Healthier Quick Lunch Tips
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Everyone I know is busy. I sure know that I am. I refuse to let busy keep me from having a delicious and nutritious lunch each day. No more days of fast food lunch. No more days of no lunch. No more days of a sad, wilted sandwich for lunch. I deserve better. But I need better to be quick and easy to make. I’m using these quick lunch tips to make sure that I have a tastier and healthier lunch every day, even on busy days.
I know all the excuses, legitimate and imagined, for not having the lunch I deserve. I’ve realized that with just a bit of organization and planning, I can have a lunch that’s good for me and that I look forward to every day, whether I’m at home or at the office. No more excuses.
Quick Lunch Tips
Plan Your Meals for the Week – Take a few minutes to plan your lunch meals for the upcoming week. You can use my free printable Meal Planner. Be sure to include a healthy entree, salad or fruit side and a healthy drink. Add the items you need for your lunches to your grocery list. Create 3 or 4 weeks of lunch menu plans, along with the associated shopping lists, and rotate the menu plans. This will save you time planning each each week. When you plan ahead you can choose healthier lunch options rather than just grabbing whatever you can find at the last minute.
Shop Once a Week – When you plan lunches in advance you’re able to grocery shop once a week and that saves time. Include the ingredients you need for your weekly meal plan on your weekly grocery list. These food storage tips will help you maintain the freshness of your lunches for the entire week.
Choose Healthier and Easy to Prepare Entrees – I’ve begun eating healthier over the past year. Healthier doesn’t have to be complicated. I’m thrilled that LEAN CUISINE® has healthier meals that are easy to prepare on any busy day. I’ve found that have meals that are non-GMO, gluten-free, protein packed and have organic ingredient options. Right now is a great time to stock up on Lean Cuisine meals at Target. Now until January 31st, Target has their lowest prices of the season on Lean Cuisine products, with entrees at only $1.99 versus the regular $3. The LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese is my favorite, with a creamy, fresh tasting sauce, organic pasta and no GMOs. My husband prefers the Lean Cuisine Marketplace Spicy Penne Arrabbiata, made with organic pasta and tomatoes and no GMOs. There are plenty of options so you can have a different choice each day of the week.
Have 5 Individual-Sized Lunch Containers for Each Course – Make the small investment in individually-sized containers to use in a lunchbox. Having a week’s worth of the right size of containers will save you time digging through cabinets looking for a container or washing the only container you have every night. If you will be microwaving the containers, be certain choose ones that are microwave-safe and are healthy for food storage.
Make Healthier Recipes in Batch – Find recipes that you like, are filled with healthier ingredients and you can make in an amount large enough to last all week. I enjoy making this delicious Broccoli Bacon salad because it stays crispy and delicious all week long. I can make a batch for the entire week for two people in just about 5 minutes.
- 2 Bbunches of Fresh Broccoli
- 1 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack Cheese
- 4 Slices Cooked Bacon
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion
- 1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt or Mayonnaise
- 1/8 Cup Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Toss broccoli, cheese, bacon and onion together. Mix Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise), sugar and vinegar. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and toss to combine. Refrigerate.
- I use precooked bacon to save time.
Keep All Lunch Items in One Location – Whether the location is in a cabinet, the fridge or the freezer (or even a spot in all three locations), have a designated spot. Having designated areas for lunch items will make it easy to find your lunch items on a busy weekday morning and save time and stress.
Place Lunchbox and Items Out the Night Before – Set your lunchbox and any items that don’t require refrigeration on the counter at night before you go to bed. Place a fork or spoon, napkin and any other shelf-stable items in your lunchbox. The next morning all you have to do is place refrigerated or frozen items in your lunchbox and you’re ready to go.
Enjoy Your Meal – Whether you eat your lunches at work or at home, make your lunch enjoyable. Even though you’re busy, you deserve a pleasant lunch. Place your food on a proper plate. Use real tableware, not plastic. Use a glass rather than drinking out of a plastic bottle or can. Use a cloth napkin. Don’t eat at your desk or in front of the computer (you’re worth 15-30 minutes of time to enjoy your lunch). Listen to music. Do whatever will help you enjoy your delicious meal. You deserve a bit of peace to enjoy the lovely meal you planned and created. Look at how inviting and pretty my quick meal of Lean Cuisine Marketplace Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese and Broccoli Bacon Salad is.
I know we’re both at Target multiple time a week. I found my favorite Lean Cuisine Marketplace meals in the frozen entrees aisle.
What’s your favorite quick and healthier lunch choice? Healthier can be delicious and convenient. Check out all the easy-to-prepare, full of fresh flavor and better-for-you meal options from Lean Cuisine for you lunch menu planning.
More Lunch Prep Ideas
Organized Lunchbox Drawer that’s Earth-Friendly
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.
What fantastic tips! I struggle with getting my meals organized too, which means skipping them or choosing a less desirable alternative. I’m going to keep your ideas in mind! Plus, the Lean Cuisine Mac and Cheese looks amazing with your salad! #Client
The Lean Cuisine Mac and Cheese really *is* delicious, Ben. 🙂 Hope these tips help you enjoy healthier meals each day.
That broccoli salad looks amazing. Such a smart idea to pair it with a hot microwave meal too for an easy but satisfying lunch!
Thanks, Corinne. This broccoli salad is always a big hit with everyone in my family (and that’s saying a lot).
Thanks for the great tips! I find that meal planning and shopping once a week works really well for me.
I also have a habit of eating out, when I have had a really crazy day at work, so I love the idea of stocking up on Lean Cuisines for quick dinner ideas for my family. I’ll be picking some up next time I go to the store!
When I had crazy days at work, I’d be the one buying the “healthy” peanut butter crackers out of the vending machine for lunch, Andrea. 🙂
That’s a great idea to have enough lunch containers for the week. We only have enough for 1 or 2 days, so I’m washing stuff every day. If someone forgets to put it on the counter, it’s a mad washing and drying dash in the morning.
I have so-ooo been there, Brenda. Having enough containers for the entire week has saved my sanity (or at least my attitude), Brenda. 🙂
Having a plan and being prepared can take so much of the stress out of your day. Sounds like you are ready for the week.
It really does help keep everything running smoother and with less stress. And less stress is always a goal. 🙂
This can really organize my time. I am definitely trying these tips, Susan!
Hope they help, Agness. Every second saved on chores is a second you can enjoy.