7 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for School or Work

If you’re home from vacation and back to work or school, there’s no better time to get back into your lunch-packing routine. The perfect brown-bagged lunch can save you major money, time, and calories, supporting your health and fitness goals.

Start with the classic nutrition advice, and fill half your box with fresh fruits and veggies, one quarter with lean protein, and one quarter with whole grains. Then add a dollop of flavor and healthy fats, like hummus or avocado, to make it extra satisfying. With lots of little compartments, laptop-style lunch boxes make it easy to visualize. And once you start thinking beyond sandwiches, assembly is a snap! Just grab any leftovers you already have lurking in the fridge and freezer.

Here are seven quick, easy, and healthy lunch ideas that you can throw together in 5 minutes flat. Ready, set, pack! 

1. Kid-Friendly Lunch Pack

½ fruit & veg: 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) baby carrots, 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) strawberries
¼ protein: 3 oz (90 g) lean deli turkey
¼ whole grains: 8 whole-wheat crackers

370 calories, 23 g protein, 10 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 53 g carbs, 10 g fiber, 13 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars, 1238 mg sodium

2. Fruit & Cheese Box

½ fruit & veg: 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) red grapes, 1 cup (3 oz/90 g) sugar snaps
¼ protein: 1½ oz (45 g) cheddar cheese
¼ whole grains: 8 whole-wheat crackers
Healthy fat: 10 almonds

508 calories, 19 g protein, 25 g total fat, 10 g saturated fat, 57 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 27 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars, 495 mg sodium

3. Mediterranean Box

½ fruit & veg: 3 baby bell peppers, 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) cherry tomatoes
¼ protein: 2 or 3 falafel, 2 tablespoons hummus
¼ whole grains: 1 whole-wheat pita

382 calories, 14 g protein, 11 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 61 g carbs, 15 g fiber, 15 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars, 448 mg sodium

4. Deconstructed Niçoise

½ fruit & veg: 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) cherry tomatoes, 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) green beans
¼ protein: 2 oz (60 g) flaked tuna, 1 large hardboiled egg
¼ whole grains: 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) cooked red potatoes
Healthy fat: 8 olives, 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

316 calories, 23 g protein, 14 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 29 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 7 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars, 586 mg sodium

5. Beany Burrito Box

½ fruit & veg: 1 cup (1 oz/30 g) romaine lettuce, ½ cup (4 oz/125 g) salsa fresca
¼ protein: ½ cup (3½ oz/105 g) black beans, ¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) queso fresco
¼ whole grains: ½ cup (3 oz/90 g) yellow corn
Healthy fat: ¼ avocado

339 calories, 16 g protein, 15 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 41 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 8 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars, 918 mg sodium

6. Japanese Bento

½ fruit & veg: ½ cup (3½ oz/105 g) edamame, 1 clementine
¼ protein: 4 oz (125 g) tofu
¼ whole grains: ½ cup (2½ oz/75 g) cooked brown rice
Healthy fat: 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

351 calories, 22 g protein, 12 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 44 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 12 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars, 26 mg sodium

Healthy lunch idea with Greek meatballs7. Greek Meatball Medley

½ fruit & veg: 1 cup (5 oz/155 g) cucumber slices, 1 cup (6 oz/185 g) cherry tomatoes
¼ protein: 3 oz (90 g) turkey meatballs, 1 tablespoon plain low-fat Greek yogurt
¼ whole grains: ½ cup (3 oz/90 g) tabbouleh salad

306 calories, 17 g protein, 15 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 27 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g total sugars, 0 g added sugars, 726 mg sodium

8 Comments   Join the Conversation

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • This is the second Fit bit Flex that I had to buy. The other seemed to last a week or so. Is there anyway that you could get me a new fit bit Ulta???? Because when I was wearing mine, it was fun to try to beat the scores from the days or weeks before.

  • These all look good but they only land at only about 300 calories each. I would still be hungry after this. (I try to average my meals at about 500 each.)

  • Thank you for some fantastic lunch ideas!! I’m a newer Fitbit user, I got my Fitbit August 8th and have lost 5 pounds!! Feeling very empowered! I will will be trying some of your wonderful recipes. Keep them coming. Love from Tsawwassen BC Canada

  • Where can I find the cute Bento style lunch kits like the ones shown in the photos above?

    Thanks for the great lunch ideas, can’t wait to try them.

  • I’m sorry, but is there anyone out there who feels they would be satisfied in any way by these meals? If these were my choices, I think I would opt-out of lunch. Opening one of these at work would just make me angry.

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