fruit salads
Bento boxes rock! Here are the best recipes. Photo by Ella Olsson

DAOFitLife Hotlist: Best Lunch Prep Ideas

We all are so crazed and running around during the day. Lunch is well, inconvenient. Now is a good time to refresh your lunch playlist with some very fast and easy prep ideas.

But first – don’t skip lunch!

A good dose of nutritious food midday will keep your bloodsugar from crashing and you from reaching for that brownie at 4pm. And it will help you fly through the afternoon and be super productive. They key is to eat the right balance of foods for a light yet satisfying lunch.

Shopping list

Here are the components you will need to make quick and easy lunches, including bento boxes and easy at home meals:

  • Canned/pouched tuna
  • Nuts
  • Eggs (you can get them pre-hardboiled)
  • Turkey slices
  • Baby carrots
  • Pre-washed spinach and arugula
  • Hummus
  • Mini Pita bread
  • Pretzels
  • Whole wheat bread and wraps
  • Chickpeas (canned)
  • Berries
  • Red grapes
  • Bell pepper slices
  • Nut butter
  • Jam or honey
  • Cheese – cheddar, swiss or goat
  • Olives
  • Canned sardines
  • Avocado or guacamole spread
  • Dried (unsweetened) fruit
  • Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Greek yogurt
  • Catalina Crunch cereal or Pure Elizabeth granola (or granola of choice)

Container ideas

Amazon has a ton of options for bento boxes. Like this one:

I really like this one too:

You get the idea. You can also consider getting mason jars especially if you like to have a salad so you can easily just shake it up (but add the dressing when you are ready to eat, otherwise it is soggy and no fun. You can get these cute little containers to take salad dressing:

Lunch ideas for work and home

Here is my collection of best ideas for lunch, which will work for both throwing together something quick at home and also taking a box of nosh to the office. Many of the recipes can also be stored until the next day in the fridge in case impromptu lunch invitations come up!

Quick and easy home eats

First, this video from Dr. Mike on YouTube, where he gives six different ideas that take only a few minutes to whip up from your kitchen. The turkey-cucumber wrap is really easy to assemble in the middle of the day and can be packed up in containers or baggies. I also love his breakfast for lunch ideas, for example, the yogurt and granola combo. Especially if you intermittent fast, this may truly be your breakfast and it is really satisfying to have a breakfast type of food.

YouTube player
Dr. Mike is adorable (and so is his dog, Bear). And informative! Check out his channel here.

Bento boxes you can take to the office

Remember those bento boxes from Starbucks ? You can eat the food with your fingers and it’s a wide variety of crunchy, sweet, and protein-packed goodness, like hardboiled eggs. You can also make a couple of these in advance to have optionw when you are super stretched for time. Like if it is a slower day Tuesday, make two or three for the rest of the week so that you can have options when you have back to back meetings Wednesday and Thursday. Bento boxes are also great in the summer because a lot of time the food is room temp or cool. When we feel the heat we do not want hot food to weigh us down, so this is a perfect way to squash hunger and not feel blah.

This next post has some great bento box ideas!

Here is another cute take on lunchables:

20 lunch desk ideas that are not boring, by I love the cold peanut noodles and avocado-strawberry salad ideas:

Finall, Sweet peas and saffron instant NO COOK lunch box recipes. More of the bento box theme. Greek Pita and Englih muffin bento boxes? Yes please! Plenty of vegan options too.

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