What to Put In a Good Packed Lunch

Ginger Abbot

Feb 12, 2023

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Mornings can feel rushed when trying to get to work or school on time. Packing lunches is a great way to save money and ensure you eat the proper nutrition you need. To make life easier on yourself, setting up a strategy to have a good packed lunch is essential. You will want to ensure you are packing foods that keep you full and energized to complete the day. Here are some guidelines for what to put in a good packed lunch. 

Include Nutritious Foods 

When preparing your lunch to fuel your day, you will want to be sure it is all foods that keep you satiated and energized throughout your day. You will be working hard to learn topics in class and need the brain power to get through it. Be sure you include protein, carbohydrates and a healthy fat to nourish your body. Fruits and vegetables are also staples to ensure you eat a well-balanced lunch. 


Protein is a key macronutrient to keeping your body feeling full. Especially if you are active, you will want to prioritize this food group. It is the building block to gaining and retaining muscle. You can add many delicious protein options to your lunch box when figuring out what to pack. Here are some examples of high-protein foods to add to your lunch box.

  • Meat: Chicken breast, turkey, sausage, ground beef, pork
  • Seafood: canned tuna, salmon, shrimp 
  • Eggs: hardboiled, egg whites, omelets
  • Dairy: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Beans: chickpeas, edamame 


Your body’s preferred energy source is carbs which are likely to be your preferred food too! This nutrient is essential to keeping our body energized. There are many different types of carbs to include in your lunch, such as bread, rice, potatoes and more. Specifically, including high-fiber carbs can help promote regular bowel movements. These are some high-fiber carb examples to incorporate into your packed meal.

  • Whole grains: Ezekiel bread, tortilla wraps, English muffins, crackers, pasta
  • Rice: white, brown, quinoa
  • Oats: oatmeal, overnight oats, baked oats
  • Baked goods: energy balls, granola bars
  • Potatoes: sweet, white
  • Fruit: apples, kiwi, raspberries, mango

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are great for keeping your stomach full and your brain healthy and functioning. Not only that, but healthy fats can help you reduce insulin resistance and levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. As a student, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed often so ensuring you intake the proper amount of healthy fats can benefit you greatly. It is important to consider which fats are healthy and which are not. Here are some options. 

  • Avocado:  mashed, sliced, guacamole
  • Full-fat dairy: yogurt, milk, cheese
  • Nut butter: peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower
  • Olives: whole olives, olive oil
  • Coconuts: coconut chips, coconut oil
  • Fish: salmon, tuna, herring

 Fruits and Vegetables 

Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins and nutrients that other food groups cannot replace. They are filled with fiber and other excellent nutrients to keep you healthy and full. Not only do they have a lot of nutritional benefits but they are easy to pack and the perfect snack to have between meals. Here are some easy fruits and vegetables to pack in your lunch.

  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers

Pack A Good Lunch 

Now that you have all food groups, you can pack the best lunch to keep you full and energized throughout your days. Mixing up what you include can help keep you loving your meals instead of getting used to the same foods daily. Pick your favorites and see what combinations you love. 

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