When it comes to feeding young children and adults alike, lunchtime can often pose a challenge. What if there was a way to serve tasty and nutritious meals that will provide the midday fuel needed to stay focused and energized throughout the day? Read on to discover wholesome lunch ideas – delicious and healthy recipes that everyone in the family will love.
1. Putting a Twist on Wholesome Lunches
Are you tired of the same old sandwiches and salads for lunch? Get inspired to craft creative and nutritious meals with just a few quick and easy ingredient swaps! Making simple changes to your regular packed lunches can help you mix up the flavor and nutrition of your midday meal.
Start with the Sandwich
Gone are the days of plain PB&J sandwiches: put a twist on your lunch staple with these sandwich-enhancing swaps!
- Change it up and use a pita or wrap instead of two slices of bread.
- Spread it with hummus or guacamole instead of butter or mayonnaise.
- Make it savory with cooked veggies like grilled zucchini and eggplant slices.
- Go green with microgreens, sprouts, cucumber or lettuce.
- Mix it up with fun condiments like mashed avocado, sriracha or tahini.
Think Beyond the Salad
Salads can be a delightful and nutritious lunch option! Give your salad game a refresh with these easy modifications.
- Start with a grain base like quinoa, brown rice or faro to provide nutrient-dense energy.
- Add texture and flavor with crunchy ingredients like roasted chickpeas, toasted nuts or sunflower seeds.
- Top it with fresh fruit like pomegranate seeds, berries or golden raisins.
- Make it a big bowl of veggies by adding cooked or fresh choices like broccoli, bell peppers or mushrooms.
- Drizzle it with a homemade dressing like balsamic or an olive oil-based vinaigrette.
2. Delicious Recipes to Keep You Energized Through the Day
Fuel Up with these Recipes!
Making healthy meals and snacks can be a challenge, especially if you’re short on time. But with a bit of planning and creativity, delicious and nutritious food can be served up in no time. Here are some scrumptious recipes that will make sure you’re staying energized throughout the day:
- For Breakfast: Blueberry Oatmeal Bars
- For Lunch: Spinach and Avocado Quesadillas
- For an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up: Healthy Almond Butter Apple Wraps
- For an After-Dinner Treat: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Starting the day with something sweet and fruity, the Blueberry Oatmeal Bars are sure to put a pep in your step. This recipe packs a nutritious punch, combining oats, dried cranberries and almond butter. The Spinach and Avocado Quesadillas truly bring the flavors of Mexico to your plate – with ingredients like bell peppers, garlic, and cilantro to zest them up. Next, the Healthy Almond Butter Apple Wraps make a perfect midday snack, with their blend of tangy apples, creamy almond butter, and crunchy nuts. Finally, make sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with some decadent Chocolate-Covered Strawberries.
These recipes are the perfect way to keep your energy levels going throughout the day, while also making sure you’re taking care of your nutrition. Try them out and see for yourself!
3. Fast & Easy Midday Meal Ideas
It can be hard to figure out quick and easy midday meals. Your lunch has to be tasty, satisfying, and ready in a flash. Here are some delicious meal ideas that you can whip up in no time:
- Nutty Chickpea Salad: Start by making this flavorful nutty chickpea salad. Mix chickpeas, almonds, cranberries, carrots, and celery with your favorite dressing. Get creative and add your favorite healthy ingredients for extra taste and crunch.
- Vegetable Quinoa Bowl: If you love quinoa, this one is for you. Cook some quinoa, then add in any vegetables you have around. Carrots, zucchini and bell peppers are always delicious. Sprinkle with your favorite spices and herbs — cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and cilantro are great choices. Serve hot or cold, depending on your preference.
- Baked Sweet Potato Falafel: A sweet potato falafel is the perfect crunchy, yet healthy lunch. Start by making your own falafel mix — just combine cooked sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, onion, and some simple spices. Form into patties, and bake until golden brown. Serve with a tangy tahini sauce for extra flavor.
- Avocado Toast: Avocado toast is a classic for lunch. Start by toasting some whole wheat bread until golden brown. Smear on some mashed avocado, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with your favorite toppings. Try tomatoes, cucumber, and leafy greens for a delicious and nutritious midday meal.
These fast and easy midday meal ideas are the perfect solutions for your busy life. Try out these recipes and create your own version of lunch in minutes!
4. Tastier and Healthier Lunch Choices
When it comes to lunch choices, it pays to think outside the box – or outside your sandwich, anyway. If you’re looking to eat healthier while still making sure your next lunch is as flavorsome as possible, here are some great ideas.
Salad boxes are portable and easily customized to individual tastes. A few handfuls of dark greens, fresh vegetables – sliced radish, cucumber, tomatoes – and a few slices of avocado are a great start, then add some lean protein in the form of grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs. Finish with a light dressing or a spread of hummus.
Sushi platters make great lunch options, and are certainly more interesting than a wrap or sandwich. Sushi platters can be as naked or as lavish as you like – choose from a selection of attractive and delicious sushi like tuna, salmon and yellowtail, and don’t forget a few sides of edamame or seaweed salad to balance the meal.
Wraps are a healthier alternative to sandwiches, as they contain a lot of fiber. Not only are they great tasting, they’re also a lot easier to eat on the go! Try wraps with grilled vegetables, hummus, and feta, or go for a bold Italian combination of pesto, roasted peppers, and arugula.
- Steamed dumplings
- Mediterranean platter
- Quinoa bowls
- Kebab skewers
Making healthier lunch choices doesn’t have to be boring. These options prove that you can eat well without sacrificing flavor. Just remember to load up on vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, and you’ll have a meal that will keep you satiated for longer.
5. Unleashing Your Creative Lunchbox Self
We don’t doubt that you’ve had plenty of experience packing school lunchboxes. But did you know there’s more to being creative than just dropping a fruit bar, a pack of chips, and a sandwich? Get ready to take your lunchbox to a whole new level and become a creative lunchbox enthusiast!
Presentation Matters: Make packing lunch fun by cutting sandwiches into fun shapes, arranging snacks artfully in containers, and adding color with a bit of flowers or fresh herb. It’s also easier to grab a variety of colorful disposable lunch containers and containers for drinks, snacks, and food that don’t require extra cleanup.
Mix Up the Routine:
- Blend old (lunchbox) favorites with unfamiliar flavors- like adding a sweet and spicy sauce to a cheese sandwich.
- Make a pizza by using mashed potatoes as the “crust,” loaded with favorite toppings.
- Wrap up rice and egg with lettuce leaves for an easy and flavorful lunch on-the-go.
Get Creative: Try pastry dough for making mini tarts, tortilla for handheld quesadillas, or even leftover muffins or cake to make creative lunch sandwiches with unexpected ingredients. Not only will your child have fun opening their lunchbox, they will also be amazed at the fun and different foods you’ve put together.
These wholesome lunch ideas can help you make satisfying, delicious, and healthy lunch options. So the next time you’re stumped on what to do for lunch, try one of these recipes. Not only will your body thank you, but you’ll also enjoy a lunch that’s both tasty and nutritious.