natural yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

(2.7g fat, 1.6g sat fat, 24.5g carbs, 23.4g sugar, 6.8g protein and 0.49g salt)

I work until 6/6:30pm most days and some days go for a run after work, so I like to have a late-ish snack to refuel. I also don't tend to eat dinner until around 8pm most nights, so I need a later snack to avoid feeling ravenous!

I usually opt for some fruit and yogurt to give me some extra vitamins and also another dose of calcium – especially important for us ladies! I choose plain yogurt and add some cinnamon for flavour to avoid added sugar, which you tend to find in flavoured yogurts. I'll also often have a low cal hot chocolate with the last tea round of the day as a tasty treat to get me through my final hour!

And that's me done until I get home and have something like a curry, bolognese, stir fry or salmon and veg for dinner – with maybe the odd glass of red!


842 calories (leaving plenty of calories for my breakfast and evening meal) 8 portions of fruit and veg :-)

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.