47 0 0 0 13 6. It’s time to redeem the midday meal: No more bland sandwiches, soggy salads, or ideas for kids cold lunches soups here.
These lunches are exciting, satisfying, and portable. Our definitive guide to a healthy lunch on the go—complete with nutrition-boosting tips, make-ahead strategies, and tasty pack-and-go recipes, will have you rethinking your lunch break. Hearty greens and colorful, textured toppers make salads fun and filling. Whether you’re packing your own or one for every kid in the house, you may face real challenges when thinking about the midday meal. We know you want healthy options that keep you full enough to stay away from the vending machine come mid-afternoon, and the kids need lunches that won’t leave them raiding the pantry when they get home. For extra flavor, drizzle with any remaining All-Purpose Tahini Dressing you have on hand. We use old-fashioned rolled oats in place of breadcrumbs to sneak in some whole grains.
This Italian soup packs 10g of protein in a meal that’s less than 250 calories. Layer up and refrigerate as many jars as you need—just add hot water at the office. A homemade dressing of molasses, olive oil, cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard keeps added sugar and calories in check. C: smooth cashew butter, bacon, and a bright, crisp-tender carrot salad on top.
Cashew butter’s smooth texture is ideal for sandwiches and toast. While it may be lower in protein than peanut butter, it generally contains half the sugar. It also boasts more iron, copper, and phosphorus. Stripey tomatoes are a variety of heirlooms with pale, yellow skins with a pinkish-orange blush, occasionally with green stripes. Substitute a beefsteak or other large, firm tomato.
Smart Packing Tip: To prevent soggy sandwiches, pack separate zip-top bags of tomato slices, arugula, and bread, and then assemble the sandwiches just before eating. Toasting the bread before packing also helps keep everything crisp. You can throw it together in just 10 minutes for a dish that’s low in sugar and calories. Brown rice noodles, mushrooms, and a hard-cooked egg make this vegetarian soup—and staff favorite—hearty and satisfying. And as an added bonus, it tastes nice chilled or at room temperature.
Include a cluster of red grapes and crusty Italian bread in your bag, and you’re ready to go. It is rich in B vitamins for an energy boost as well as a good source of fiber. Bulgur, quinoa, or whole wheat couscous are good substitutes if you do not have spelt for this dish. To build a satisfying lunch salad, you need a hearty base, protein, nutritional toppings with color, a salty or sweet crunch, and healthy fat. Our version has all five with chopped romaine, a hard-cooked egg, red onion, celery, Parmesan cheese, and a DIY dressing of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and fresh dill. The balance of sweet apples and raisins with fragrant curry elevates chicken salad to a new level.
Prep Tip: Put leftovers to good use when preparing your lunches. Consider incorporating some of tonight’s dinner into tomorrow’s lunch. Slice leftover chicken or beef and serve it on top of pasta or salad greens, mix it into a grain salad, or make it into a sandwich. Here, we’ve taken our Grilled Lemon-Herb Chicken and used the leftovers for this quick salad.
Greek yogurt also contains more protein compared to cream cheese. Plus, our version of the traditional bagel sandwich is significantly lower in fat, calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and cholesterol. Prepare the chicken filling ahead of time and pack separately. Nutrition Tip: Fresh, whole fruit is your best option for sides and snacks during the day. Change things up by selecting fruit that’s in season—you’ll enjoy diverse flavors plus nutritional variety as your choices change naturally throughout the year.
An apple, chilled grapes, an orange, a banana, or mango slices offer a great source of fiber, keeping you feeling fuller longer. Ditch the can and prepare this homemade soup with fresh veggies. Buying in season is smart on so many levels: Produce tastes best in season, and it’s usually less expensive. Since we crave tomato soup beyond the peak of summer, this recipe calls for plum tomatoes, which tend to be flavorful all year long.