Coming up with healthy lunch ideas can be a daunting task. It’s hard to find new and exciting things to pack for your family’s lunch that are actually healthy.

Remember to have a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates whenever you pack a lunch to ensure your loved ones are full and alert all afternoon. Try to avoid junk food like chips, candy and soda that might cause a 3pm nap!!

Here are a few easy and healthy lunch ideas for school or for work:

  1. Healthy PB&J; (whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and sliced strawberries), applesauce, and reduced fat string cheese
  2. Tortilla Wraps- whole grain tortillas filled with veggies, sliced turkey or chicken and natural cheese rolled and cut in half
  3. Chicken noodle soup, whole grain crackers, and fresh berries
  4. Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, carrot and celery sticks with reduced-fat ranch dressing for dipping
  5. Whole wheat pasta salad (make your own with whole grain pasta, peppers, olives, cubed chicken breast, balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
  6. Low-fat chili in a thermos with whole grain crackers and string cheese (chili can be cooking overnight in the crock pot and ready for the thermos in the morning!)
  7. Whole grain spaghetti and turkey meatballs in a thermos with a garden salad and low-fat dressing
  8. Fresh berries (or other seasonal fruit) with low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese and homemade “trail mix” – whole wheat pretzels, raisins, almonds, cheerios, etc or a high fiber granola bar (like Fiber One)
  9. Whole grain english muffin with pizza sauce and shredded cheese (toasted) and fruit
  10. Ants On A Log (celery stick with natural peanut butter and raisins), and a Yogurt Parfait (layer low-fat granola, vanilla yogurt and berries ending with granola on top)
  11. Cranberry-Nut Turkey Roll Ups Spread Flatout bread with 1 tablespoon whole-berry cranberry sauce and 1 teaspoon fat-free mayonnaise. Top with 3 ounces thickly sliced deli turkey breast, 1 leaf romaine lettuce, and 1 teaspoon chopped pecans. Roll up and serve.
  12. hummus and veggies in a flat out wrap

Remember, have some fun with lunch. Pack a colorful napkin leftover from a party or write a love note. Lunch is an important time to refuel the body and the spirit to help finish the day well!