Packing a lunch for work can seem a hassle, especially if you can easily buy something to eat. However making your own lunch has many benefits, such as knowing exactly what ingredients have been used and who has handled them, and being able to control the portion size. It can help you to save money too.
Below are some filling, nutritious lunches that will fuel your body and reduce the urge to grab an afternoon or pre-dinner snack that is high in sugar, salt and calories. Some of the lunches are suitable for meal‑prepping so they can be easily thrown together as needed.
Salad in a jar
Jar salads not only look good but are also a great way to get your 5+ of veggies and fruit for the day. Using a glass jar and reusable fork helps to avoid the use of cling film and other single‑use packaging as well. Click here for some tips and tricks for building a salad in a jar plus 6 recipes so you can get inspired. And check out this site for other lunch-in-a-jar recipes that aren’t salad.
For a hydrating lunch that is easy to digest, make your favourite smoothie recipe and put it in a jar or thermos ready for you to drink when hunger strikes.
Fresh Spring Rolls
This site has step‑by‑step instructions for shrimp and pork rolls and tips on how to store them. Once you know the technique you can use any ingredients that you like. Rice paper and rice vermicelli usually don’t contain wheat so are gluten free, but if you are trying to avoid gluten check the ingredients list before you buy.
Roll up the leftovers from a roast with some salad leaves, or hummus with grated carrot and raisins for a quick and easy lunch. Click here for more recipes.
Also known as ‘Bhudda bowls,’ these grain, protein and vegetable dishes can be made in minutes and tailored to your taste. The great thing about lunch bowls is that you can prepare enough ingredients in advance to see you through 3 or 4 lunches. Here's some excellent recipes and ideas to get you started.
A hot meal can be great for lunch, especially in the winter. If you are making a stirfry (or curry) for dinner, try to make enough to heat up for lunch the next day. If all the stirfry gets eaten but you still have leftover rice, you can use it for a lunch bowl or rice salad.
Japanese bento lunches are usually neatly and tightly packed in a container with dividers for separate foods: vegetables and fruits in one section, and grains and protein in another. One of the important qualities of packing a bento lunch is choosing nutritious foods. Another characteristic is aesthetics—bento is an opportunity to get creative and pack a lunch that looks like it would be fun to eat.
You don’t have to stick Japanese foods for your bento box; sandwiches, pasta, and salads may also be included. The owner of this site used bento as a tool for weight loss, and has a comprehensive list of suitable recipes with calorie counts per serve.