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15 Tasty Ideas for a Healthy Packed Lunch

  • By Jennifer Mulder
  • 29 August 2016
  • 3 minute read
15 Tasty Ideas for a Healthy Packed Lunch | The Health Sessions

Always a nutritious meal on the table? Learn how to meal plan like a pro with the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle – hundreds of recipes, pantry tips and meal solutions for every diet and budget.

When the end of summer rolls around, I still get that back-to-school feeling, even as an adult. The holidays are over and most of us are readjusting to our ‘normal’ daily life again. Which makes September the perfect time for making healthy changes!

One way to shake up your health routines is to give your regular office lunch a little upgrade. Ok, admittedly, these delicious lunch ideas require a little more prep than your average peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But they do pack a punch in the nutrition and taste department!

So bring a healthy packed lunch to work or school with one of these 15+ appetizing lunch ideas! 

The Sandwich 2.0

There’s nothing wrong with a good old ham and cheese sandwich. But if you’re looking for a flavorful and nutritious change, why not take your brown-bagged lunch to the next level with one of these veggie-packed options?

Avocado and Egg Spring Sandwich with Super Seed Bread from The Awesome Green

Healthy Work Lunches: Avocado Egg Radish Sandwich from The Awesome Green | The Health Sessions

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich from Edible Perspective

Healthy Work Lunches: The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich from Edible Perspective | The Health Sessions

Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich from Minimalist Baker

Healthy Work Lunches: Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich from Minimalist Baker | The Health Sessions

Strawberry Balsamic Chia Jam, Goats Cheese Cream and Basil on Sourdough from Cashew Kitchen

Healthy Work Lunches: Strawberry Chia Jam, Goats Cheese & Basil Sandwich from Cashew Kitchen | The Health Sessions

The Best PBJ Open Sandwich from Tales of a Kitchen

Healthy Work Lunches: The Best PBJ Open Sandwich from Tales of a Kitchen | The Health Sessions

Wrap It Up!

In my home country the Netherlands, lunch traditionally equals bread. But food items like wraps, pita pockets and rice paper rolls are a welcome carb-lovers alternative – and they’re so easy to stuff with healthy and delicious fillings!

Greek Chicken and Kale Pita Sandwiches from Melanie Makes

Healthy Work Lunches: Greek Chicken and Kale Pita Sandwiches from Melanie Makes | The Health Sessions

Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Wraps from Williams-Sonoma “Taste”

Healthy Work Lunches: Smoked Salmon & Cucumber Wraps from Williams - Sonoma | The Health Sessions

Easy Lunch Wrap with Sweet Potato, Hummus and Greens from The Awesome Green

Healthy Work Lunches: Easy Lunch Wrap with Sweet Potato, Hummus and Greens from The Awesome Green | The Health Sessions

Rainbow Fruity Rice Paper Rolls from Volcom 

Healthy Work Lunches: Rainbow Fruity Rice Paper Rolls from Volcom | The Health Sessions

Pack-and-Go Lunches

Packing your lunch in a mason jar or a thermos instead of your lunchbox opens up a whole new range of healthy lunch ideas: crispy, filling salads, noodle pots, soups or even a hot lunch.

Salads in a Jar from A Beautiful Mess

“Salads in a jar” is a simple idea with endless varieties. Try the black bean and corn salad, tomato and mozzarella pasta salad or quinoa and sweet chicken salad from A Beautiful Mess or follow this template to build your own version.

Healthy Work Lunches: Salads in a Jar from A Beautiful Mess | The Health Sessions

Ingenious Noodle Pots from Hemsley + Hemsley via GOOP

These noodle pots are a healthy, modern version of Cup-a-Soup — you just add hot water when lunchtime rolls around!

Healthy Work Lunches: Ingenious Noodle Pots from Hemsley + Hemsley (via GOOP) | The Health Sessions

Healthy Vegetarian Enchilada Soup from Laura Fuentes

Do you craving something a little more warming than a sandwich or salad? Bring a hearty soup to work or school with you in a thermos can or insulated food container.

Healthy Work Lunches: Vegetarian Enchilada Soup from Laura Fuentes | The Health Sessions

The Hippest Lunch Box in Town

A bento box turns your everyday lunch into a feast for one. Appetizing and practical, you can carry lots of different foods in one single container.

The Most Helpful Lunch Box Ever from Earthbound Farm

Not so much a recipe, but more a useful template for creating your own delicious bento box. What will you put in yours?

Healthy Work Lunches: The Most Helpful Lunch Box Ever from Earthbound Farm | The Health Sessions

Real Food Bento Box from Frugal Nutrition

– with salmon-avocado onigiri rolls, spinach frittata, fruit kebabs and oat cookies. Yum!

Healthy Work Lunches: Real Food Bento Box from Frugal Nutrition | The Health Sessions

A Round-Up of Paleo Lunch Box Ideas from NomNomPaleo

Not a fan of grains, sugar and dairy? Look no further than these hearty lunch boxes packed spicy tuna cakes with crudité, zucchini  and smoked salmon pinwheels or a salad with prosciutto-wrapped peaches.

Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas: A Round-Up of Paleo Lunch Boxes from NomNomPaleo | The Health Sessions

For more inspiration for healthy packed lunches (and grab-and-go breakfasts), check out “The Portable Feast” from Jeanne Kelley. 

What kind of lunch do you like to bring to work or school with you?

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Thank you for including this post in your weekly round-up Claire! And for supporting other health bloggers by sharing their work. https://painpalsblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/7404/

Great post and information - I have shared a link on my regular feature Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! Claire (PainPalsBlog) x

Thank you soo much may God bless you in many ways ☺

I'm sorry, the blog post is a few years old so the giveaway has been closed for a while now. Perhaps you can use some of the tips above to create a care package: puzzles or magazine, (free) samples of body care products if your dad is still in the hospital, a gift card for iTunes? I also like the Gifts in A Tin from DIYMommy: https://thediymommy.com/a-gift-in-a-tin-christmas-baking-kit-gift/ (Scroll down for an overview) or an edible gift like the five bean soup IF he's medically allowed to eat that of course!: https://thehealthsessions.com/healthy-edible-gifts/ Hope your father feels better soon!

I was going to leave a comment for the give away... For my dad cuz he had his gull bladder taken out a fue hrs ago but congrats... Is there a cheep way i can make something for him?

Being careful with what you eat might be a good idea if you're feeling sick or have stomach aches. Luckily, there are still plenty of things listed you can do to entertain yourself :-) Feel better soon!

When I am I'll myum doesn't let me eat so some wouldn't work 😢🍕

Hi Darci, thank you for your message. Unfortunately the guide is not available yet as a hardcover and a paperback. If that changes in the near future, I will let you know. Warm regards, Jennifer

I would like to buy this book in hard cover or paperback instead of e-book for a friend

thats #6

Super useful habits Nat! I also need to mentally unwind before bedtime or I'll be laying awake all night with thoughts racing through my mind.

A few things that help me ( I suffer from insomnia) is by not taking my phone to bed with me, i finish checking emails, social media etc in the living room and go to bed to switch off. Something else I do is turn on my essential oils diffuser an hour before bed so the room is scent with a relaxing mist of essential oils such as lavender, or vetiver which is like a sedative and incredible for helping me unwind. Another thing that work well when i can't switch my brain off is to write a quick list of everything i think i need to be dealing with now and highlighting only the ones that need to be taken care of the next day. Helps me not to feel so overwhelmed and in turn helps me fall asleep easier.

I'm touched by your kind words Darla, thank you. It's perfectly normal that you're resentful and feel sorry for yourself. You've had a lot to deal with. Not just experiencing horrible symptoms on a daily basis, but also having to adjust the plans you had for your future and your sense of identity. To me, positivity in the face of adversity is not about having an irrealistic rose-colored view of life. But I do believe that trying to find the good in little things each day can help make the bad ones more bearable. It's a challenge, but your insightful comment tells me that you're up for it ;-) Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. Good luck, be gentle with yourself and take care Darla!

Dr.Jen the Zen one, first off you rock! Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 4 years ago and 2 years ago double pneumonia that left me with heart failure with 28% left undamaged it has seriously limited my mobility energy patience and unfortunately my positive attitude. 52 years on this planet, I lived a happy-go-lucky , look on the bright side, things will be better tomorrow, or crack a silly joke and get over it type of life. Now for the first time in my life I find myself having to work at being positive. Anger and resentment and even the dreaded " poor little me" mindset is trying to set up permanent residence. And tonight I find your blog and it gives me hope I just want to say "Thank you" Darla

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