Healthy Lunch Ideas
You can never have enough healthy lunch ideas:
In my experience as a registered dietitian, I see the tendency to gravitate toward unhealthy food choices or "comfort foods" when a person is bored of eating the same ol', same ol'. The solution?
Keep things interesting!
How to Use This List of Healthy Lunch Ideas for Maximum Benefit
- Review the list.
- Write down all your favorite lunch recipes on this "Master Lunch List" template.
- Hang your Master List on the fridge or tape it in a cabinet.
- On Saturday or Sunday, pick 2-3 lunches to rotate between over the upcoming week.
- Purchase the necessary ingredients.
- Follow up the next week by picking 2-3 different healthy lunch ideas to rotate between.
Healthy Lunch Ideas: Sandwiches
- Turkey + hummus + roasted red bell peppers (jarred) + baby spinach. Roll in whole wheat tortilla.
- Turkey + lowfat cheese + roasted red bell peppers (jarred) + avocado slices
- Turkey pocket: Stuff a whole wheat pita pocket with turkey + cranberry sauce + diced celery.
- BBQ Chicken Wrap: Fill whole wheat tortilla/wrap with chicken leftover from previous dinner (sliced) + BBQ sauce + (canned, no sugar added, drained) pineapple chunks. Roll up.
- Lean roast beef + lowfat coleslaw (make with plain nonfat yogurt or fat free mayo) on rye bread.
- Lean roast beef + grilled onions + horseradish on sourdough bread.
- Lean roast beef + horseradish + sliced tomatoes + sliced cucumber on sourdough bread.
- Black beans (canned, rinsed, drained) + salsa + diced mango (Tip: buy frozen mango cubes and thaw slightly before dicing). Serve rolled in whole wheat tortilla or stuffed in whole wheat pita pocket.
- Hummus pocket: spread hummus in whole wheat pita pocket. Stuff with grilled vegetables (zucchini, onions, bell peppers, eggplant, etc.)
- Lentils + reduced fat goat cheese + diced mango + baby spinach leaves. Serve wrapped in whole wheat tortilla.
- English Muffin Veggie Sandwich: English muffin + cheese + avocado slices + cucumber slices + spinach leaves.
- Tofu wrap: Prepared flavored tofu (Nasoya or White Wave are good brands) + shredded carrots + sprouts + cucumber. Roll in sprouted grain wrap (Ezekiel is a good brand).
- Lowfat cheese + sliced avocado + sprouts + sliced tomato on multigrain bread.
- Almond butter + sliced banana + honey on whole wheat bread.
- Peanut butter + sliced apple on cinnamon raisin bread.
- Peanut butter + sliced bananas + raisins + sunflower seeds on whole wheat bread (Note: mix the sunflower seeds and raisins with the p.b. before spreading on bread so they don't fall off!)
- Bagel + lowfat cream cheese + smoked salmon + tomato + red onion.
- Lowfat cheese + avocado slices + sprouts on multigrain bread.
- Tuna/salmon wrap: Prepare tuna salad or salmon salad. Serve rolled in a whole wheat tortilla/wrap with baby spinach leaves.
- Tuna/salmon pocket: Prepare tuna salad or salmon salad. Serve stuffed in a whole wheat pita pocket with diced tomatoes.
- Tuna/salmon lettuce wrap: Prepare tuna salad or salmon salad. Serve rolled in a romaine lettuce leaf with shredded carrots.
- Tuna/Salmon..no need for mayo: Stuff a whole wheat pita pocket with water packed tuna or salmon (rinsed, drained) + mandarin oranges (canned, drained) + baby spinach leaves. Drizzle with a bit of the mandarin orange juice.
- Cottage cheese pocket: Stuff a whole wheat pita pocket with nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese + fruit cocktail (drained) + shredded lowfat cheese.
Note: Use nonstick spray instead of butter to make grilled cheese.
- Grilled lowfat Gouda cheese + thinly sliced pear.
- Grilled lowfat cheddar cheese or mozzarella + thinly sliced apple.
Back to topHealthy Lunch Ideas: Cold Salads
- Tuna Salad/Salmon Salad: light canned tuna or salmon in water (rinsed, drained) + plain nonfat yogurt + mustard (instead of mayo!) Serve over (bagged) salad greens.
- Salmon Salad: canned salmon (rinsed, drained) + plain nonfat yogurt + scallions + dill. Serve over salad greens.
- Chicken Salad: diced chicken + chopped apples + celery + raisins. Mix with plain nonfat yogurt + mustard.
- Egg white salad: Hard boil eggs. Remove yolks. Chop. Mix with plain nonfat yogurt + Dijon mustard + dill.
- Nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese + mandarin oranges (canned, drained) + chopped dates + sunflower seeds
- Nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese + chopped cucumber + diced tomatoes + scallions + dill
- Nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese + chopped dates + sliced banana + crushed pineapple + cinnamon
- Nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese + nonfat/lowfat flavored yogurt + slivered almonds/chopped pecans
- Nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese + all fruit preserves + walnuts
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Healthy Lunch Ideas: Lettuce Salads
- Taco Salad: Serve canned vegetarian chili over (bagged) salad. Top with crushed baked corn chips and salsa for dressing.
- Romaine + tomato + cucumber + feta (+ sliced chicken). Drizzle with olive oil + lemon juice. Sprinkle with pepper.
- Baby spinach + hard boiled egg, sliced + red onion, sliced + diced tomato. Drizzle with olive oil + lemon juice.
- Baby spinach + canned salmon + grapefruit segments. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
- Baby spinach + reduced fat feta + sliced strawberries + walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar + olive oil.
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Healthy Lunch Ideas: Other
- Bean and cheese burrito: Fill whole wheat burrito with canned fat free refried beans + lowfat cheese + salsa.
- Sloppy Joe: Heat canned vegetarian chili. (Amy's is my favorite brand). Serve over whole wheat bun.
- Another Sloppy Joe: Mix ground turkey breast with a can of vegetarian chili. Serve over a whole wheat bun.
- Chili potato: Heat canned vegetarian chili. Serve over baked sweet potato. Sprinkle with lowfat shredded cheese.
- Heat a veggie burger or turkey burger. Top with vegetarian chili.
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Healthy Lunch Ideas: Kid Friendly
- Banana Dog: Peanut butter and banana served up in a whole wheat hot dog bun!
- Whole grain lowfat toaster waffle + peanut butter + banana.
- Whole grain lowfat toaster waffle. Top with nonfat/lowfat cottage cheese mixed with all-fruit preserves. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Almond butter + sliced apple + cinnamon on raisin bread.
- Cottage cheese man: Scoop cottage cheese with a small ice cream scooper to make a head and body. Dot with raisin eyes and mouth and sliced banana arms and legs.
Keep track of what you eat with a free food diary.
More healthy lunch ideas here.
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