Are you in search of Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters Adults ? I bet you are. There are thousands of food blogs and recipes, and they all claim they have the best Healthy Lunch Ideas For Picky Eaters Adults recipe. I guess it depends on who you are and your needs, likes and dislikes.
It’s meal time again, and you’re staring at an empty plate. What can you do to help your picky eater enjoy their plate of food? I searched for healthy lunch ideas for picky eaters adults, and found several for myself.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for Adult Picky Eaters
Lunchtime or any mealtime has the potential to cause stress and anxiety for people who struggle with food. In this post, I’ll share my experience in learning to eat healthier lunch as an adult picky eater with 14 healthy lunch ideas for picky eaters.
As a recovering adult picky eater, I know firsthand the challenge of finding healthy lunch ideas that feel safe, satisfying and you feel comfortable eating in front of others.
All too often, being a picky eater or fussy eater is something that is only associated with kids or teens, but the truth is thousands of adults struggle each and every day with picky eating. Many think they are the only adult who struggles as a picky eater, so this post is for you! It is not just you, you are not alone, and you can find healthier food options even when you have limited food choices.
I want to honor that it is unlikely that all the foods in this post will be safe or tolerable food for you, and that’s ok. Some days you may be up to trying new foods, other days, that’s not an option—honor where you are at and do the best you can with where you are at.
My intention is not to provide you with the biggest checklist of lunch ideas or the most delicious meal there is, but instead some inspiration for some new healthy ideas to change up your current lunch routine, whether it’s by shifting to healthier versions of your comfort foods or considering a new lunch idea. The best part is you get to decide which foods are best for you and what you are most comfortable trying.
When it comes down to it, regardless of the variety of food you choose to eat, eating healthy meals is important for your health. Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you need to eat lunch like everyone else. It means eating food that will help you to fuel your body with nutrition.
In order to eat a healthy and balanced lunch, your ideal goal is to have protein, healthy fat, a vegetable, and/or fresh fruit and grains. You want to minimize processed foods, which means packaged foods. Increase foods made from real ingredients- real ingredients come from Earth, not a lab. You also want to limit the amount of added sugar in your foods.
If you prefer a hot lunch and don’t have access to a microwave or stove, you can find great insulated thermos containers to keep food warm or cold if that’s what you prefer. Get creative, make it your own, breakfast foods can go great at lunch too, or you may even consider creating a snack platter.
Taking time to make yourself lunch or meal prep is a way of taking care of your body. Taking the time to enjoy prepare and enjoy your food is also part of the healing journey to developing a better relationship with food. Lunch is a meal that is not always eaten at home, but wherever it is that you are eating your lunch, try to create a peaceful and calm space to enjoy your meal.
Trying Different Foods
Before getting into the lunch ideas for adult picky eaters, I want to mention the importance of “food chaining.” “Food chaining” is the idea that you can use one safe food to lead you to another new food to try to begin to expand your diet in a slow and safe manner. This could be a lateral move, like changing the type of chips you eat to a similar but healthier version. We’ll talk more about this throughout this post as a simple way of eating foods that you already enjoy and just finding a healthier version, which tends to be easier for many than finding an entirely new food to eat. Food chaining also includes taking the chips you like and eating them alongside a new dip or another new food, so you have a safe food and a taste of a new food. All done at a comfort level that feels good to you!
Lunch Ideas for Picky Eater Adults
When it comes to healthy peanut butter, opt for a butter that has the fewest ingredients. If you like peanut butter, it is a great food that can open you up to possibly other nut butters or adding some fruit or fresh jelly along with it to a healthy bread. You can also dip a fresh vegetable such as celery sticks in peanut butter.
Picky eaters seem to either have lunch meat they tolerate or like, or they don’t do lunch meat. If you are a picky eater who does eat lunch meat or already eat other types of meat and are open to giving lunch meat a try, buying quality lunch meat can be a really healthy choice. Look for meats that are hormone-free and pasture-raised if applicable. You also want meat that is real meat and not artificially processed with who knows what else.
Homemade or Healthy Pizza
While pizza may not be on the list of every picky eater, it is certainly a common and popular food among picky eaters in general. The great thing about pizza is that you can start making healthy pizza at home. Making your own pizza is also a great way to become more comfortable in the kitchen. Many grocery stores sell pre-made pizza dough, which is a great jumping-off point add some fresh tomato sauce and any toppings you choose.
Pizza is a great food to serve as a base for trying additional ingredients or different variations. You can customize it any way you choose, which makes it a great option for the whole family. Pizza also works as a great leftover, making it an option for lunch.
Grilled cheese is another common picky eater food. If you are a grilled cheese fan, you don’t need to give it up. But instead, try to make a healthier version. For bread, consider sourdough or whole-grain bread. You can swap out butter for grass-fed butter, olive oil, or ghee. And what’s grilled cheese without the cheese of course! The key is to use real cheese, not processed. Consider cheese that is pasture-raised or grass-fed.
Healthy Lunch Ideas for a Picky Adult
Picky eating is often associated only with young children and moody adolescents, but thousands of adults identify themselves as extremely picky eaters, reports Duke Center for Eating Disorders director Nancy Zucker. Picky eating habits can make it tough for adults to consume a balanced diet with adequate daily servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and lean protein. Without a nutrient-dense lunch, your blood sugar may drop in the afternoon, making you tired, sluggish and more likely to reach for a high-fat or high-sugar snack. Head these problems off by giving picky adult eaters portable lunches that offer plenty of variety and nutrition.
Lunch on a Stick
Bamboo skewers aren’t just for grilling shish kebabs anymore — use them as the basis for a fun, visually appealing lunch that can help incorporate a wider range of healthy foods into a picky eater’s diet. Cut fresh fruit into chunks, choosing several different colors — green kiwi, yellow pineapple and red strawberries, for example — and spear them onto the skewers. For the main dish, pick a meal that your picky eater likes and give it a skewer-makeover. Try alternating cooked whole-wheat ziti noodles with cooked, cold diced poultry and cheese cubes and pack with a small container of marinara sauce for dipping. Spear cooked shrimp and steamed vegetables for seafood lovers, or meatballs and spinach-cheese ravioli for meat eaters.
Everyone knows that it’s nearly impossible to stop at only one or two bites when you’re faced with dip. Choose several different dips your picky eater enjoys and, with a healthy spin, make them the centerpiece of lunch. Pack hummus, freshly made bean dips or pesto with chunks of crusty whole-grain bread, strips of lean grilled steak or chicken and a variety of vegetable sticks for dipping. Pair low-fat, flavored yogurt with fresh fruit spears. Try making homemade, low-fat versions of guacamole, ranch or onion dip and serving them with baked tortilla chips, whole-grain crackers or baked pita chips. Salsa is another popular choice, though avoid using commercially canned salsas whenever possible because they can contain large amounts of sodium.
Homemade Lunch Kit
The lunch kits sold near the deli meats at your local grocery store may look like an appealing time-saver, but most are expensive, high-calorie, high-sodium and low in nutrition. A picky eater can enjoy a homemade, made-to-order lunch kit with her favorite lean meats, cheeses and crackers. Use a sturdy, sectioned plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Include cubes of cooked, cold meat or meatballs; a variety of cheese slices, crackers or Melba toast; pickles or olives; and dried and fresh fruit. Remember small packets of mustard or low-fat mayonnaise if the lunch-eater likes to make sandwiches out of the ingredients.
While constant snacking can ruin a picky eater’s appetite before mealtime, a meal that’s based on snacking can help prevent boredom and encourage him to eat small amounts of many different types of foods. Instead of packing a lunch that features a sandwich or main entree, pack containers, plastic zip-top bags or several sectioned containers with small portions of healthy items. Try different types of nuts, seeds such as raw sunflower seeds, sliced hard-boiled eggs, cooked pasta tossed with vegetables and low-calorie salad dressing, roasted soy nuts, raw or dried fruit, a few tablespoons of chicken or tuna salad with crackers for spreading or cold, steamed chunks of vegetables like sweet potatoes. Be sure to include items from all five of the main food groups.
lunch box ideas for fussy eaters
1Ham, pineapple and pesto Turkish pizzas
Made with leftover Christmas ham, this not-so-humble ham and pineapple pizza is ready in just 20 minutes!
2Easy tuna bento balls
Perfect for lunchboxes, these Japanese rice balls are stuffed with corn, cream, avocado and mayonnaise.
3Dim sim sausage rolls
Two of our favourite party foods combine in this super-easy recipe made in the Kmart sausage roll maker.
4Muffin pan mac ‘n’ cheese cups
Make these bright lunchbox filler mac ‘n’ cheese cups with the kids – if you batch-cook they’ll keep in the freezer for up to three months.
5Ham and corn pasta salad
Perfect for the lunchbox, this creamy pasta salad is loaded with ham and vegies so it’s high in fibre and will keep the kids going till dinnertime. It’s also budget-friendly and ready in just 20 minutes.
6Cheese and bacon milk bun tray bake
Everyone loves a cheese and bacon roll, but after you have them fresh out of the oven you’ll never buy them again.
7Mini carbonara quiches
Use a muffin pan to makes these easy, cheesy individual crustless quiches.
8Tuna, corn and parsley fritters
These simple tuna, corn and parsley fritters are the perfect snack for a picnic or a lunchbox – and they are light on your wallet too!
9Vegetable peel and feta loaf
Packed with flavour, this feta, vegie and herb loaf is a tasty way to use up carrot, sweet potato and potato peel.
10Easy tuna, sweetcorn and rice slice
Packed with sneaky veg, tuna and rice, this cheesy slice is perfect for dinner, lunch or lunchboxes.