Easy Lunch Ideas to Refuel You During the Day

Fight the afternoon slug with these yummy and quick-to-make lunch ideas

easy lunch ideas

You heard about breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That is the same goes for lunch. 

Sadly, not a lot of people can religiously establish that as part of their habit.

However, there are things about eating lunch that you should know as it brings more benefits to your health and well-being. 

This post will explain why eating lunch is essential and provide you creative and healthy lunch ideas that may work for you. 

Why is lunch important?

No matter how busy you are, be it a student, professional, worker, or weight loss enthusiast, lunch is a meal that you should not miss in a day!

Lunch, from the word “luncheon,” is a meal eaten between breakfast or dinner. Also known as a mid-day meal. 

Having lunch several hours after your first meal of the day will refuel your energy.

It will increase your glucose levels to help you maintain focus, and concentration, and keep you from slacking off for the rest of the day.

Starving yourself between major meals creates a gap the may mess up your metabolism. 

If you believe skipping lunch will help you lose some pounds, it won’t be effective as you expect.

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Experts explained that starving yourself for an extended period puts your body in survival mode.

You will end up craving unhealthy foods, increasing the tendency to overeat.

Sometimes, when you’re hungry, you’d care less whatever food is available as long as it satiates your hunger.

In the end, you’ll end up gaining extra pounds.

Easy lunch ideas: right amount of carbs, protein fat

An ideal lunch meal should be colorful.

Your lunch should have a combination of complex carbohydrates with protein to form a concentrated, long-lasting energy source. 

Here are 10 lunch ideas you can easily prepare!

1.Grilled chicken in lettuce wraps

Turn your favorite chicken dish into a healthier and lighter option!

Grill a palm-size seasoned skinless chicken instead of frying it to lower this dish’s calorie value.

Place it on a layer of lettuce leaves, garnish it with diced tomatoes, and smother it with your favorite mix of vinaigrette 

This lunch will give you approximately 75 calories, with 3 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams protein, and 5.0 grams fat, 

2. Avocado toast with tuna, nuts, and pickled onions

It doesn’t take a long time to prepare, and you can bring it with you for your lunch break.

A combination of a serving of tuna, avocado, and nuts on a slice of the sourdough loaf would be an excellent tasty lunch. 

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This healthy sandwich is packed with monounsaturated fats from the avocado and almonds and omega-3 fatty acids from the tuna.

Both healthy fats will help boost your brain activity and maintain your heart’s health. 

This lunch will give you approximately 300 calories, with 23 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of protein, and 16 grams of fat.

3. Hummus, spinach, and bell pepper wraps

Enjoy a healthy lunch with hummus, spinach, and bell peppers nestled inside a crunchy flatbread wrap.

Add it with tomatoes, basil, basil, and feta cheese to give it a flair of Meditteranean taste. Prepare a day before, and store it in your fridge. 

This lunch will give you approximately 300 calories, with 34 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat.

4. Chicken Salad and fruit in a box

Make your creamy chicken salad exciting with a mix of Greek yogurt with a little blend of olive oil and a zest of lemon rind to your poached bay leaf infused skinless chicken meat.

Then, placed it on a bed of celery stalks and goat cheese-stuffed small bell peppers. Place it in a lunch box and pair it with a fruit of your preference. 

This lunch will give you approximately 390 calories, with 21 grams of carbohydrates, 38 grams of protein, and 17 grams of fat.

5. Saucy meatballs in noodles

Create your favorite saucy meatball dish and lay it on a plate of Japanese buckwheat noodles called Soba.

Soba noodles give a tender texture with a unique earthy flavor to your meal.

Saute it in sesame oil with red cabbage and carrots to make this dish a healthy heavy lunch. 

This lunch will give you approximately 400 calories, with 49 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, and 12 grams of fat. 

6. Roasted cauliflower pizza

This is one of my favorite lunch ideas and it’s so easy to make! Make an amazing healthy pizza with cauliflower! Roast your cauliflowers and season them with salt, cheese, onion, parsley, and crushed peppers. 

This lunch will give you approximately 332 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams protein, and 16 grams fat. 

7. Sauteed shrimps in pineapples and avocado salad

If you are looking for a protein-packed lunch, try a salad with tasty shrimps, pineapples, and avocados.

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Mix your slices of avocados, cucumber, onions, and grilled pineapples with your favorite seasoned vinaigrette, and top it with your sauteed shrimps.

This lunch will give you approximately 435 calories, with 20 grams of carbohydrates, 35 grams protein, and 24 grams fat. 

8. BLT salmon sandwich

This is not ordinary bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. Adding a salmon fillet and Greek yogurt will take it to a different level. BLT sandwich is easy to make. 

Flavor your Greek yogurt with fresh dill, scallion, salt, and pepper.

Season your salmon fillet the way you like it and cook it with oil on medium heat.

Spread your bread with a yogurt mixture and top with lettuce, tomatoes, salmon, and crispy bacon. 

This lunch will give you approximately 506 calories, with 53 grams of carbohydrates, 42 grams protein, and 14 grams fat.

9. Asian Steak noodles

Bored with the plain seasoned starchy noodles? You might want to add spiraled carrots in the mix to make it healthier!

Cook your steak the way you prefer and slice it thinly. Saute and flavor your noodles and add in your spiraled carrots.

Serve your noodles with your thinly sliced steak on top. This will be another kind of heavy lunch that you’d want to try.

This lunch will give you approximately 558 calories, with 53 grams of carbohydrates, 37 grams protein, and 22 grams fat.

10. Roasted salmon in vegetables

Here are another simple salmon and veggie meal to prepare for lunch: roast garlic, green beans, tomatoes, olives with oil pepper.

Season your salmon and cook it on little oil. Serve it with roasted vegetables. Now, you have a good lunch!

This lunch will give you approximately 319 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, and 15 grams fat.

Takeaway

We all deserve to have a break. Taking a lunch break is not a waste of time because it’s part of your equation to a more productive and healthier lifestyle.

Your lunch meals do not need to be complicated. There are many quick and easy lunch ideas to try.

You just need to try and establish a good habit of not skipping meals and making the right food choices. 

A healthy lunch meal should contain foods containing carbohydrates, protein, and fats. 

So, grab your lunch, refuel, and enjoy a sumptuous meal. 

(Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian)

Dorothy is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian and a candidate for a master's degree in Public Health (MPH) major in Public Health Nutrition. She has a passion for teaching to her university students about food, nutrition, and health. Dorothy is a coffee lover and she enjoys traveling, writing, cycling, running, cooking, baking, and cooking.