Whether you’re packing lunch for yourself or your child, staying healthy at school or the office requires a little bit of extra planning. Here are five easy, packable lunches to help you or your kiddo stay healthy and energized all week long.

Monday: Meatless Monday burrito bowl

Try this meatless Monday burrito bowl for a healthy and budget-friendly start to the week. It offers plenty of healthy fats, protein and whole grains.

  • ½ cup low-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes and sweet bell peppers
  • Small handful of greens (spinach, mixed greens or romaine)
  • 2 Tbsp grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • ½ avocado, cut into squares and coated with lime juice (to prevent browning)
  • Optional: chopped cilantro, chopped onion, chopped jalapeño, hot sauce

Preparation: Layer the ingredients in a reusable container in the following order, starting from the bottom: cheese, black beans, vegetables, greens, rice. Pack the avocado and any sauces separately. At lunchtime, mix all ingredients together and enjoy.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 487; total carbs: 58 g; total fat: 22 g; saturated fat: 6 g; sodium: 307 mg; protein: 19 g; fiber: 20 g

Tuesday: Chicken salad wrap

This chicken salad wrap is light on mayo and still full of flavor. For a low-carb option, serve with lettuce wraps or celery sticks. For pickier eaters or kids under 5, pack the ingredients separately, skip the mayo and include whole wheat mini crackers instead of wraps.

  • ½ cup cooked chicken breast, cubed (save time and limit sodium by choosing fresh rotisserie chicken from the deli instead of canned chicken breast)
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil mayo (available at most grocery stores)
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla

Preparation: Combine chicken, celery, grapes and mayo together and pack in a reusable container. At lunchtime, spoon the chicken mixture into the tortilla and enjoy.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 560; total carbs: 48 g; total fat: 21 g; saturated fat: 6 g; protein: 46 g; sodium: 494 mg; fiber: 6 g.

If serving recipes to kids under 5, change recipes to make them easier to eat, like cutting up meats, fruits and veggies into bite-sized pieces.

Wednesday: Easy-peasy protein box

Let’s face it—by Wednesday, your week is in full swing, and you may not have a ton of time to prepare lunch. This easy, healthy protein box is quick to prepare and filling. Just assemble ahead of time, grab and go!

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries or blackberries)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped into slices
  • 4 slices low-sodium deli meat (ham, turkey or chicken breast)
  • 2 Tbsp hummus for dipping veggies

Preparation: Layer yogurt, honey and berries together in a single container. Add each additional ingredient to its own container or to its own section of a segmented container.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 377; total carbs: 62 g; total fat: 11 g; saturated fat: 4 g; protein: 20 g; sodium: 764 mg; fiber: 6 g.

Speak with a dietitian today

Thursday: Pasta salad

This pasta salad recipe is full of fresh vegetables, crunch and flavor. For pickier eaters, leave out the vinegar and dress only with olive oil and salt to taste.

  • 1 cup precooked whole wheat rotini
  • 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (bell pepper, cucumber, olive, cherry tomato)
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta or grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 463; total carbs: 62 g; total fat: 19 g; saturated fat: 5 g; protein: 15 g; sodium: 241 mg; fiber: 12 g.

Friday: Make your own pita pizzas

Everyone loves pizza on Fridays. Use this recipe to create mini pizzas that satisfy that craving but are still full of whole grains. These can be served cold or heated up in a toaster oven or microwave. If you are following a low-sodium diet, skip the pepperoni.

  • 3 whole wheat pita pockets, small
  • ¼ cup marinara sauce, packed separately
  • ½ cup nonfat mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup chopped vegetables of choice (peppers, mushrooms, spinach, red onion, olive)
  • 15 slices of low-sodium mini pepperoni

Preparation: Pack ingredients separately. At lunchtime, divide the marinara sauce, cheese, veggies and pepperoni evenly between each pita pocket, starting with the marinara sauce and layering each ingredient, pizza style. Enjoy toasted or cold.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 503; total carbs: 64 g; total fat: 16 g; saturated fat: 5 g; protein: 28 g; sodium: 1,163 mg; fiber: 12 g.

Want even more school lunch ideas? Here are 21 school lunch ideas for easy packing and happy kids. Or speak with a Teladoc dietitian for one-on-one guidance about meal planning and making better food choices for your health and lifestyle.

Working with a dietitian can be a great way to help you eat for your needs. Here’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist.

Published March 23, 2022

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