With more people working from home and all the kiddos doing virtual learning during the pandemic, lately the topic of conversation is around how to eat healthy while working from home, for both adults and kiddos. So I put together this idea list around healthy lunch and snack ideas for work.
I’ve been working from home for years, so I’ve pretty much got this thing down. But I know a lot of people are now working from home who didn’t before, and now they’re having to figure out how to make healthy meals that are quick and easy. And if they’ve got kiddos learning from home, that adds another layer to it.
Healthy Lunch Ideas For Work At Home Or On-The-Go
Whether you’re finding yourself working at home now, or you’re still going into the office, or you’re at home with a virtual learner, all of these ideas can be tailored to your needs.
Each of these ideas packs up well and can be made the night before.
They’re all nutrient dense and will fuel you and/or your virtual learner as you power through your work flow.
Tip: It’s a good idea to invest in a few high-quality food storage containers, if you’ll be taking your lunches and snacks on the go. I keep all different sizes of BPA-free containers on hand for snacks and lunches on-the-go, or made ahead of time.
A Few Tips To Keep In Mind For Eating Healthy While Working At Home
- Set up scheduled meal and snack times. This will keep both kids and adults from contantly wanting to snack. Some people tend to eat when they’re procrastinating or bored. (Raises hand.) Set up times in advance so you know that 10:00 am is a 10-minute tea break, lunch is at 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm is snacktime and another tea break. You can name your breaks and times however you’d like and however it works best for you and/or your kids’ schedules, but you get the idea. If your child is at home with virtual learning and you’re also working from home, you might consider lining up your own lunch and snack breaks with your child’s daily school schedule, if the school is setting that for you.
- Have meals and snacks planned out in advance. This will keep you and your child from rummaging mindlessly through the pantry when lunch time rolls around. Either have some foods prepped and ready to go in the fridge, or at least have it written down somewhere what you and/or your child will be having for lunch and snacks every day. I suggest doing this each week during your weekend meal prep time.
If you’re looking for a little guidance around making a daily lunch and snack plan for you and/or your kiddo, you could even use this post as a guide and cycle through these suggestions each day.
4 Healthy Lunch Ideas For Work
Leftovers are my next-day lunch about 75% of the time. I love soups, quiches, frittatas, curries, stir fries, pasta dishes, roasted chicken and veggies, etc for next-day lunch leftovers. Reminder to always make extra when you’re cooking healthy dinners.
HEALTHY SNACK PLATE
These are so super easy and can be tailored to whatever you or your child loves best. Think in terms of building your snack plate with a veggie or two, a healthy protein, a good fat, a fiber-filled carb and a serving of fruit, if you’d like. Shown in the photo above are cucumber and pepper strips, a boiled egg, smashed avocado, a few Simple Mills crackers and a few grapes. This is the basic formula I use to make balanced lunches every day for my kiddos as well.
TURKEY AND HUMMUS ROLL UP
This is always an easy go-to. Smear your favorite hummus (mine is Majestic Garlic) on a whole wheat wrap and add turkey, salad greens and any other fresh veggie that you love. Roll it up and serve with veggies and/or fruit on the side. Kids also love these wraps with peanut butter and sliced strawberries.
FAUX SUBWAY SANDWICH
When I make my Faux Subway Sandwich, basically I imagine everything I would order on a Subway sandwich if I went there, and I put it all on my favorite bread (which is Food For Life Ezekiel sprouted grain bread). Here’s what I love on my Faux Subway Sandwich: Dijon mustard, baby spinach, sliced red onions, banana peppers, avocado slices and a slice of mozzarella cheese, with a splash of red wine vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Just like I’d have it at Subway. And it’s even better if you can heat it in a skillet for just a couple of minutes each side, because you know they offer that yummy toasted option at Subway.
4 Healthy Snack Ideas For Work
Fresh fruit, and seasonal if possible, will always be my number one choice for healthy snacks, for adults and kids both. Fresh fruit is full of fiber for gut health, water for hydration, energy-boosting carbohydrates and powerful vitamins and antioxidants. I’m a fan of getting kids into the habit of reaching for fruit as a snack early in life. Tip: always keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand, seasonal if it’s possible, and make sure it’s washed and ready to go for both kids and adults to easily grab at snack time.
YOGURT WITH HONEY AND CINNAMON
This one couldn’t be easier. It’s a satisfying snack that’s creamy and just slightly sweet, and the cinnamon makes it taste even sweeter. Just grab a carton of your favorite organic single serve low-fat or non-fat plain Greek yogurt, drizzle a teaspoon or so of honey over the top and add a big shake of cinnamon. Done.
ROASTED SWEET POTATO CUBES
Make a big batch of these on the weekends and you can just pop a handful for an afternoon snack. They’re naturally sweet and so filling. Add a scoop of almond butter if you’re really hungry. How I roast mine: wash sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan and place the sweet potato cubes on it. Roast for 18 minutes at 400 degrees then toss them around with a wooden spoon. Roast for another 10-12 minutes and remove from the oven. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you’d like them a little sweeter.
ALMOND BUTTER PACK, SINGLE SERVE BAG OF NUTS OR CLEAN SNACK BAR
No matter how much you prep your food, sometimes you just need a go-to packaged food option. My favorites for healthy packaged snacks are single-serve nut butter packets like these from Justin’s, single-serve nut packets like these from Natural Grocers or a “cleaner” snack bar, like my favorites from RXBAR which are made from nuts, dates and egg whites. I pick these up at Trader Joe’s but you should be able to find them at most grocery stores.