3 Creative & Healthy Lunch Ideas
I am a big fan of packing my lunch most days of the week. It is such a money saver and I find it very stressful to have to worrying about carving out time in my day to go pick something up on the fly. Since I pack my lunch quite often I tend to get burnt out on the normal turkey sandwich routine. I have learned how to get pretty creative and I am sharing some of my tricks with you right now. There are several elements to consider in order to make a creative and healthy lunch…
It needs to have all your macronutrients - carbohydrates, dietary fat, and protein, which makes the lunch dietitian approved
It needs to keep you full for 3-5 hours, no one has time to be unnecessarily hungry
It needs to be tasty and satisfying
It needs to be easy to prep the night before or the morning of
Once the creative and healthy lunch meets all the above requirements it can go into my lunch rotation. One of the biggest mistakes I see with my clients is that the lunch is either missing a major macronutrient and/or the meal is too low in calories to keep the person full, leading them to crash in the afternoon or browsing the break-room only an hour after lunch. This often causes the person to feel out of control with food or confused as to why they weren’t satisfied by their healthy lunch.
The following three creative and healthy lunch ideas fit all the requirements and are sure to spark your lunch inspiration.
Creative & Healthy Lunch Idea #1 - Mexican Chicken Bowls
Think chipotle, but about 8 dollars cheaper. My Mexican chicken bowls consist of rotisserie chicken tossed in taco seasoning, microwave rice, canned black beans, canned corn, cherry tomatoes, mixed greens, cilantro and a cilantro lime salad dressing. The salad dressing was something I picked up at Walmart, but any dressing with a Mexican flavor profile will work. I typically make 2-3 bowls at a time so that I am not wasting ingredients. I would suggest eating the bowls Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and switch it up Tuesday and Thursday so that you don’t get burnt out.
Creative & Healthy Lunch Idea #2 - Adult Lunchables
My adult lunchable is perfect because it’s essentially the same ingredients as a turkey sandwich, but with a very different flavor profile. You can also add or switch so many different elements to the lunchable, making it almost impossible to get bored. I usually start with 3-4 oz of turkey, 2 oz of salami/prosciutto, 10-12 crackers, 1 baby bell cheese or 1 string cheese, 1 cup raw veggies, 1/2 cup berries or 1 piece of fruit, 1 tbs nuts, and 1/4 cup dried fruit. Sometimes instead of nuts and dried fruit, I will do 1/4 c yogurt covered raisins or chocolate covered almonds. Pickles, olives, dried cherries/cranberries, and pretzel thins have all be substitutes in the past. You can really make it your own.
Creative & Healthy Lunch Idea #3 - Caprese Salad in a Jar
This is a classic flavor combination made easy for week day lunches. My caprese salad in a jar consists of balsamic dressing, cherry tomatoes, spinach or mixed greens, mozzarella, and turkey. I add a side of 10-12 crackers and fruit to round out the meal. Make sure you layer beginning with the salad dressing and cherry tomatoes to ensure that the dressing does not make the other ingredients soggy. No worries if you don’t have mason jars, you can use Tupperware and put the dressing in a small container. I purchase them on Amazon, search plastic ramekins with lids. I use the 2 oz for salad dressing.
3 Creative & Healthy Lunch Ideas
I hope these creative and healthy lunch ideas help you formulate a game plan for your week day lunches. I promise creating lunches does not need to take as much effort as everyone thinks. If you are needing more ideas please visit my instagram page or shop my meal plans under the shop tab. Make sure to sign up for my newsletter and freebies by subscribing below.