Do you skip lunch from time to time? You’re not alone – one in three Australians are not eating lunch every day, according to the Subway Aussie Lunchtime Habits Poll. Accredited Practicing Dietician Kate Di Prima says by making subtle changes in your diet at lunchtime, you can create positive habits for your health and wellbeing.

Kate shares five easy ways to make lunch count:

1. If you can’t make it out of the office
Have a desk drawer or locker stash of food. Store nuts, seeds, canned soups, microwaveable rice cups, canned tuna and salmon and individual tubs of chopped fruit in juice. That way, if you can’t make it out of the office you can still eat something nutritious.

2. Lunchtime is perfect for leftovers
If you do take a packed lunch, it’s easy to re-invent your dinner from the night before. Use leftover meat like chicken, beef or lamb, slice and place into rolls, pita or wraps and add salad. Or cut the meat into strips and add a hard-boiled egg, a handful of cherry tomatoes and a few celery sticks. If you can cook an extra steak or chicken fillet for dinner, it can be easily transformed for lunch the next day by adding some coleslaw or rice salad for a healthy midday meal.

3. Not all fast foods are created equal
If you’re buying lunch go for a wrap, some sushi or a sandwich with lean meat to keep control over kilojoules, and add as many fresh salad fillings as you can. A standard Subway Six-Inch Sub includes 84 grams, or over one cup of salad vegetables, including lettuce, capsicum, cucumber, onion and tomato, which provides over one serve of an adult’s daily “2&5”.

4. Get out – it’s good for your sanity
Do yourself a favour and don’t eat lunch at your desk. Take a break and eat lunch with a friend, or enjoy lunch outside. If your time is limited, eat a quick lunch and power walk around the block. Getting a little exercise will boost your energy and up your productivity for the afternoon.

5. If you do miss lunch
Don’t overindulge at dinner – it’s not a great time to be stacking up on kilojoules and big portions which can cause bloating and fullness which isn’t great before bed.  Try and squeeze in a healthy snack before dinner, like some vegetable sticks and hummus or a couple of crackers with cheese – that way you won’t be tempted to go for inflated portions.

Share your favourite lunch ideas in the comments!