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Lunches and Healthy Snacks for Busy People

Updated on October 14, 2014

Need some new lunch or healthy snack ideas?

It's not easy to be creative when it comes to cooking, especially lunches and you can often get stuck in a rut. Packed lunches often get the short end of the creativity stick at the end of a long day, or in the crunch of a busy morning. Feeding your family pre-packaged food from the grocery store is easy and simple, but it can also be extremely unhealthy and expensive. I have lots of healthy and interesting snacks and lunch ideas for you that are simple to prepare the night before or in a couple minutes in the morning before you go to work or school. In the morning, you and your family can just grab and go. Your family is sure to enjoy it and so will you! Save money and eat healthy! Your body and your wallet will thank you for it later!



Hummus is super-easy to make from scratch if you have a blender. Or, just buy it from the store pre-made. You can eat it with some crackers, or cut up some carrot, cucumber and celery sticks.

The Basic Hummus Recipe I like:

Chickpeas (I cook dried ones, but you can also use the canned version)


Tahini Paste (use some toasted sesame seeds or Peanut Butter if you don't have)

Olive Oil

Fresh Garlic (even more delicious if roasted)


Lemon Juice (lots!)

Blend it all up and djust everything to taste. Add some water or Olive Oil if it's too thick to blend.

My favorite place to get canned and dried beans is from Iherb. It's cheap, often with free shipping and they deliver straight to your door, so you can save time. Plus, they have a million and one other products.

Pasta Salad for a healthy snack or packed lunch

Pasta is delicious cold and it really doesn't take that much work to make. Cook up some interesting pasta such as rotini or bowties. Then, cut up some vegetables. Anything will work including onions, tomatoes peppers, carrots, or celery. Use it as an opportunity to clean out your fridge. You may have to quickly microwave some of them first if you like your veggies not so crunchy. Put is some meat, or not. Then, add some parmesan cheese and a bit of oil and salt and pepper. Or, put some Italian or Sundried Tomato dressing. Mix it up and it will keep for a few days in the fridge.

chips and salsa, chips and guacamole, chips, salsa, guacamole, lunch, fast, easy
chips and salsa, chips and guacamole, chips, salsa, guacamole, lunch, fast, easy

Chips and Salsa for a new lunch idea

You can make healthy, delicious chips at home. Buy some tortillas and brush a light layer of olive oil on them. Add some salt and garlic. Cut them up into chip size pieces and bake them in the oven until crispy. Watch closely so that they don't burn. They will keep for a few days so make lots of them.

Then, you can either buy salsa and guacamole or make your own.

Easy salsa: Dice tomatoes, hot peppers, cilantro, orange and green onion. Mix in some salt, and lime juice to taste. Easy as that.

Homemade Guacamole recipe: Crush ripe avocados with onion, tomatoes, garlic. Add cilantro, salt and lime juice. That's it.


Fresh Vegetables

Fresh veggies are a quick, easy and nutritious snack. Just cut up a bunch of broccoli or cauliflower, carrot or celery sticks and store them in some water in your fridge. Then, just take a few out for a snack. You can dip them in some low calorie salad dressing.

What are you lunch habits?

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fruit salad, watermelon fruit salad, creamy fruit salad, healthy fruit salad, fruit salad with granola
fruit salad, watermelon fruit salad, creamy fruit salad, healthy fruit salad, fruit salad with granola

Fruit Salad makes a healthy snack

This is the perfect summertime, healthy lunch. Why don't you make your salad the night before so all the flavors have a chance to mingle together? Except don't add the kiwi because it doesn't keep that well and it's better to add it fresh. If you don't have any citrusy fruit such as oranges or grapefruit, add a bit of lemon or lime juice so that the fruit will keep it's color.

Just go to the store and buy whatever fruit is in season and cheap.

You can add some granola, oatmeal, muesli to it. Don't add too much to maintain the healthiness. Add some yogurt if you want as well.

sandwich, bacon and tomato, peanut butter, peanut butter and jam, turkey, roast beef, ham
sandwich, bacon and tomato, peanut butter, peanut butter and jam, turkey, roast beef, ham

The basic sandwich for a great lunch idea

There's a lot more to sandwiches than the basic peanut butter and jam. Get creative and get your mind working. Why not buy some interesting bread, cheese, mustard or mayo that you don't usually buy at the grocery store. Some other interesting things you can try include avocado, peppers and red onion, tuna or chicken salad, and leftover from the night before. Maybe BBQ'd chicken, meatloaf, or a hamburger.

leftovers, leftover, leftover food, tupperware, containers
leftovers, leftover, leftover food, tupperware, containers

Leftovers make the ideal brown-bag lunch

This should be your first choice for lunch for the next day. It's super fast, easy and economical. Even if you don't have a microwave at work or school, many things still taste good cold. You'd be surprised!

The night before, get out your Tupperware, and pack away the leftovers from dinner in lunch sized portions. The, your whole family can just grab and go.


Bruschetta on Baguette

A healthy, quick and delicious lunch is some home-made bruschetta. It's very easy to make. Just mix the following:

Fresh basil, fresh garlic, white onion, olive oil, a pinch of salt, fresh-ground pepper, and a little bit of balsamic vinegar. Add it to chopped, ripe tomatoes.

Bring some pieces of cut-up baguette and that's it! A quick delicious lunch.

Where do you get your lunch?

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Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs are the perfect healthy snack. They are very cheap, portable, easy to prepare and extremely healthy. Just boil up a few at a time and keep them in the fridge for up to a week. Make sure you boil them long enough that they're hard-boiled, or they'll be very messy when you try to eat them on the go. Pop one into your bag or your kid's lunch.

To make them even more delicious, put a little salt and pepper in a small container, or wrapped up in some plastic wrap. Then, just break open the egg and dip it into the salt and pepper.

fried rice, chicken fried rice, pork fried rice, pineapple friend rice, egg fried rice
fried rice, chicken fried rice, pork fried rice, pineapple friend rice, egg fried rice

Fried Rice is the perfect recipe for kids

This is a perfect lunch, even to eat cold. If you have some leftover rice, it's perfect. Fresh rice is usually too sticky. Fry up some vegetables until soft. Add in some meat (optional) and an egg. Then, add in your rice with some soy sauce. So easy and delicious!


Trail Mix: not just for hiking

Everyone loves trail mix, but it's not just for hiking! You can buy it from the store, but it's often not that healthy. I prefer to make my own in a big tupperware container and then just scoop out whatever i need into a Ziploc bag or smaller container.

To make mine, I add:

-some sort of breakfast cereal. Pick healthier ones with less sugar. For example: Shreddies, Cheerios or Cornflakes.

-dried fruit. I like cranberries and raisins.

-nuts. I usually put in walnuts, or almonds, but peanuts are more traditional.

-some candy. This is perfect for kids. You can use anything, but I like Jelly Beans or M&M's.

-anything else that your mind can think of!


The Classic Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich

But don't make it the boring old one that your mom used to send in your lunch. Get some nice wholegrain bread and natural peanut butter from the health food store. Then, add some organic jam that has lots of fruit and is easy on the sugar. It will be delicious!


Frozen Grapes

For a cool snack in the summer, try putting some grapes in your freezer. Take out a handful for a nice, healthy treat.


Salads from the grocery store

If you're pressed for time, why not buy some of those pre-made salads from the grocery store. They'll keep in the fridge for a few day and you can just grab a container and go. The selection usually varies includes things like potato salad, greek salad, chickepea salad, fruit salad and the traditional lettuce salad.

What's the best Lunch and Healthy Snack Idea?

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Clif Bars

Clif bars are an excellent choice if you're truly a busy person who has no time to even think about packing a snack or lunch to take to work. Simply grab one of these, along with a couple pieces of fruit and you'll have all you need for a quick, healthy lunch on the go. Clif bars are the most delicious bars of the bunch. Also perfect for a pre-gym workout to give you the energy you need.


Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter

Rice cakes are a cheap, low-calorie food that will fill you up fast. I like to eat mine with a thin layer of peanut butter on top, for some protein. Then, for some vitamins, I'll slice up a banana or put a few raisins or dried cranberries on top.


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