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Making Lunch Time Healthy – My Top 8 Tips

Making lunch time healthy is easy if you follow these tips.  With a bit of thought and a little planning ahead, you can make sure that your lunch time is healthy by choice.

If you are like me, you may find that preparing a healthy meal at lunch can be a bit of a challenge.

Sometimes it’s just handy to grab something unhealthy and quick when your day is full of things to do.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. These tips will show you that you can do things to make your meal more healthy and still have a great tasting lunch time experience.
Collage with water picture, salads, vegetables, snacks and fridge foods in a collage with words reading 8 Tips for Healthy Lunches.

These 8 tips will go a long way towards making lunch time healthy and allowing you to stick to your healthy eating plan.

For tips on food replacements for heart health, be sure and check out this post.

I try to keep these things in mind when I am deciding what to do for lunch.

  • is it easy to prepare?
  • does it taste good?
  • will it keep me full for the afternoon?
  • does it fit in with my plan to have a healthy lifestyle?

If the answer is a resounding YES to all of these, I know that I have made a good choice.

Here are a few of my tips for making sure that my lunch time meal does what I want it to do.

If you love to snack, be sure to also check out my post on heart healthy snacks. It gives 30 delicious snack ideas that are great for your heart health.

1. Keep the water glass filled

My daughter bought me a Brita water jug with a built in filter for Christmas.

Ever since she did, I have been drinking much more water.  And I have discovered one important thing:  Water keeps me feeling full between meals, and filtered water tastes amazing!  

So load up that water glass, ditch the sugary drinks, and drink to your heart’s content.  Your skin will improve, and you will not have the same urge to eat between meals.

My number one tip for making lunch time healthy is to drink plenty of water.

2. Make use of left overs

I normally have plenty of time to cook in the evening and on the weekends.  I HAVE to cook for two, but I CHOOSE to cook for three.

Just adding that extra serving of everything I make when I do have time to cook allows me to package lunch time meals for days when I don’t have time to put something together that is healthy.

And many things actually taste better the next day! Making lunch time healthy is very easy with prepared and well thought out left overs.

Right now I have roasted veggies, left over roast chicken, baked ham, sliced roasted lamb, and lean pork fillet in Rubbermaid containers as options to put together for a meal. (my husband has lunch at home too, so these will come in handy.)

ANY of these options sounds better than just grabbing something from take away. 

Use left overs for healthy meal options

3. Incorporate Fruits and Veggies

I’m happy to say that I adore both fruits and vegetables.  Cooked, raw, or any way.  I love to add them to my lunch time meal.

The vegetables go a long way towards adding healthy carbs and the fruit gives me a taste of sweetness at the end of the meal that I often crave.  And they are almost all low in calories.  

You can happily add them and keep within your healthy eating plan. Making lunch time healthy is a cinch if you add both fruits and veggies to the meal.

Add fruits and vegetables to your lunch meals

4. Make sure you love what you eat

Nothing derails a healthy eating plan quicker for me than telling myself to eat something “because it is good for me” when I just don’t care for it.  

So do some planning, buy healthy options of food you really love and making lunch time healthy will be a breeze.  I am not a fan of spaghetti squash. 

It does not matter how many times I hear how low in calories it is or how easy it is to make a marinara sauce with it.  

If I eat it for lunch, I will eat something not so healthy later on because I didn’t eat what I really wanted for lunch.  

But give me a plate of left over roast chicken, sliced raw veggies and fruit, a few almonds, and some hummus or salsa and I am a very happy camper!  (this whole plate has less than 300 calories!)

Making lunch time healthy for me also means that I want to feel satisfied when I am done.

Chicken with vegetables and fruit for lunch

5. Plan ahead

For many of us, the weekends are a time when we DO have extra time on our hands.  Use this time well.  Take a few minutes to plan out lunches for the week ahead.  

If you do this, you will have the things on hand that fit into your healthy eating plan and won’t have an excuse to grab something unhealthy for lunch because you don’t have anything ready.

Plan meals ahead to stay on track

6. Keep healthy essentials in your desk drawer

Sometimes, no matter how well intended I am, lunch just has to be a grab-and-go type of thing.  

I make sure that I have some healthy essentials such as oranges, raw almonds, healthy trail mixes in my desk drawer. 

That way, if I do have to just grab something and eat while I am working, I will know that it is a healthy option.

Keep some healthy options in your desk for on the go times.

7. Don’t forget lunch

I don’t know about you, but if I have a good breakfast, I often don’t think about food until 2 o’clock or even later.  Or, I can get busy and just keep working on my blog and, all of a sudden, it is too late for lunch.

But if I do this, what happens later?  Why, I overeat right before dinner time, of course.  So my last tip is to do whatever you need to do to actually remind yourself to eat lunch!Don't work through lunch,. It will break your healthy eating plan. Making lunch time healthy is easy if you plan

What is your favorite tip to make sure that your lunch time meal is a healthy one? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Sunday 13th of March 2016

Before the banned books & magazines from my workplace, I use to love to make extra dinner portions for my lunches. It was a great way to eat healthy and save money. Since the ban, I have to eat outdoors so now I'm into hand held foods, mostly sandwiches that don't require cooking. I like Lean Pockets in the winter just so my hands stay warm while I'm reading.


Sunday 13th of March 2016

Hi Mattie,

I know a lot of people don't care for left overs but I just love having them for lunch time. What a shame they banned magazines and books! Carol

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