General Question

rockfan's avatar

What are some healthy portable lunch ideas?

Asked by rockfan (12919points) July 31st, 2017 from iPhone

I’m starting class on the 14th and instead of eating in the café/student lounge during lunch I’m planning on bringing my own food. Would love some inspired ideas that will make me look forward to eating lunch. Keep in mind that I’ll be storing it in a compartment with ice packs, and it’ll be sitting in my car during class. Thanks in advance!

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17 Answers

chyna's avatar

I just finished up cutting up a watermelon in bite size pieces to put in a little container to take to lunch.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Tuna sandwich and some Frito chips, can’t beat it with a stick.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I suggest you cut up fresh vegetables and take those. Keep a bag of nuts on hand for snacking. Don’t take any kind of soda; drink water only. Use high quality bread for any type of sandwich you may make.

AshlynM's avatar

Fruit and vegetables are always a good choice. Chicken and tuna salad. Regular salad with dressing in a to go pouch. Yogurt. Energy bars. Crackers. Cookies. If you really want, look into bento box lunches. These usually contain rice and some meat and vegetable.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@all Tuna sandwich might go south in a hot car. Ice packs might not be good enough. I would buy a lunchables.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Or a sealed tuna cracker kit. That would stay fresh in a hot car. If you really want tuna.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Chicken has a very short safe time margin, even refrigerated.
Tuna can be bought in foil packs, in many flavor varieties.
Cheese keeps extremely well.
The safest way to go is to pack bread, and any ingrediants separately, and assemble when you are ready to eat.
There are countless spreadables to choose from.
Fresh fruit is always a good choice, but mangoes or pineapple should probably be cut up and put in a container at home.

AshlynM's avatar

They even have chicken salad in ready made pouches.

rockfan's avatar


Lunchables are the kind of processed foods I’m trying to avoid

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Do you have access to a microwave?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Egg fried rice. With veggies?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Each morning I make a bean salad for lunch.

Basically something like these 12 Crowd-Pleasing Bean Salad Recipes

And I carry it in a locktop container like this that does not leak, inside a ziploc bag just in case. I throw it in my messenger bag or bike pannier and it tumbles around, haven’t had a problem yet.

I have a routine where it takes me 2 minutes to make lunch each morning.

I make a pot of beans once or twice a week and put them in the fridge. Canned beans work, too. And I keep frozen vegetables and cherry tomatoes and baby carrots on hand.

With the frozen veggies, I don’t have to refrigerate. By lunch time they’re defrosted enough to eat.

If I were to use the fridge at work, I would thaw the veggies at home first.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

How about a veggie plater? With dip?

Kardamom's avatar

Salad in a Jar

Pesto Pasta Salad

Cowboy Caviar

Veggie Hummus Wrap

Mock Tuna Salad

Low Fat Broccoli, Cheese, and Mushroom Quiche (refrigerate and eat cold)

Cold Soba Noodle Salads


Sun Chips

Trail Mix

Cut Fruit


Individually Wrapped Low Fat Cheese

Single Serving Almond Butter

Keep Washed and Cut Fresh Veggies in Your Fridge (broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, jicama, grape tomatoes) Then mix and match.

Make sure your lunch stays cold. Get a good insulated lunch box/bag/cooler and consider using stackable food containers that come with an ice pack such as These or This or This or This

rockfan's avatar


Thanks so much for the detailed answer! I asked this question knowing that you would list some great ideas :)

I especially love the salad in a jar one

Kardamom's avatar

@rockfan My pleasure. Sometimes I think people ask certain questions just for my benefit, so thanks for the Q ; )

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