Children crave variety when it comes to food, yet families often struggle with lunch ideas. Over time, many children become bored with the meals they are eating, and this can lead to unhealthy choices.
One way to combat this is to offer endless variety when it comes to making lunch. Many lunches will need to be assembled before you eat them because we often eat lunch on-the-go or during a work break.
Besides the overall healthy lunch ideas we have for you today, you will also find a handful of low carb lunch ideas (that you can add to your list of keto lunch ideas to start your ketogenic diet this year) and plenty of vegan lunch ideas to help you keep up with your lifestyle.
Therefore, in this article, we offer a whopping 101 healthy lunch ideas that any family can make and enjoy. We emphasize healthy, simple recipes that would be great for the entire family or for any family member that needs a quick, portable meal.
15 Hot Lunch Ideas – Sandwiches
We’ve included our best sandwich recipes in this section. Sandwiches are a fast, delicious, easy lunch idea that families can add to their daily rotation.
To make them hot, try toasting them before eating.
- Whole wheat bread with cheddar cheese, lettuce, turkey breast, tomatoes, and mayonnaise
- Whole wheat bread with swiss cheese, lettuce, chicken breast, and mustard
- Wheat bread with tempeh, lettuce, sprouts, and kimchi sauerkraut
- Brown Rice wraps with cucumbers, tofu, avocado, peppers, lemon juice, lime juice, and salt
- Nori sheets with black rice, salmon, avocado, cucumber, and soy sauce
- Bibb lettuce wraps with miso paste, beets, sweet potatoes, and kelp noodles
- Romaine lettuce wraps with mashed bananas
- Bok choy wraps with hummus, tahini, lemon juice, and kale sprouts
- Beet burger with mushroom buns, steamed onions, kale chips, and Dijon mustard
- Whole wheat wrap with scrambled eggs, asparagus, hemp seeds, avocado, and roasted garlic salsa
And there’s more
- Rye bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, artichokes, and hearts of palm
- Rice paddies with meatballs, pepper jack cheese, and caramelized onions
- Sprouted corn quesadilla with buffalo milk mozzarella, black beans, sliced or pureed mushrooms, onions, and sour cream
- Whole wheat bread with ham, turkey, lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes
- Whole wheat bread with avocado, roasted red peppers, and salt
10 Cheap and Quick Lunch Ideas – Stir Fry Recipes
- Quinoa, okra, corn, kale, sweet potatoes with a dash of cinnamon and cumin
- Brown rice, potatoes, coconut milk, coconut flakes, asparagus
- Lentils, green beans, tofu, turmeric powder, brussels sprouts
- Amaranth, a fennel bulb, coconut oil, lemon juice, tahini, and chipotle peppers
- Teff grain, roasted cauliflower crumbles, ginger powder, curry powder, apple cider vinegar, coconut Aminos sauce, lemon juice, miso paste, and fermented beets
- Coconut yogurt, black bean salsa, rice cakes, cilantro, lemon juice, and sunflower shoots
- Millet and oats with steamed broccoli and carrots, topped with a coconut milk curry sauce
- Buckwheat, radishes, lime juice, coconut sugar, spearmint leaves, and mung bean sprouts with a tomato garlic sauce
- Potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic with spaghetti, parmesan, and artichokes
- Shrimp, linguine, hazelnut spread, ghee oil, a handful of pine nuts, roasted red peppers, a scoop of goat milk yogurt
10 Packed Green Lunch Ideas – Salads
- Kale, mangoes, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, a side of hummus
- Romaine lettuce, corn, black beans, almonds, zucchini, carrots
- Spinach, honey, dried figs, frozen cherries, red peppers
- Dandelion greens, radishes, onions, olive oil, roasted chickpeas, pickle
- Red cabbage, broccoli sprouts, roasted red potatoes, bleu cheese crumbles
- Fenugreek sprouts, sunflower shoots, olives, artichokes, rice cake, peanut butter, pistachios, lemon juice, Ume plum vinegar
- Spinach, kale, cashew yogurt, granola, blackberries, raspberries, maple syrup, cucumber slices
- Seaweed, peanuts, avocado, cilantro, papaya slices, celery slices
- Corn tortilla chips, black bean salsa, Greek yogurt, iceberg lettuce, peppers, and onions
- Basil, buckwheat sprouts, lentil sprouts, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, mint leaf, olives, maple syrup
20 Simple & Juicy Lunch Ideas – Fruit
Many people eat only fruit as their lunch. Besides being one of the easiest options when you go for clean eating instead of processed foods, fruits are versatile enough to make some of the easiest lunch recipes ever. You can eat them as they are (washed and sometimes peeled) or you can turn them into the perfect fruit salads with the help of your Veggie Bullet. Moreover, if you are on a high-protein diet, making high-protein fruit shakes is a surefire way to nourish your body and mind in a delightful, healthy manner.
This choice is a very versatile option as it requires no preparation, and you can modify it to the person’s schedule. If someone needs a more substantial lunch, they can consume more fruit. If you desire a lighter lunch, then only a piece of fruit can be eaten.
Other people eat fruit as the core of their lunch but supplement with other foods, turning the meal into a fruit salad or fruit smoothie.
- Bananas – try blending up several bananas in a blender and then drinking the mixture like a soup
- Mangoes – try sitting down with a bowl of mangoes and eating until you are satisfied
- Grapes – A pound of grapes, which is often no more than $5 at the grocery store, gives you almost 300 calories and can satisfy you for several hours
- Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Strawberries – one of the best combinations available
- Nectarines – try eating them like an apple, skin and all
- Frozen pineapple – try thawing the night before on the counter
- Cucumber, avocados, peppers, spinach, and dates – eaten as a kind of fruit salad
- Apples – try having several large Fuji apples for lunch
- Orange juice – make this fresh yourself. This treat is best enjoyed when citrus is in season
- Watermelon – try having a half watermelon while bathing in the sun
More Fruit Lunch Ideas
- Figs – try having a bowl of fresh figs. Some people even love to spread blue cheese on their figs
- Papaya – a standard lunch is a papaya with lemon juice, lime juice, or passionfruit juice
- Jackfruit – cut open a jackfruit and share with the family
- Lychee – though this fruit is low-calorie, it’s also very refreshing, hydrating and satisfying
- Kiwi – an excellent contrast to other sweet fruit, as the tartness is difficult to ignore
- Frozen cherries – most people don’t realize that you can go to the store and purchase frozen cherries at their peak ripeness. The key here is to thaw them sufficiently. We recommend leaving them out of the fridge if you plan to eat the cherries that day. If you plan to eat them later than that, try putting them in the refrigerator, and then taking them out of the fridge on the day you plan to eat them.Combined with romaine lettuce and sliced cucumbers, frozen cherries make a fantastic filling for a wrap or burrito dish. What’s great is that they are high-calorie, yet low-fat, so they are not hard to digest like beans or other traditional wrap fillings.
And don’t forget about avocados
- Avocados – this is an excellent option that will fill you up for a while. Try eating just two avocados for lunch. You will feel light yet grounded at the same time. As you already know, avocado is one of the primary ingredients in ketogenic diets (like the Keto Diet or the Banting Diet) and healthy meal plans as a whole when you calculate your carbs and try to live a healthy life.
- Dates – you can eat any dried fruit as a lunch. We think dates are the tastiest, especially Medjool dates. You can either eat them straight up or blend them with water to form a smoothie. Some people will even add peanut butter powder to the mixture and then freeze it. This process creates the basis for a kind of cake, which would be perfect for a more celebratory lunch.
- Strawberries – this fruit is best when they are in season, though you can use frozen strawberries as well. If they are in season, try picking them and then eating them afterward. You will notice a pronounced difference between freshly picked strawberries and store-bought varieties picked several days prior.
- Persimmons – wait until they are gooey and then enjoy as many as you like.
5 Convenient Lunch Ideas – Smoothies
Smoothies are one of the most popular healthy lunch ideas because they are so dense with nutrition yet so convenient as well. We recommend using Vitamix blenders, though any blender or food processor will do. As we said above, if you want a boost of protein and that filling sensation to keep you all day until dinner, you can also check out some of the best protein powders for weight loss on the market right now!
- Bananas, Lemon Juice, Cocoa Powder, Chia Seed, Coconut Water, Spirulina
We like to blend this combination up and then pour it over granola and frozen strawberries. This option is a great lunch idea for making in the morning. It’s easy and quick, but you can store them for several hours outside of the fridge. This smoothie is also very stimulating due to the cocoa powder. It allows the smoothie to act as a mid-day coffee replacement. Furthermore, this smoothie will keep you full for a long time due to the bananas and healthy fats. Some people like to substitute the cocoa powder or the spirulina for matcha powder. This step helps the smoothie retain its green color while also offering caffeine from the green tea leaf.
- Spinach, ginger powder, bananas, carob powder, almond butter, honey
We love the combination of honey and almonds in this smoothie. They give it a thickness that is irresistible. This recipe is also a great winter smoothie if you take out the bananas, as the almonds, honey, carob powder, and ginger are all incredibly warming. If you want to add fruit to your smoothie during the winter, you can always heat some fruit jam and include it in your smoothie. Alternatively, dried fruit is always enjoyable.
More Smoothies for Lunch to Try
- Dried figs, dates, coconut water, peanut butter, Greek yogurt
The combination of dried fruit and peanut butter make this smoothie one of the best on this list.
- Coconut milk, frozen blueberries, cacao nibs, freshly sliced bananas
Sometimes we use coconut cream and frozen bananas to create a thick base for our cacao nibs. This treat is great for the summer when you crave healthy ice cream.
- Cashew yogurt, ripe bananas, frozen mangoes, cacao powder, hemp seeds
We love to eat the frozen mangoes whole on top of the blended mixture when they are slightly tender but still cold.
16 Liquid Lunch Ideas – Juices
Drinking the juices of fruits and vegetables is becoming a popular way to consume nutritious yet convenient meals. In this section, we list our favorite healthy lunch ideas for juices.
- Ginger juice, blueberry juice, lemon juice
- Turmeric juice, raspberry juice, lemon juice, lime juice, salt
- Cocoa powder, coconut water, beet juice, mango juice
- Cherry juice, celery juice, orange juice or grapefruit juice
- Orange juice, spinach juice, cucumber juice
- Blackberry juice, beet juice, tomato juice, lemon juice, salt
- Apple juice, banana juice, kiwi juice
- Pineapple juice and mango juice
- Celery juice, carrot juice, cucumber juice, dates
- Strawberry juice and acai frozen pulp
- Mint, ginger, turmeric, carrot, raspberry juice
- Cilantro, spinach, apple, honey, kale juice
- Cold brew coffee, beet juice, cucumber juice, coconut water
- Matcha green powder, maca powder, strawberry juice, pineapple juice, kiwi juice, lemon juice, turmeric juice
- Cinnamon powder, cayenne powder, orange juice, carrot juice, coconut water
- Rosemary, mint leaves, yerba matte, cucumber juice, beet juice
10 Family Lunch Ideas – Pizzas
Pizzas are a great lunch option because you can either make them fresh or eat them as leftovers. In this section, we share our favorite healthy lunch ideas for pizzas. If you have an interest in low carb lunch recipes or snack recipes, you can try making the pizza crust with Carbquik.
- Flaxseed crust, fresh Roma tomatoes marinara sauce, olive oil, arugula, goat cheese, black pepper
- A whole-wheat crust, Roma tomatoes marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, black olives
- A whole-wheat crust, portabella mushrooms, corn, pineapple, artichokes
- Buckwheat crust, spinach leaves, onions, ricotta cheese, roasted beets
- A buckwheat crust, roasted garlic sauce, dill leaves, mascarpone cheese
- Buckwheat crust, sun golds tomatoes, marinara sauce, cashew cheese, zucchini, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, dried peaches
- Brown rice flour crust, chicken breast, black beans, tomatoes, chili powder, swiss cheese, jalapenos
- Brown rice flour crust, Kimchi sauerkraut, asparagus, mushrooms
- Coconut flour crust, jackfruit, Roma tomatoes marinara sauce, cashew cheese sauce, frozen pineapples, avocados
- Coconut flour crust, roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower, tofu slices, heirloom tomatoes marinara sauce.
Before you start eating homemade pizza for lunch at work or at school, remember that carbohydrates are critical to your health as long as you do not exaggerate with their consumption. Many low carb lunch recipes are delicious and will not mess with your ketogenic diet or your low carb healthy meal plans.
5 Quick and Sweet Lunch Ideas – Bars
One way to eat a healthy lunch while on the run is to eat a bar. We make bars packed with nutrients and calories. In this section, we have assembled the five best options for lunch bars that also satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Luna Bar – these are often very simple and consist of nuts and fruits
- Clif Bars – these are more complicated and are usually higher in calorie
- RXBar – these even include eggs sometimes but are still very simple
- Chocolate Bar – as long as the cocoa content is high, chocolate bars are extremely healthy lunches
- Carob Bar – you can make these at home first as a substitute for chocolate. Essentially, substitute carob powder for any recipe calling for cocoa powder. This bar will give you the energy you need without the jolting kick of cocoa.
10 Healthy Lunch Ideas – Traditional Gourmet Recipes
You can make traditional lunches healthy if you use pure, organic ingredients. Keep in mind that you also have the option of making organic fast food recipes at home, so the only thing that stops you from pampering yourself every day at lunch is only your imagination!
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Just use organic peanut butter, freshly made jelly, and whole wheat bread. Alternatively, you can you use almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or even cashew butter for a twist on this classic lunch idea.
- Grilled cheese sandwich
Use whole grain bread and raw cheese for an unusual taste. Some people enjoy a cold version of grilled cheese, utilizing plant-based breads and cashew cheeses that you spread over it.
- Rice, chicken, soy sauce, peas
Use a low-sodium soy sauce if possible, as excessive salt intake is unhealthy. Organic chicken is also recommended, and locally sourced if possible. For more inspiration, check out our guide on the best healthy chicken recipes for weight loss!
- Macaroni and cheese
Use gluten-free pasta as an alternative. Many exist on the market – like buckwheat, brown rice, and even mung-bean pasta. These are much less refined kinds of pasta than the traditional macaronies on the market. For cheese, try melting a combination of mozzarella, cheddar, and pepper jack.
- Baked sweet potato with avocado, cashew cheese, nutritional yeast, and corn
- Quesadilla with catfish, marinara sauce, and cabbage
You can use any fish, but we think catfish is particularly delectable
And there’s more where these came from…
- Beef tacos
Just use grass-fed beef. Fill the taco with your favorite vegetables. One of our favorite ways to do this is to eat the meat like a hot dog and to use a corn tortilla taco. We like to roast eggplant and onions and drape the gooey result on the beef dog. Then we hit the dish with a dash of pepper and salt.
- Chicken tenders
Skip out on frying and steam your chicken and use ketchup without added sugar. Better yet, make your own ketchup using local tomatoes.
- Potato chips
Just use local potatoes and don’t use any oils. Roast your potatoes in the oven on parchment paper and then eat them with coconut yogurt, cashew cheese, avocadoes, sauerkraut, steamed mushrooms, kelp noodles, and banana pancakes. If you are feeling particularly celebratory, you can add a cocoa chocolate sauce made from honey, tahini, lemon juice, cocoa nibs, and cashew yogurt. This sauce will function as a kind of gravy for the pancakes, making this idea perfect for a brunch or early lunch. If you think potatoes have nothing to do with healthy eating, the Plan Diet, however, begs to differ.
Use a veggie burger made from beans and legumes, or even some kind of nut pate. Many people love to make burgers from sweet potatoes, walnuts, and hemp seeds. If you get the portions right, you can make this a low-fat burger while still keeping the nuts and seeds. Just use a lot of potatoes.
What Are Your Favorite Lunch Ideas?
Now we want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below how you liked our lunch ideas. And share with our readers if you have any favorites that we left off of our list.
Have a great day and a delicious lunch!