Do you often skip lunch or snack all day because you don’t have something quick and easy ready to go?

What if you could have a bunch of quick and healthy lunch ideas that you don’t even have to heat up? Chances are, you would eat lunch a lot more often if that were the case, and you wouldn’t be falling off track at 4:00 p.m. every day.

Lunch time is a busy time for many of us, and it can be all too easy to either skip lunch or default to convenient processed foods. The problem is, processed foods tend to be higher in calories, and they don’t fill you up in the way that whole foods do. With processed foods, you’ll probably get hungry within a couple hours, scrambling to find something quick all over again. This can lead to a vicious cycle of overeating and mindless snacking later in the day. 

Alternatively, having an arsenal of healthy lunch ideas is more satisfying and sets you up for success for the latter half of your day. What’s even better is that creating a healthy lunch doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. Add the ingredients to your grocery list, and then you’ll have the components ready for a make-ahead lunch or a quick and easy no-heat lunch made in the moment.

Whether you’re a teacher going back to school amid the pandemic and need a ready-to-go lunch you can eat in your classroom, or you just simply don’t have the time to heat up your lunch – I got you covered!

Try these 10 Registered Dietitian approved, quick and healthy, no-heat lunch ideas that you can make ahead of time. The last 2 are inspired by yours truly)!

1. Chickpea Salad

This quick and easy chickpea salad is super nutritious and filling, thanks to its plant-based protein and fiber content. You can make it the night before, which gives all of the wonderful flavors a chance to marinate together overnight! – Christie Gagnon, RD, Owner of Hoorah to Health.

Chickpea Salad by Christie Gagnon, RD

2. Quinoa Veggie Bowl

Quinoa is a whole grain and a complete protein. This means it provides all of the essential building blocks your body needs without any other protein sources. It is heart-healthy, quick and easy, and gluten-free for those that are sensitive. – Lori Gardiner, MS, RD, CDN.

3. Guacamole Chicken Salad Sandwich

This Mexican-inspired guacamole chicken salad has tons of flavor and healthy fats! Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats, the type that lower your cholesterol and promote satiety. – Monica Nedeff, RD, Owner of The Traveling Dietitian.

4. Starbucks-Inspired Protein Bistro Box

Skip the Starbucks protein bistro box and put your own twist on it! Bistro boxes are super easy and versatile, and literally take 5 minutes or less to prepare. This one has fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, satisfying cheese and whole grain crackers. Just remove the top and dive right in! – Leanne Ray, MS, RD.

5. Winter White Bean Salad

Bored with the same blah green salads? Try this Winter White Bean salad with protein and fiber that will knock you out of your rut! Portion out in mason jars or tupperware so it’s ready to go when you need it. – Rebecca Bitzer Ostrow, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD of Rebecca Bitzer & Associates. 

6. Greek Mason Jar Salad

A classic make-ahead Greek salad with chicken, stored in a mason jar for a quick grab-and-go lunch option that will sustain you through the afternoon. It contains minimal ingredients, is easy to prepare, and is filled with lean protein to promote weight loss. – Rebecca Bitzer Ostrow, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD. 

7. Meal Prep Salmon Salad

Trying to eat more fish, but intimidated at the thought of cooking it? This easy, protein-packed meal prep canned salmon recipe is for you! It tastes amazing and is a super simple way to increase your fish intake. – Leanne Ray, MS, RD.

Meal Prep Salmon Salad by Leanne Ray, MS, RD

8. Bento Box Recipes – Kid and Adult-Friendly

If you are already packing lunch for the kids, why not make the same thing for yourself? Who says you have to make two separate things? Even if you don’t have kids, these bento box recipes are wonderful for adults and kids alike! – Rebecca Bitzer Ostrow, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD of Rebecca Bitzer & Associates.

9. Crunchy Peanut Butter Wrap

Spread crunchy peanut or almond butter on a whole wheat tortilla, warm for 10-15 seconds, sprinkle with chopped apple and granola, and cut in half. Super simple, protein-packed, and will satisfy any sweet tooth!

10. Hummus Veggie Wrap

Spread hummus on a multigrain or sprouted grain wrap. Add your favorite veggies such as spinach/lettuce, tomato, sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber or peppers. The fiber and plant-based protein in this wrap will hold you over until dinner.

Easy make-ahead or quick and easy lunch ideas will set you up for long-lasting energy to get you through your busy days. These lunches will leave you feeling recharged and satisfied, so you’re more present and focused for whatever your day has in store. Not to mention, you’ll be able to nip those 4pm afternoon slump cravings in the bud! 

If you need more support and guidance on what types of foods will work for you to lose weight without feeling deprived, I’d like to invite you to book a FREE discovery call to find out more about my 1:1 Weight Loss Accountability Program. Take the next step toward your weight loss goals today!

Now tell me: what are your favorite go-to quick and healthy lunches? Share in the comments!

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