How to Pack a Healthy Lunch

Lunch is one the easiest times to cheat. Fast food and vending machines start to look pretty attractive when you've only got a little time to snag a meal in the middle of the day. If you want to try to be healthy for your lunch break, you can learn to pack a healthier lunch and keep yourself on track.


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    Include at least one serving each of fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of fibre, Vitamin C and are low in kilocalories. Highly coloured fruits such as peaches contain carotene, which the body changes into Vitamin A. For the fruit and vegetable group you can include:
    • apples
    • oranges or clementines
    • bananas
    • berries
    • pears
    • peaches
    • cucumber slices
    • salad
    • carrot sticks
    • bell pepper slices
    • cauliflower or broccoli
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    Make a healthy sandwich. Sandwiches are compact, easy to make, and can be quite healthy if you make them correctly. Pick a source of protein, usually either some sliced meat or peanut butter, and then build a sandwich around your protein. try to use wholegrain bread, which is high in fiber.
    • Use a low-calorie spinach or whole grain wrap instead of bread if your'e trying to stay carb-conscious.
    • Instead of a bunch of jelly or jam, add honey, raisins, apple, or banana slices to your peanut butter sandwich. Less sugar, plenty of sweet flavor.
    • If you want to keep the sandwich from getting soggy in your lunch, wrap the ingredients separately and put it together when you're ready to eat. No soggy bread!
    • Lean turkey or lite tuna is usually better than fattier processed meats like ham, roast beef, or salami. If you want to stay healthy, go with a turkey sandwich.
    • Go easy on the condiments and the cheese. Aside from making a soggy sandwich, slathering a bunch of mayo on your sandwich adds calories and nothing in the way of nutrition.
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    Try pasta or other grains as a sandwich alternative. You can get sick of a sandwich pretty quickly. To mix it up, try making up a healthy pasta salad, with mixed vegetables and tuna, or with a variety of other healthy ingredients, you could have a one-box meal that will be easy to eat and offer total nutrition. Check out the following articles to learn more about good grain lunch recipes:
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    Mix up a salad the night before. Salads are easy to put together in the morning, but you can also mix up some wilted salads the night before to let the flavors mingle. Then, in the morning, you can just grab your lunch and go. Start with a base of light greens, like field mix, romaine, or butter lettuce, and add carrots, olives, onion, tomato, and other vegetables to taste.
    • If you want a great wilted salad, start with a more robust green like kale. Cut into tiny strips and massage the greens with balsamic vinegar and let them sit overnight. They'll be tender and delicious the next day.
    • Keep salad dressings and any nuts or seeds in a separate container so that the dressing doesn't make the salad soggy and the nuts can stay crunchy.
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    Have something healthy to drink. It is important to drink plenty of fluids during the day to maintain the balance of bodily fluids. Try to include drinks high in vitamin C and low in sugar to keep yourself hydrated if at all possible. Water and natural fruit juices are usually the best options in the middle of the day.
    • Avoid soda. Even diet sodas offer you nothing in terms of calories. Excess sugar and caffeine also does more to dehydrate you, instead of keeping you functioning healthy.[1] Likewise, avoid sugary energy drinks and other jolts.
    • Looking for a creative alternative? Pack a coconut water or a bottle of kombucha. Sweet and tangy, these drinks offer natural nutrition and hydration without the artificial sugars.
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    Include a thermos of soup for a cold day variation.
    • Vegetable soup is one of the best soups to eat. The combined nutrition of each vegetable adds a great number of vitamins and minerals.
    • Tomato soup is a great low calorie and low fat food to eat for lunch. It has 0 cholesterol and low carbohydrates. Tomato soup is also an excellent source of lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in red vegetables.
    • Minestrone is also very low in carbohydrates and calories. t's made with potatoes, corn, carrots, tomatoes and other healthy vegetables. Like tomato soup, minestrone provides lycopene. Minestrone also adds fiber, protein and iron into your diet.
    • Try to avoid convenience soups such as instant and canned soups if possible as they contain a lot of salt and flavour enhancers, such as monosodium glutamate. Cartons of fresh fruit are more expensive but are convenient, tasty and nutritious than canned and instant soups.
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    Have yoghurt instead of dessert. Instead of packing a cookie, or a snack bar of some kind, pack a container of healthy yoghurt. Yoghurt helps to promote healthy digestion and can offer a sweet and nutritious complement to the end of the lunch. Pack some slices of fruit to go along with it, if you like.
    • If you don't like yoghurt, pack some dried fruits, nuts, or other healthy snacks instead of a cookie or a piece of chocolate. If you need a treat, wait until you get home to have one.
    • Some yoghurts have lots of sugar in them. Real yoghurt doesn't have anything in it but yoghurt and live cultures. Look closely at the ingredients. If you see tapioca starches, sugar, and other strange ingredients, look elsewhere.
    • Instead of ice cream, mix up some protein powder, peanut butter, and blueberries in a cup of greek yoghurt. Delicious.
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    Avoid empty-calorie foods in your lunch. Empty-calorie foods are foods that contain a lot of sugar, but nothing in the way of vitamins, minerals, or fiber. Empty-calorie foods include chocolate bars, cookies, cakes, and especially soda. There's no reason to include highly processed snack foods in your lunch. Focus on lean meats, fresh vegetables and fruits, and avoid the empty stuff.
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    Try to have something different every day. Having the same lunch everyday can become boring, even though it's not actually unhealthy. If you want to make eating healthy attractive though, it's good to vary the menu, so you won't be tempted to spring for a package of Pop-Tarts from the vending machine, instead of eating your healthy pasta salad.
    • Write out a schedule at the beginning of the week and make sure you've bought enough stuff to have a good variety through the week.
    • When you make dinner, make enough to have leftovers the next day, or the day after. Easy lunch solution.


  • Don't forget to move around and stretch at playtime.


  • Don't get too mad if your child does not eat it all.

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Categories: Food Selection and Storage | Meal Planning