10 Healthy lunch ideas for work/school
Packing lunches every day, whether it’s for your kids, yourself or your partner can be a real pain. Not only do you have to think of something tasty, but you also want to try and make it healthy. If you find yourself scratching your head in the mornings, trying think of something different that will still do them good, then have a read of these ten ideas on how to make those packed lunches healthier:
1. Pack real fruit instead of fruit cups
One of the easiest healthy quick lunch ideas is fruit. Just as tasty, but twice as good for you, pack an apple or banana, rather than the pre-packed fruit cups. They might sound, healthy, but fruit cups often have added acids, sugar and HFCS for sweetening and preserving the fruit.
2. Swap juices for self-made fruit flavored water
Most shop bought juices aren’t made just from the fruit; they are made from fruit juice concentrate and some of them contain as much sugar, as a can of soda. Swapping these so called juices for a self-made fruit flavored water drink with vitamin C will be better for hydration and will contain far less calories and additives.
3. Be sneaky with the changes to you kids lunches
Kids know what they like and if you try and suddenly change their lunch, they will notice it and bring it all back home again! But you can be a bit sneaky, so try things like swapping the jelly in their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a sugar free one, and change the bread to a ‘half and half’ variety and they won’t even notice the added whole grain.
4. Make your own cookies and cakes
Store bought products may be convenient, but do you really know what’s in them? Stores want their products to have as long a shelf life, as possible, so there will be additives and preservatives in them, because these can sit on the shelves for years and years. Make your own home baked cookies and cakes using oatmeal, nuts and dried fruit, as well as other healthy things, and you will know exactly what the ingredients are.
5. Try some nuts
One of the easy healthy lunch ideas for work or school is – try nuts, or a salad with nuts. Nuts have a whole load of nutrients, fiber and are high in the heart friendly fats. You can mix them with green veggies and low fat cheese, and use a healthy dressing of your choice or, for a sweet treat, mix nuts with some dried fruit and even a few chocolate chips for a tasty and sweet addition to your healthy packed lunch.
6. Homemade healthy pizza
Healthy pizza is another simple lunch idea. Just about everyone loves pizza, so try a healthy version for your packed lunch. Take a slice of crusty wholegrain bread and spread on some low fat cheese, add some sliced tomatoes and other toppings of your choice, and you have a healthy, cold pizza for lunch.
7. Pasta salad
Make up your one pasta salads and there are so many different healthy varieties that you can come up with. Fish, chicken, beans…just stay with what you know is healthy, use low fat dressings and wholemeal pasta, and you will be giving your kids or your partner a protein packed, high foible lunch that they will love.
8. Swap to Greek yoghurt
Many people use yoghurt as a staple of their packed lunches, but a simple swap to Greek yoghurt can have major health benefits. Typically, Greek yoghurt is much creamier and thicker and it contains half the sodium and fewer carbohydrates than regular yoghurts, and you can easily jazz it up a bit by adding some fresh fruit, honey or cocoa powder.
9. Be adventurous with alternatives to bread
Make sandwiches a bit more interesting and try using naan bread, make wraps or scones instead. It doesn’t take any more time and, as long as you use lean meats, fish and plenty of fresh salad ingredients as fillings, you will be keeping things healthy too.
10. Make healthy lunches that they will eat
Try as you might, you won’t get kids or men for that matter, eat what you pack, if they don’t like it, so don’t try and convert them to ‘healthy’ all in one go! Introduce the changes slowly by including three quarters of what you know they like and one quarter something new. Gradually, they will become tempted to try that new stuff, and they might even come back asking for more.
What are your favorite healthy lunch ideas for work or for school?
Please, feel free to share your own healthy lunch recipes and quick lunch ideas in the comment section below.
Stay happy and healthy!