When you’re busy throughout the day, it can be easy to neglect lunch. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy options that will keep you full and satisfied until dinnertime.
Before you head off to the grocery store, consider these five nutritious meal components: fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein and healthy fats. This will serve as a helpful starting point for creating a lunch that will satisfy you and keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
1. Tuna Salad with Eggs and Almonds
When you’re juggling family life, working a full-time job, or simply trying to maintain your weight, it can be challenging to stay on track with a nutritious diet. You may find yourself snacking between meals or reaching for the microwave when craving something quick and convenient. But planning ahead and making healthy choices that support fitness goals will make all the difference in making healthier choices and sticking with them long term.
Selecting snacks that combine protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats can help you feel satiated between meals. It also makes it simpler to meet your daily calorie goals without skipping meals or overeating in the long run.
Many people turn to sugary granola bars, chips and soda for snacks; however, there are healthier options that provide essential nutrients. A handful of nuts, a serving of hummus or some fresh fruit can add tons of flavor and nutrition to your day.
Tuna salad with eggs and almonds is an ideal lunchtime protein source, packed with vitamin D, folate, iron, potassium and fiber.
Enjoy this meal on its own or as a sandwich. With just a few minutes of prep work, you can turn tuna salad into an effortless lunch that you can enjoy throughout the week.
For a healthier alternative to classic egg salad, try this recipe with avocado and tomatoes instead of mayo. It is packed with nutritious ingredients and can be prepared ahead of time so it can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
Greek yogurt replaces mayo in this tuna salad for a low-cal, high-protein dish that’s packed with calcium and vitamin D – ideal for supporting bone health.
This flavorful tuna salad is the perfect quick lunch to pack for guests or take on-the-go. It makes a great addition to any picnic or brunch spread!
Make this meal even simpler by prepping it in a jar and peeling away the shell for you. It’s an ideal way to have lunches ready at work or at home–in just minutes!
2. Oily Fish Salad with Cucumbers and Portobellos
When trying to lose weight, one of the first steps you should take is planning your meals ahead of time, according to SELF columnist Andrea Mathis. By doing so, you’re more likely to stay motivated throughout the day and feel satisfied throughout each meal, she suggests.
When selecting a lunch recipe, Mathis suggests making sure it’s filling and balanced. That means the dish includes at least three food groups (fat, protein, starch, and fruits/vegetables) to keep you energized and full for the duration of the meal.
Avocados are an excellent option, she suggests, since they contain heart-healthy fats and fiber that will keep you fuller longer. These can be used in various dishes like smoothies and salads.
Kate Merker, chief food editor at Hearst Lifestyle Group, suggests that salmon has long been associated with cucumber. Not only does the tangy veggie complement fish flavor perfectly, but it’s naturally low in saturated fat and calories as well.
According to Dr. Chan, fruit such as these berries can help satisfy hunger and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. And if you want an even healthier way of keeping your stomach contented, add whole grains like quinoa or brown rice to your salad for extra fiber and nutrition.
Cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamin K, essential for a strong immune system. Furthermore, they’re high in potassium which has beneficial effects on heart health and blood pressure regulation.
For a fast and effortless lunch, this oily fish salad with cucumbers and portobellos is the perfect choice. Not only is it simple to make, but all of its ingredients can be stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to consume them.
This tuna salad is an ideal lunch or dinner dish. The flavors come together to form a refreshing meal that’ll keep you full all afternoon long.
This light, refreshing salad is ideal for a hot summer day or any special occasion! It’s simple to prepare and can be stored in the fridge for several days or frozen for several months.
3. Chicken Salad with Veggies and Almonds
Chicken salad is one of the tastiest, quickest lunches you can make. It tastes great on sandwiches, wraps or in a green salad – plus, it’s packed with fiber and protein to keep you going throughout the day.
Make this chicken salad vegetarian-friendly by substituting veggie burger or tofu for the chicken. Feel free to add in whatever other veggies you have on hand as well – thinly sliced celery, grapes, and onions make excellent additions too. For an extra special touch, add fresh herbs like parsley or thyme!
Another option is to substitute mayonnaise with a combination of sour cream and Greek yogurt. This gives the chicken salad an irresistibly creamy texture as well as tangy flavor. Plus, it helps reduce calories, fat and salt in this classic chicken salad recipe.
This healthy take on chicken salad is easy to make and perfect for on the go lunches! It’s low in calories, sodium, sugar and packed with essential nutrients like vitamin A, calcium and iron.
Making a delicious chicken salad requires the right ingredients and flavorful dressing. This mayo-based dressing is made with some lemon juice and salt for extra zest, plus mustard, pepper and fresh herbs to give the salad some spice.
Toasted almonds make an excellent addition to this chicken salad. Not only are they packed full of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and dietary fiber, but they’re also loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
For a healthier lunch, why not try this crunchy Asian-inspired healthy chicken salad? It will keep you full all week!
For a quick and delicious lunch idea, try this cranberry-almond chicken salad! Packed with crunchy vegetables, tender chicken, and an irresistible dressing, it’s gluten-free and vegetarian – ideal for a nutritious lunch!
This quick and easy lunch takes only 30 minutes to make – perfect for busy moms on the go!
4. Avocado Salad
Avocado salad is an excellent way to incorporate healthy fats and nutrition into your lunch. It’s simple to make and packed with fresh flavors. Experiment by adding different vegetables, herbs and cheese for even more delectability!
Avocados make an excellent addition to salads as they’re packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and protein. Mash them up instead of mayonnaise to reduce calories and fat in this recipe.
Make this salad even healthier by adding cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and sliced red onion. Herbs such as dill or parsley can be used for flavor and color; feta or goat cheese would make an excellent addition too!
This salad is best if the avocados are of the best quality ripeness; they should be firm and not mushy as they will become mushy when added to the dressing.
This salad features avocado, chicken, corn and cilantro in addition to shredded avocado. Toss all ingredients together before drizzle with dressing – you can even make this ahead of time and store in your refrigerator until serving!
If you plan to make this salad ahead of time, lightly spritz the cut avocado with lemon or lime juice to prevent it from turning brown. Alternatively, wrap it tightly in a damp paper towel to prevent air exposure and keep from turning brown.
This avocado cucumber tomato salad is an effortless summertime lunch recipe! It combines fresh veggies with a delicious creamy garlic dressing, providing plenty of vitamins and healthy fats – plus it has an impressive visual presentation!
This salad is the perfect choice for a picnic or potluck. The whole family will love this simple yet elegant dish!
This salad boasts an impressive array of nutrients, with avocados providing monounsaturated fat that has long been known to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Plus, they supply nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals such as fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium – making it the perfect pick-me-up!