Consistently choosing healthy meals and snacks can be challenging sometimes, but it’s an important aspect to maintaining good health and wellbeing. One area that many people struggle with is packing nutritious lunch and snacks for the work week – food that is healthy, satiating, yet not boring or time-consuming to make!
But healthy eating, even during busy work days, doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. In today’s post I’ll be sharing:
One of the easiest options for a weekday lunch is to have leftovers from the previous night’s meal. You’re already putting in the effort to make a healthy, nutritious dinner, so why not plan to make a little extra so that you have another portion for the next day? This is definitely a time-saver in the kitchen and makes lunch-packing a breeze. Just portion out a meal into a lunch container and you’re good to go!
When you don’t have any leftovers or feel like having something different for lunch, get creative with sandwiches, wraps, and salads! There is an unlimited combination of ingredients you can use to please your taste buds. Here are some ideas for fillings or toppings, whether you choose to add them to a sandwich/wrap or a salad:
- leafy greens (lettuce, kale, arugula, spinach, etc)
- shredded carrots
- bell peppers
- shredded beets
- roasted vegetables (potatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, etc)
- tuna salad (replace tuna with chickpeas for vegetarian option)
- egg (hardboiled or fried)
- shredded chicken
- lemon juice
- apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
Tip: As a gluten-free option and to add more greens to your diet, use collard leaves as a wrap instead of a traditional wheat-based wrap.
- carrot sticks
- celery sticks
Note: these veggies are great to pair with hummus for extra protein
Other great foods:
- mixed nuts and seeds
1) Plan Ahead
As I mentioned in my healthy grocery shopping article, planning your meals ahead of time means that you can stock up on enough fruits and veggies for snacks throughout the week. This will not only save you time but also make lunch prepping a no-brainer, since you already know what you’re going to be packing.
2) Invest in Containers
Nothing makes life easier than having a few different sized containers on hand. One huge benefit of container storage is having pre-washed and/or pre-cut vegetables that are ready to grab and go. Another benefit is that you save money on buying plastic baggies, as well as help protect the environment by minimizing waste production.
3) Prepare for Multiple Days at a Time
Having a stash of containers means that you can pre-cut and portion your snacks and/or lunch for multiple days at a time. You can do this for two or three days in advance, so that you only have to prepare weekday snacks on Sundays and Wednesdays, for example.
If you’re preparing weekday lunches for multiple people in your household, having enough portion-sized containers to last for a few days may be a bit over-the-top. So instead, wash and store veggies in larger containers, and then all you have to do is portion them out into smaller containers when the time comes.
4) Pack the Day Before
Packing your lunch the night before makes the morning much less hectic – all you have to do is grab your containers from the fridge before heading out the door! It also ensures that you don’t skip out on packing healthy snacks because you don’t have enough time in the morning. And of course, it also means that you don’t have to wake up extra early to prepare your lunch for the day!
The Bottom Line
Packing healthy, delicious lunches for the work week doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Follow the tips above to help you stay on-track with eating wholesome, nutritious foods and make weekday lunch-packing an effortless part of your routine.
Do you have any other tips that help make healthy, nutritious lunch prep easy? Share below!