Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

If there’s one meal that tends to be particularly unhealthy, it’s the lunch we eat at work. Most of us don’t bring our lunches to work because we feel we’re far too busy to prepare and pack a lunch. And with time restrictions on your lunch break, you have to go out to eat somewhere that’s fast and convenient. More times than not, this means a greasy, unhealthy fast food lunch.  Instead, why not read more to find some healthy lunch ideas for work.

When you combine unhealthy fast food with the sedentary lifestyle of the typical workplace (sitting at your desk for hours on end), you can start to pack on the pounds. More importantly, your health can begin to decline unless you do something fast.

What’s the solution? The solution is to start bringing lunch with you to work. Now, I know what you’re saying: I don’t have time to make a lunch for work! These healthy lunch ideas all require either very little or no preparation at all, so anyone can find time to pack these lunches.

6 Healthy Lunches for Work

  • Soup and a sandwich—Okay, this lunch should only take you a few minutes to prepare. Just make the sandwich of your choice (ham and cheese, tuna fish, turkey, etc.), and bring a soup with you. They even have those microwave-in-a-can soups now that you just pop the lid off, stick in the microwave, and drink from. This makes for a nice, light lunch that fills you up without robbing you of energy.
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich—Speaking of sandwiches, this is a bit of a different twist. Try a peanut butter and banana sandwich on wheat bread. If you’ve never had peanut butter and bananas before, it might sound a little weird at first, but it’s a surprisingly tasty combination. It’s also a very healthy and filling lunch. Again, this only takes minutes to prepare.
  • Cheese quesadilla and chips—Cheese quesadillas are actually really easy to make. It’s basically like making a grilled cheese sandwich using a tortilla. Just heat up a skillet, and place a tortilla on it. Fill one half of the tortilla with cheese, and fold the tortilla in half. Heat until the cheese melts, and you have a quesadilla. It only takes a few minutes to make, and you can reheat it in the microwave at work.
  • Leftovers—Leftovers are the most affordable and convenient lunch option. Most of us have leftovers whenever we cook dinner at home. Rather than throwing them out, pack them up and take them to work with you. If you don’t typically have leftovers, just cook a larger dinner so you have something extra to take with you to work.
  • Frozen meals—Despite the negative stigma attached to them, there really are some great frozen meal options to choose from at your grocery store. You can get a good frozen meal for just a couple of bucks, making it a cheap and convenient lunch for work. Just make sure you read the nutritional information on the meals so you know they really are healthy.
  • Salad—You have all different types of salads you can prepare or purchase. You can make an all veggie salad, or you can add in some grilled chicken to make it a little more of a complete meal. Just be careful with the dressings. These can be very fatty. Also, avoid salads at fast food joints as they tend to have just as many calories as the burgers!


Français : Un MacDonald's, un KFC et un Pizza ...
Français : Un MacDonald’s, un KFC et un Pizza Hut aux Émirats arabes unis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lunch Ideas for Dining Out?

There may be time where you don’t have anything on hand to pack a good lunch or you want to go out for lunch with your co-workers. Here are some tips to make going out to lunch a little healthier.

  • Try to avoid fast food whenever possible.
  • Watch your portion intake. Many restaurants give you enough for two meals.
  • If the restaurant is close enough, walk to it so you can burn calories.
  • Avoid drinking sugary beverages with your lunch such as soda pop–especially if they have free refills.   Drink water, oolong or green tea instead.

Do you bring lunch with you to work?

Here are some more ideas for food to pack with you to work:


John Smith

John Smith manages

12 thoughts on “Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

  • June 28, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Canned Soup? Melted cheese on a Tortilla Wrap? Those aren’t healthy. Its full of refined wheats to begin with. And frozen meals? The whole idea is making your OWN food so you save money and know whats going inside them, most frozen foods have that stigma because they ARE bad for you. Nutritional Information on the back is misleading too, by the way. Lastly, and finally, a healthy option, except you forgot to mention conventional freezing of things such as tomatoes and salad leaves (among many other fresh veges) destroys their cellular structure and turns them into something that resembles non-rotting compost.
    Nice job, whoever gave you a keyboard should be hit.

  • December 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Well written article, well investigated and useful for me in the future.I am so happy you took the time and effort to make this article. Will be back soon.

  • December 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for the insightful tips. The peanut butter and banana sandwich has been surprisingly good. I have also tried your technique and made a Nutella and banana sandwich. They are equally good and with different characters. Thanks for the tip.

  • November 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    That sounds like a good meal plan, but you should start walking, too. Just buy a decent pair of walking shoes and start out at 30 minutes 3 times a week. Work your way up to 60 minutes 5 times a week.

  • November 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I’m 5′ tall and can only eat 1350 calories a day to maintain my weight, so a 400 calorie lunch might be too much for me. For the smaller people of the world, these are some lunches that work for me and can be portion controlled:

    I stuff half a pita pocket with anything good– beans, veggies, chicken, avocado, salad, walnuts, feta– and I eat the inside with a fork first. If I’m still hungry, then I’ll eat some of the pita last

    A healthy stir fry made the night before is a great choice. It is good at any temperature and keeps well. You can really load it up with veggies and get nice and full.

    Lettuce wraps- large romaine lettuce leaves wrapped neatly around leftover chicken, brown rice, plus added carrot, scallion and pepper

    • November 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      Nancy, I’m a huge fan of lettuce wraps and the pitas too. Thanks for these lunch tips!

  • August 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Great idea to promote bringing lunch to work! One brand suggestion for a frozen meal is Organic Bistro. Many of these frozen lunches are under 400 calories, low in sodium/fat and gluten free! For vegetarians, Helen’s Kitchen has a selection of tofu and other meat alternative that are very filling. Enjoy, thanks again for the post!

    • August 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      David, I’ll have to check out Organic Bistro. Thanks for your input on the topic.

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