With costs of living rising and work hours extending, it’s smart to pack your own lunch for work these days. While images of brown bag lunches aren’t quite as appealing as restaurant offerings, homemade lunches are often much healthier than what is served at restaurants.

healthy bagged lunches

If you want to upgrade your bland bagged lunch, here’s a few delicious and healthy ideas:

“Pizza” quesadilla
celery, carrots

Grab your panini maker for this one! Create a delicious and healthy quesadilla or “pizza” for yourself by tossing all your favorite veggies into a tortilla and grilling it. Use your favorite cheese or experiment with different combinations of flavors. This is a great way to use up extra veggies leftover from dinner. Finally, get a handful of carrots, celery, or raw broccoli and bring a cup of low fat ranch dressing for dipping!

chicken salad wrap
apple or other whole fruit
sparkling water or ginger ale

Replicate a restaurant favorite with this bagged lunch recipe! Prep your chicken salad the night before and store it in the fridge. In the morning, make your wrap (we love spinach wraps) and store it in a lunch box with an ice pack to keep it cool, and toss in your favorite fruit. Chicken salad pairs well with apples and grapes! For a little extra fizz, pack yourself a sparkling water or ginger ale. You’ll look forward to lunch all morning!

whole wheat bagel with natural PB and honey

Perfect for breakfast on the go or a small brunch! Filling whole wheat will keep you satisfied until a late lunch or dinner, and a side of fruit will give you a quick burst of energy to pick you up after a busy morning. Choose natural peanut butter and swap out sugar-packed jelly for local honey. Pack your favorite fruit, like sliced strawberries, a crisp apple, or a banana. This is a great bagged lunch option because it doesn’t require a cooler pack to keep everything fresh!

Spinach and arugula salad
with strawberries, pecans, feta cheese, and balsamic dressing

This bright, flavorful salad is a micronutrient-rich classic. Cut the tops off the strawberries, slice into quarters, and package in a small plastic bag or container. In another container, add pecans and feta. Measure out balsamic dressing and put that in a third small container. Pack in a lunch bag with a cooler pack to keep your cheese cold. Don’t mix your ingredients until you’re ready to eat – this will keep them crisp and fresh. Combine all into your salad container, put the lid back on, and shake! Eat immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.

chicken guacamole wraps
cherry tomatoes
cheese cubes

Chicken and guacamole are two foods meant to go together! Combine cold rotisserie chicken pieces and guacamole in a big bowl and mix well, then use to make wraps. Add a side of cherry tomatoes, cheese cubes, or your favorite fruit to round out this healthy lunch.

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