I have a part-time nannying job, and I have to pack my lunch each day. For me, the key to making sure that I have a healthy lunch is to plan ahead and pack my lunches at the beginning of the week.
Whether you need healthy lunches for work, school, or at home, these ideas are easy to put together, offer variety so that you don’t get bored, and are good for you!
1. Mason Jar Salads
This has to be one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve ever come across on Pinterest. Mason Jar Salads can be made at the beginning of the week, and they will still taste fresh on Friday. If you don’t like to have the same lunch every day, mix it up with different dressings and add-ins for each jar.
When I first started making Mason Jar Salads for lunch, I came up with a trick to make them even easier!
Make a big pot of your favorite healthy soup on Sunday night, and bring a small container of it to work with you each day. Reheat and enjoy!
Last week I made this Mexican Quinoa Soup, and it lasted for 4 lunches. If you don’t have a microwave at work, you can get a soup thermos to keep your soup warm until lunchtime.
3. Chicken Salad and Crackers
This is my current favorite! At the beginning of the week I mix up a big batch of chicken salad. Lately I’ve been using vegenaise instead of mayonnaise to make it even healthier. I pack it in smaller containers and bring along a bag of Blue Diamond Nut Thins. These crackers are gluten free and taste great! My favorite is the Hint of Sea Salt variety.
If this isn’t enough to fill you up, pack a hard boiled egg or a side of veggies or fruit. I’ve been boiling a batch of hard boiled eggs at the beginning of the week, and they last all week.
4. Chicken & Veggie Bowls
Make a little extra chicken, rice and veggies for dinner, and put them all in a container for lunch the next day. I especially liked this Grilled Chicken Veggie Bowl idea from The Picky Palate.
And speaking of leftovers, they are a great way to save time and have a healthy lunch! I used to try to make just enough for dinner so I didn’t waste food. It didn’t take long for me to discover the beauty of leftovers, though. Now I purposely make extra so that I can have leftovers.
5. Bento Boxes
I don’t know why, but these organized containers with a variety of foods just make me happy. You can get tupperware that is divided up into several sections. Fill each section with fruits and veggies, cheese, crackers, small whole wheat sandwiches, and more.
Starbucks has a few of these boxes, but you can save money and make them at home! I liked this Skinny ‘Starbucks’ Protein Bistro Box idea from The Skinny Fork.