All Posts

3 Healthy Lunches Under 400 Calories

January 18, 2021
8 min. read

Healthy Meal Plan Sandwiches

If you’re like the millions of other Americans who have set new year’s resolutions to eat heathier, lose weight, work out more, or to achieve some other self-improvement related goal, you may be looking for creative tips and ideas to help you accomplish this.

Enter: our healthy meal planner. In this blog, you’ll find a list of tools and resources to help you set your nutrition goals for the year, a selection of nutritious lunch options under 400 calories, and additional recipes to help customize your daily meal plan to suit your personal needs.

 

Tips for Building Your Custom Meal Plan

  • Start off with a calorie calculator like this one from verywellfit.com to determine your ideal daily calorie intake based on your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level.
  • Find an app or website like eatthismuch.com that includes a recipes generator to build out your daily meal plan. Simply plug in your target calorie range, select the number of meals you prefer to eat each day (including snacks), and any special diets, if applicable, such as paleo or Mediterranean, then generate a custom meal plan for the day. You can also use this tool as inspiration to think up your own meal ideas.
  • Alternately, you can use a recipe nutrition analyzer to determine the calorie and nutrient amounts for your favorite recipes. Just enter the recipe ingredients and serving size, then hit “analyze” to learn about the recipe.
  • Keep track of your daily meals in a food log or using an app such as myfitnesspal.com, which allows you to look up recipes and ingredients (via search or a barcode scan) and then save them to your daily food diary along with the respective calorie amounts and nutritional breakdowns.
  • Tools like the one above can also serve as a helpful guide to learn more about the nutrition facts of individual ingredients. For example, maybe after seeing the calorie or fat amount, you choose to eliminate the extra slice of cheese from your favorite breakfast dish, or you realize just how many calories that soda with dinner adds to your daily intake.

Eggplant and Mozzarella Sandwich

 

Healthful Foods and Ingredients

With a few practice rounds using the above resources and guidelines, you’ll soon be able to estimate and predict which meals will fill you up longer and keep you in your preferred range to achieve your health goals!

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of food you are eating. Candy and sweets might give you an initial boost of energy, but they likely won’t keep you full for very long. Instead, consider incorporating foods that contain beneficial nutrients like vitamins and minerals, protein, and fiber. To learn more, check out these 16 Essential Nutrients to Help Fuel Your Body from Head to Toe.

Here are some of healthful foods to consider incorporating into your diet (source):

  • Whole Grains (e.g., Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread, which contains 15 grams of whole grain per serving, plus B vitamins and calcium.)
  • Leafy Greens like kale and spinach are low in calories, high in many vitamins and minerals, and keep you feeling full longer.
  • Lean Meats can be a healthy way to incorporate more protein into your diet.
  • Fish like tuna and salmon are high in protein and other beneficial nutrients.
  • Beans and Legumes are high in protein and fiber, helping you to feel full longer.
  • Low-Fat Dairy like cottage cheese and yogurt are high in protein and a good source of calcium.
  • Nuts and Seeds contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
  • Fruits and Vegetables contain a host of various vitamins and minerals, while also keeping you hydrated and feeling full longer due to their low energy density.

 

Here’s a sneak peek of some nutritional callouts from this week’s featured recipes! Scroll down to find out more and to learn how to make them!
 

 

3 Healthy Lunch Ideas Under 400 Calories

Chickpea Spinach Sandwich

Use the tips and resources listed above to build out your own daily meal routine. Here are some healthy lunch ideas to get you started, along with corresponding nutritional benefits and sample meal plans. Choose the option that’s right for you, or feel free to mix and match to create your own perfect plan!

Eggplant & Mozzarella Sandwich – 266 calories

Eggplant and Mozzarella Sandwich

This yummy sandwich swaps the meat for hearty roasted eggplant to create a vegetarian masterpiece that is packed full of healthy veggies, a moderate amount of cheese, and yet plenty of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 Slices Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread (160 calories)
  • 1 Round Slice Medium Eggplant (20 calories)
  • 1 Ounce Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (80 calories)
  • Olive Oil, for drizzling (optional)
  • Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • ½ Cup Arugula (3 calories)
  • 1 Medium Slice Tomato (3 calories)

Recipe Instructions:

https://potatorolls.com/recipes/eggplant-mozzarella-sandwich/

Nutritional Benefits

  1. Eggplant is low in calories, high in antioxidants, and provides nutrients like fiber, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, and thiamine.
  2. Mozzarella cheese is a good source of calcium and provides niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, and vitamin B6.
  3. Tomatoes provide a good source of vitamin C, as well as vitamins A and K, and potassium.
  4. Arugula is high in fiber and low in sugar, calories, carbs, and fat. It also contains calcium, potassium, vitamins C, K, A, and B, and may even help with bad breath!

 

Roasted Red Pepper & Chickpea Sandwich – 368 Calories

Chickpea Spinach Sandwich

This craveable panini utilizes chickpeas—the main ingredient of popular dip spread, hummus—as the primary protein. With the accompaniment of aromatic ingredients like onion, roasted red peppers, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice, along with several other nutrient-rich veggies, this could likely become your new go-to lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 Slices Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread (160 calories)
  • ½ Cup Chopped Chickpeas (135 calories)
  • ¼ Cup Diced Onion, divided (12 calories)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Celery (1 calorie)
  • 2 Tablespoons Roasted Red Peppers (10 calories)
  • ½ Cup Fresh Spinach (4 calories)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (3 calories)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (3 calories)
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil (40 calories)

Recipe Instructions:

https://potatorolls.com/recipes/roasted-red-pepper-chickpea-sandwich/

Nutritional Benefits

  1. Celery is low in calories and rich in vitamins A, K, and C, as well as minerals potassium and folate. It also contains fiber, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Red Peppers are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin K, folate, potassium, fiber, and vitamin A.
  3. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which helps improve digestion and aids in weight management.
  4. Onions are low in calories and high in vitamins C and B, as well as potassium.
  5. Spinach is low in calories and packed with nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, and folate.

 

Roast Beef Garden Sandwich – 292 Calories per serving

Roast Beef Garden Sandwich

Health tip: start with your favorite lean protein like roast beef, then pile on fun veggie-filled toppings like a broccoli-corn-cucumber salad tossed with spicy horseradish mayo. With plenty of filling ingredients and bold flavors, you won’t miss the usual slice of cheese or full-fat condiments.

Ingredients (2 Servings)

  • Sandwich:
    • 4 Slices Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread (160 calories per 2 slices)
    • ¼ Pound Deli Roast Beef, thinly sliced (78 calories per serving)
    • ¼ Cup Fresh Broccoli, chopped (4 calories per serving)
    • ¼ Cup Frozen Corn, thawed (8 calories per serving)
    • ¼ Cup Cucumber, seeded, peeled, and chopped (2 calories per serving)
    • 2 Tablespoons Shredded Carrot (3 calories per serving)
    • 2 Tablespoons Celery, finely chopped (1 calorie per serving)
    • 2 Tablespoons Green Onion, thinly sliced (2 calories per serving)
  • Dressing:
    • 1 ½ Teaspoons Prepared Horseradish (2 calories per serving)
    • 1 ½ Teaspoons Mayonnaise (23 calories per serving)
    • 1 ½ Teaspoons Reduced-Fat Sour Cream (9 calories per serving)
    • ½ Teaspoon Dijon Mustard (1 calorie per serving)
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions:

https://potatorolls.com/recipes/roast-beef-garden-sandwich

Nutritional Benefits

  1. Roast beef is a fairly lean protein that also provides a good source of B vitamins and iron.
  2. Broccoli is high in many nutrients including fiber, vitamins C and K, iron, and potassium.
  3. Horseradish contains antioxidants, antibacterial properties, and may also help to relieve colds by clearing up sinuses.
  4. Cucumber provides vitamins K, B, and C, potassium, magnesium, and helps with hydration.
  5. Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants.
  6. Corn is high in fiber and contains B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron.

 

Roast Beef Garden Sandwich

 

Mix & Match Meal Planner

Instructions:  Pick one recipe from each of the first 3 columns, then supplement with as many light snacks or sides as needed to reach your daily calorie goal.

Healthy Breakfasts
(Pick 1)
Healthy Lunches
(Pick 1)
Healthy Dinners
(Pick 1)
Healthy Snacks/Sides
(Pick as many as necessary)
Veggie Frittata Breakfast Bake
= 373 kcal
Eggplant & Mozzarella Sandwich
= 266 kcal
Pork Medallions with Fennel-Apple Slaw
= 406 kcal
¼ cup Mixed Nuts – 170 kcal

1 Banana (medium) – 89 kcal

1 Stalk Celery – 6 kcal

1 Cup Carrots – 52 kcal

6 oz. Plain Yogurt – 100 kcal

1 Cup Blueberries – 84 kcal

1 Apple – 80 kcal
4-Egg White Omelette + Whole Wheat Toast
= 269 kcal
Roasted Red Pepper & Chickpea Sandwich
= 368 kcal
Healthy Caesar Salad
= 461 kcal
Spinach and Feta Greek Egg Bake
= 292 kcal
Roast Beef Garden Sandwich
= 292 kcal
Fennel and Sausage Stuffed Peppers
= 396 kcal

*kcal = kilocalories, or food calories
 

Chickpea Spinach Sandwich

Good Luck!
 


 

Sources:


The information provided on this website should not be regarded as medical advice or used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. This information is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified medical professional. A licensed and qualified medical professional should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Any links to other sites on this website are provided for information only – such links do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. See also our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy regarding use of this website.

Our latest content, delivered straight to your inbox.

Be the first to hear about our newest recipes, tips, and company updates!