What comes to mind when you think about the word “lunchbox?” Do you envision plastic boxes plastered with childhood characters? Do you picture an insulated cooler? Maybe a brown paper bag pops in your head?
Whether you’re packing your kid’s lunch for school, or stuffing a cooler for you husband to take to work, or if you’re stashing things in your purse for an afternoon at the park, your lunch doesn’t have to be boring!
A healthy lunch can be fast to prepare and healthy for your body. Add one of these healthy lunchbox ideas to your menu this week. Don’t worry, these are better than a boring sandwich or basic salad.
1 – Avocado, tomato, and cheese salad
This is a modern twist on the classic Caprese salad. Slice avocado, tomato, and fresh mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle a dash of fresh basil on top. Your masterpiece is complete. The avocado and olive oil contain good fats to keep your stomach full all afternoon. As a fresh fruit (or vegetable, depending on which side of the argument you find yourself), the tomato adds vitamins to your lunch. The cheese not only tastes heavenly, but will also help you feel full.
Want a little something more to your salad? Toss a few croutons on top, eat with a side of French baguette, or swipe your bowl clean with a slice of whole wheat bread.
2 – Quinoa pizza bites
If you like pizza, you will love these little quinoa pizza bites! They take a few minutes to prepare, but can be frozen, making them an excellent on-the-go lunch option. Cooked quinoa, egg, cheese, pepperoni, onion and seasonings meld together for a healthier version of pizza. The best part? You can eat them warm or cold. No more worries about finding an available microwave during the lunch hour.
3 – Yogurt parfait
Although you may consider yogurt a breakfast item, it’s not bad for lunch either. Fill a container with organic yogurt in the flavor of your choice (vanilla is never a bad option). Add fresh fruit to the yogurt, such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. In a separate container, add toppings: granola, ground flax seed, hemp hearts, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc. For a spark of flavor, toss in a teaspoon of cocoa powder or your favorite nut butter.
4 – Salad in a jar
Salad can be more exciting that ever before! Fill a jar with the lettuce of your choice; spring mixes offer a nice variety, while spinach is gentle and nutrient-dense. Next comes the fun part – the toppings!
Next, add vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, or onion.
Now, sprinkle some fun additions: raisins or craisins, nuts or seeds, madarin oranges or strawberries, or cheese (feta, cheddar, or goat or excellent on a fresh salad).
Lastly, top with the dressing of your choice. Store bought varieties work well, but it’s simple to make your own. Drizzle olive oil, add a splash of a vinegar, and include a squirt of mustard (the secret ingredient). Be sure to add salt and pepper, then sprinkle the herbs of your choice, a heaping spoon of pesto, a bit of salsa, or whatever other flavors tickle your fancy.
Store the dressing separately from the salad so it won’t grow soggy throughout the morning.
6 – A bit of this, a bit of that
This is my favorite type of lunch – a hodge podge! When it’s grocery day or you’re about to go out of town, pull together whatever you have to compile a complete lunch.
- Cheese and crackers
- Chips and salsa
- Apples and peanut butter
- Mixed fruit
- Veggies and hummus
- Hard boiled egg
Don’t allow the nagging question of, “What’s for lunch?” to haunt you any longer! Incorporate one of these ideas into your menu. Not only do they taste amazing, but they are healthy! These lunch suggestions will fuel your brain and sustain your body throughout the afternoon.
What healthy lunch ideas would you add to our list? What’s your go-to, must-have, eat-it-every-single-week lunch option? We can’t wait to hear and try it out!