Like you, we think eating healthy and packing our own lunches shouldn’t cause us heartburn at the mere thought of it, much less acting on it.
If you’re anything like us there’s likely been times where you’ve bought tons of groceries, all with the best of intentions to meal prep Pinterest worthy lunches for the week ahead. But then, actually packing a lunch on a daily basis went from a mission on Monday to a failure by Friday.
Which brings us to our first bit of advice, don’t over complicate it.
Ditch the "all or nothing" attitude. Doing “all or nothing”, usually ending with “nothing.”
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a shortcut or two when meal prepping your lunches — in fact, it’s encouraged.
Our favorite easy to prep lunch ideas.
1. Pre-cooked meats
Grocery store deli rotisserie chicken (Costco has one the best 🤤), flavored tuna packets, turkey sausage, and smoked salmon slices are just a few of our favorites. There’s a lot of options you can do with each, whether you choose to eat them as-is or mix them in with other foods. We love them for their convenience and versatility.
2. Fresh fruits
Our go-to fruits are apples, nectarines, peaches, pears, and grapes. We like these, in particular, because if you buy them on Sunday they’ll still be good by the end of the work week ahead. Ready to grab and pack each day. Fresh berries tend to spoil too fast, leaving you scrambling for other options. Avoid this scenario altogether by buying fruits you know will stay fresh and get you through the week.
3. Pre-washed and cut veggies
By taking a small amount of time each week to pre-wash and cut some veggies, you'll now have the convenience of grab and go lunch snacks for the week. And if you're not a fan of plain veggies, we love Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch yogurt dressing as a dipping option.
Pre-washed leaf lettuce is also a great option to have on hand for making quick and easy wraps.
The ease of making hard boiled eggs (or buying the pre-boiled version) offers so many options when it comes to lunch packing. You can eat them plain, slice them up and put them in a wrap, over a salad, or with a piece of bread with guacamole.
Homemade yogurt parfait style cups are so easy to make and can even taste like a desert. A simple plain or vanilla greek yogurt, topped with granola and fruit is easy to make and ultra satisfying (we love using frozen fruits for these as it allows us to use berries without the pressure of making them before they would otherwise spoil).
6. Instant Oatmeal
While unconventional, a quick and easy lunch item are oatmeal packets. Most cafeterias have a hot water option on the coffee maker machine, so often a microwave isn’t even necessary to make this at the office (you can even use a disposable coffee cup). To make it more filling, top it off with a banana and a piece of dark chocolate for added flavor. We personally love Nudge Coffee Bars. They are silky smooth and melt right in (tastes like chocolate but isn’t chocolate :).
String cheese and our personal favorite, The Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedges (great with Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins), are great for lunches. Having a bag of shredded cheese on hand is also convenient for making wraps (combined with a wrap, rotisserie chicken or tuna, and a pre-washed lettuce leaf).
8. More Easy Lunch Snack Options
Naan bread with hummus (also great with your pre-cut fresh veggies) and cream cheese on top of crackers with smoked salmon slices.
The bottom line...
If you want to pack lunches like a champ, you don’t have to get weird about things. As much as possible, try to make prepping your lunches fit your real life, not the other way around.
We hope some of these ideas provide you inspiration to create your best lunch with ease!