Most people living in the United States claim to lead hectic lives, due to the demands of their careers or academics. Hence, it is common to see people skip breakfast, in their hurry to get to work or school. Moreover, there are a very few people who take the time to prepare a healthy and nutritious packed lunch for themselves; most just visit the nearest fast food joint or vending machine. However, everything that you eat has a great impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Fortunately, as more people become aware of this fact, healthy and nutritious packed lunch ideas for work or school are becoming more popular.
In fact, carrying healthy packed lunches on a daily basis will not just improve the condition of your body, but could also help you save a considerable amount of money at the end of every month, as homemade food is usually more economical. The best part of a packed lunch is that you can monitor what ingredients go into it, through which you can ensure that you and your family get nothing but fresh, healthy and nutritious food. You could also reduce the wastage of food, by using leftovers in some of your packed healthy lunch recipes. However, do make sure that the leftovers have been preserved properly and are still fresh when you plan to use them, to prepare your packed lunch.
Due to time constraints, especially in the morning, most women and men are only interested in packed lunch ideas that are fairly quick and easy. In case you need to pack lunch for an entire family, this could be a bit more challenging, not just because of the quantity that needs to be packed, but also because of the fact that everyone’s preference needs to be taken into consideration. Given below, is a recipe for packed lunch, which is generally enjoyed by adults, teenagers, as well as children and therefore, it can be packed for work or school:
- 1 Skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut into chunks
- 4 Readymade soft flour tortillas or wraps
- 4 Tablespoons unflavored yogurt
- 4 Tablespoons low fat cheese, soft
- 100 Grams sweet corn, boiled
- ¼ Cucumber, finely chopped
- 4 Lettuce leaves, shredded
- A pinch of ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
Wrap each half in some cling film and place them in a lunch box or a paper bag. It is important to make sure that the food remains cool, so that it does not go bad. In case you are preparing a packed lunch for just one or two people, there are many other options that you can choose from.
- Place the tortillas or the wraps on a flat surface
- Take a medium sized bowl and mix the unflavored yogurt as well as the soft cheese together, till they make a smooth, thick sauce.
- Sprinkle the salt and the pepper and blend them in
- Add the chicken, the corn and cucumber to the bowl and stir all the ingredients in together
- Spoon an equal amount of the chicken filling on to each tortilla or wrap. Top the chicken with lettuce
- Roll up each wrap tightly and then cut them in half.
Packed Lunch Ideas for Adults
The ideal packed lunch for adults who are working should be light, but loaded with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, to provide them with the required energy, to continue working, without feeling too full or drowsy. Given below are some interesting packed lunch ideas for adults:
- Stripy rolls, with thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, ham and cheese, are stuffed into brown crusty rolls
- Pasta salad with peas, baby corn, mushrooms, sausage, and cheese. Other vegetables can also be added to this recipe
- Homemade mini pizzas on two halves of an English muffin, with pizza or pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese. For additional nutrition, vegetables like corn, peppers and mushrooms can also be added to the pizza
- Cheese and ham Panini, with a pesto spread, with slices of tomatoes and other vegetables
- Chicken salad sandwich, with thinly sliced celery
- Egg and mayonnaise rolls, with lettuce
- Bagel halves spread with hummus and tipped with lettuce, red onions, peppers and tomatoes.
- Mexican salad, made with drained black beans, corn, canned black olives, onions, cucumbers, salsa. This recipe can be combined with corn chips
Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids
There is nothing more disappointing than learning that your child does not eat the food that has been packed in their lunch box. Apart from your entire effort going down the drain, it also means that the child is not getting the adequate amount of food required. Many parents try to come up with innovative school packed lunch ideas, just to ensure that the food appeals to their kids, in appearance, which is motivation enough for most kids to eat their lunch. Given below are a few packed lunch ideas for kids of different ages:
For those people who do not eat meat, most of the above suggestions also make good vegetarian packed lunch ideas. They can also be modified a bit to make good packed lunch ideas for teenagers.
- Finger foods, which are easy for children to pick and eat, such as homemade chicken bites, fish fingers or carrot sticks.
- Sandwiches that have been cut into small squares or even triangles. Some of the healthy sandwiches that can be packed for children include egg, chicken, cucumber, ham and cheese sandwiches.
- Wraps are easy to eat, and most children enjoy them. Based on the child’s preference, parents can pack pizza wraps with mozzarella, cooked chicken chunks, vegetables or even nuts and fruits
- Pinwheels are a favorite with almost any child, yet are quite easy to prepare. A soft flour tortilla can be made with slices of ham, turkey, bacon, salmon and cream cheese to offer a wider choice to the child. Moreover, most children enjoy them when they are cold, which is why they are perfect for a lunch box
- Muffins are a favorite with almost all children, which is why a variety of muffins can make healthy and tasty lunches. Moreover, there are different ingredients that could be used in their preparation, such as bacon, cheese, nuts, fruits and vegetables