Easy But Healthy Lunch Ideas

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The topic I chose to write about is Easy But Healthy Lunch Ideas. I thought about this topic because I am very much concerned about how to make my kids eat healthier.

These easy and healthy lunch ideas have saved me time and money. I use them for myself, but also for my kids. They are a lifesaver when making lunches for the kids on busy mornings. Enjoy your lunches and send these healthy lunch ideas to a friend or family member who could use some help in the kitchen.

Easy But Healthy Lunch Ideas

Your on the go lunch gets a whole lot easier once you get into the habit of batch cooking and strategic prepping, and it gets a lot more fun too when you start throwing together outside-the-box combinations. And when you pack up your lunch in a lightweight, durable container that cuts down on single-use plastic—plus it holds your sandwich together, keeps your salad in perfect condition, and fits your other lunch foods just right—your midday meal hits new levels of deliciousness. Here’s some inspiration:

Salad Lunch on the Go

Healthy salads are easy to put together quickly, especially when you’ve prepped lunch ingredients ahead of time:

  • Chopped Greek salad: The beauty of chopped salad is that it’s often filled with sturdy veggies (cucumbers, olives, tomatoes) that won’t quickly wilt if you have to duck into a meeting halfway through lunch. Pump up the protein here with some canned beans, grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, or chunks of seared tofu.
  • Roasted cauliflower kale salad: This easy roasted-veggie salad is a true standout thanks to the intensely flavorful dressing drizzled over the kale. A sprinkle of sunflower seeds on top echoes the nutty sauce, but you can sub in another crunchy option, such as toasted pecans or pine nuts.
  • Grilled fruit mix-ins, including pineapple and even avocado, are an unusual and delicious way to amp up healthy packable lunch ideas like salads, and they work just as well in grain bowls or sandwiches. No grill? Use a stovetop pan or your broiler.

Soup Lunch on the Go 

Homemade soup is so satisfying, and it’s a great way to use up languishing produce in your crisper drawer.

  • Perfect pureed soup: Roast veggies, add liquid, whiz soup with an immersion blender, garnish—and voilà! Smooth and creamy pureed soup for the win.
  • Black bean soup is one of four different varieties you can make if you master a simple vegetarian base.

Keto Lunch on the Go

Want to focus on protein-filled, low-carb options? These keto lunch recipes are your go-to:

  • Poached chicken, shrimp or salmon: These easy-to-prep proteins make a versatile base for your lunch. For example, you can slice chicken to roll up in tacos or place over a salad; nestle shrimp with veggies in summer rolls; or flake salmon to mix with whole grains or layer on top of salad greens.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are the ideal keto food as they contain protein and are endlessly customizable. Try egg salad made with Greek yogurt, or sliced egg on toast topped with microgreens and everything-bagel spice.

Vegetarian Lunch on the Go

If meat isn’t your jam, try these tasty, veg-forward packable lunch ideas:

  • Nutty quinoa is an excellent backdrop for grain bowls or stir fries, or for sprinkling over a salad to get an extra hit of protein.
  • Watermelon and feta is a classic sweet and salty pairing that’ll light up your taste buds. Pack this combo in a two-level salad container so you can marinate the feta in a tangy dressing and then add it to the fruit.
  • Homemade hummus is levels above store-bought, and easily made in a food processor. Smear hummus on a spinach wrap with shredded carrots, slices of baked tofu and red pepper strips and then roll it like a cigar.

Vegan Lunch on the Go 

Plant-based lunches are a healthy and eco-conscious option. Here are ideas for a flavor-packed vegan lunch:

  • Overnight oats: This nutritious, low-maintenance meal isn’t just for breakfast. You can add savory mix-ins (think avocado, nuts, tofu) to turn it into a tasty and filling lunch.
  • Veggie chips are easy to bang out with a mandoline slicer, and they’re the perfect add-on to a salad or a hummus sandwich at your desk.
  • Roasted sweet potato salad is equally tasty when served warm or at room temperature, and you can make it ahead to save time in the morning.
    • Protein: Steak
    • Carbs: Peaches
    • Veggies: Carrots, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and Bolthouse dressing
      • Protein: Chicken breasts
      • Carbs: peaches
      • Veggies: Carrots, cucumber, red peppers, and Bolthouse dressing

        Healthy Lunch #1

        • Ground turkey with mustard
        • White rice
        • Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and bolthouse dressing
        Lunch 1 Aug 18 (Custom)

        Lunch #2

        • Ground turkey with avocado
        • Oranges
        • Bell peppers, cucumbers, and Bolthouse dressing
        healthy balanced lunch 2 Aug 19

        Healthy Lunch #3

        • Chicken breast with BBQ Sauce
        • Russet Potato
        • Cucumbers, broccoli, pepper, and carrots
        Healthy Lunchbox idea 3 Aug 24

        Healthy Lunch #4

        • Protein: Chicken breasts
        • Carbs: Apples
        • Veggies: Carrots, cucumber, and Bolthouse dressing
        healthy on the go lunch

        Healthy Lunch #5

        • Protein: Ground turkey with BBQ sauce and cheese
        • Carbs: Rice with butter flavored cooking spray.
        • Veggies: Roasted Peppers, onions, broccoli

        Healthy Lunch #6

        • Protein: Chicken breasts
        • Carbs: Potatoes
        • Veggies: Green salad, carrots, and Bolthouse dressing
        Healthy lunch box salad and potatoes

        Healthy Lunch #7

      Healthy lunch with veggies and chicken

      Healthy Lunch #8

  • lunch box for adults healthy

    Healthy Lunch #9

    • Protein: Ground Turkey
    • Carbs: Low carb Healthy Noodles
    • Veggies: Zucchini and spaghetti sauce
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    Salmon with greens

    Low-calorie honey-mustard salmon with roasted asparagus

    “One of the healthiest lunches you can have is grilled salmon over a colorful salad,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, and author of Finally Full, Finally Slim. “Salmon is high in protein which helps you to feel full and rich in heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids (known as “good fats”). A colorful salad contains an assortment of veggies, which are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and the different colors ensure that you are getting a mix of different nutrients. I love a blend of romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, and cucumbers.”

    Or try our Honey-Mustard Glazed Salmon With Roasted Asparagus Recipe.

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    Tuna melt

    tuna veggie melts on a cutting board with herbs

    “Did you know that seafood is one of the best dietary sources of animal protein? It’s packed with vital nutrients, such as heart-healthy omega-3s, and has less saturated fat and cholesterol than other protein options,” says Rima Kleiner MS, RD, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist at Dish on Fish. “Protein may help our brains recognize the hormone leptin, which helps us feel fuller longer and provides energy for our bodies.”

    An easy way to get seafood into your lunch routine is prepping a tuna melt! This healthy tuna and veggie melt is a filling lunch that’s still low in calories but packed with nutrients.

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    Grain bowls

    quinoa bowl

    “I love putting veggies and grain bowl together because you can use up what you’ve got in the fridge and create endless variations,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN. “I like starting with a base of high fiber barley or quinoa and adding whatever colorful veggies I have on hand. This time of year it’s probably roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, plus a bit of kimchee for probiotics and then a packet of tuna for high-quality protein. I like the ones from Bumble Bee because they come in tasty flavors like Thai Chili, they require no prep, and they offer important vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D (so important for winter!), iron, and selenium.”

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    Adult “Lunchables”

    healthy snacks for meal prep

    “I am a huge fan of packing my lunch like you would your kid’s for school,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. “One of my go-to’s is the ‘Adult Lunchable’ that includes cheese, whole grain crackers, grapes, turkey, veggie like mini sweet peppers, baby carrots or cherry tomatoes, and some nuts. With fiber, protein, and healthy fat, you will get full faster and stay full longer, plus get tons of nutrients!”

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    5-food group salad

    kale quinoa salad with apples and walnuts in two white bowls

    “So many people get protein and veggies on their salad, but then find themselves sluggish mid-afternoon because they did not get carbohydrates at lunch,” says Goodson. “The ultimate salad is one with all the food groups. As a dietitian, one of my favorites is a pan-seared salmon salad with mixed greens, goat cheese, berries, pecans, and a grain like quinoa or farro. The best part of the 5-Food Group salad lunch is that you can mix and match your proteins, cheese, nuts, fruit, and grains to make all kinds of combinations to keep it interesting and flavorful. Including all five food groups will help you feel more satisfied and less likely to go grazing on snack foods a few hours later.”

    Or try our Warm-Kale Quinoa Salad, which includes all of the food groups Goodson recommends!

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    Soup & salad

    Healthy minestrone with pesto

    “Soup and salad lunches offer an opportunity to get lots of healthy foods such as veggies, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds,” says MyNetDiary’s Registered Dietitian and MS, Brenda Braslow. “These plant-based meals offer loads of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to keep our bodies healthy and immune systems strong.”

    Try our Veggie-Packed Minestrone Pesto Soup with a simple green salad for lunch!

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    Egg scramble wrap

    Healthy breakfast burritos

    “A quick and easy lunch I rely on quite a bit is what I call [the] Egg Scramble Whole Wheat Tortilla Wrap,” says Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD of Eat Well To Be Well RD. “Scramble two eggs with black beans along with diced cherry tomatoes and diced avocado. When cooked, place in the whole wheat wrap with a sprinkle of pepper jack cheese topped with fresh salsa and you’re done. Protein-packed, fiber-filled, rich in monounsaturated fat, and simply delicious, this keeps me satiated for hours until dinner. I’ll also include a side of fruit such as a few apple slices, grapes, or a small pear for a more well-balanced meal and for extra fiber.”

    Try our version with this Fiber-Filled Breakfast Burrito recipe!

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    Mediterranean-style salad

    Healthy greek salad

    “Lunch is an important meal of the day. You want to go for, not only what keeps you full, but also what gives you the energy to go about the next five or so hours of school, work, or any other day’s activity,” says Edie Reads, RD and chief editor at healthadvise.org. “You also want to avoid [processed] carbs. These are unhealthy, will easily lead to weight gain and digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.”

    Reads says salads, in particular, are a great choice for lunch.

    “Make yours with lots of proteins, and greens,” says Reads. “If you want, you can top it up with some dressing. Try out the Mediterranean-style salad.”

    This Greek Salad Recipe is a great place to start!

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    Vegetable curry

    Vegetarian curry cauliflower with butternut squash

    “Some vegetable curry will also do,” says Reads. “it comes packed with lots of vitamins and antioxidants. You’ll also feel full for longer and may not need to snack.”

    Try our version with this Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Curry Stir Fry!

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    Stuffed avocado

    Healthy avocado-crab salad

    Rachel Paul, PhD, RD, CDN, recommends making a stuffed avocado salad for an easy, filling, low-carb lunch idea.

    “[To make], slice an avocado in half and take out the pit,” says Paul. “Mix a can of tuna with 1/4 cup diced grape tomatoes. Add the tuna to the avocado halves and sprinkle with everything but the bagel seasoning. Have 1 to 2 cups of baby carrots on the side. This meal is full of protein, fat, and high fiber veggies, making it very filling—it will keep you full for hours.”

    Or try our version with this Light Avocado Crab Salad!

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    Avocado & egg sandwich

    soft boiled egg avocado toast

    Breakfast sandwiches make for great lunch sandwiches, too!

    “It consists of carbohydrates, protein, and sodium that are healthy and also can help in weight loss,” says Shannon Henry, RD for EZCare Clinic.

    To make this particular sandwich, cook up two eggs. Spread a little bit of butter on your bread and add a slice of Swiss cheese, fried egg, avocado, cheddar cheese, and the remaining bread slice. Grill on the stove for a few minutes on each side until golden brown!

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