Lunch Box Ideas: 15 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Adults and Kids

15 healthy, and budget-friendly, lunch box ideas for adults and kids! From sandwiches and wraps, to harvest bowls, Buddha bowls, soups and salads, you can meal prep all of these lunch box ideas to save time and money.

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This post was previously seen on Nourish Move Love. I’ve updated this post to make it more user-friendly and to include my lunch meal prep roasted veggies recipe!

Keeping my family fueled with healthy meals is a labor of love that I take pride in. But the only way I know how to manage my families large appetite as a working mom involved 2 words — meal prep!

I’m a huge fan of meal prep. That’s why you’ve recently seen some of my favorite breakfast meal prep ideas and how I meal prep weeknight dinners for my family, on the blog. Now it’s time for lunch box meal prep ideas!

While my husband, Tim, packs his own turkey sandwich on the regular, I occasionally add some variety to his routine with a meal prep burrito bowl. Meanwhile, I’m a lunch-packing-maven, packing all of my almost 2-year-old son’s meals for sitters {aka our amazing parents who watch him a few days a week} and daycare. Along with packing all of my own lunches.

So you can bet I’ve included both toddler lunch ideas and healthy lunch ideas for kids in this round up too!

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Honestly, what motivated me to start prepping lunches was seeing my credit card statements. Living and working in the Minneapolis-area, your standard ‘healthy’ lunch runs around $12-14 {add a green smoothie and you’re breaking $20}. Yikes!

Enter these 15 healthy lunch box ideas that are both budget-friendly and delicious.

In fact, most of these recipes are 5 ingredients or less with plenty of options for dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. 

So whether you’re a meal prepping mom on a mission to get the whole family eating healthier, or a solo-lady looking to save a few bucks by packing your own healthy lunches, here are 15 of my personal favorite lunch box ideas for adults AND kids.

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Lunch Box Ideas: 15 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Adults and Kids

For easy navigation, I’ve broken these lunch box ideas into three categories:

  1. Sandwiches + Wraps
  2. Harvest Bowls + Buddha Bowls + Burrito Bowls 
  3. Soups + Salads

Scroll down to view all 15 lunch box ideas, or jump directly to the category that’s calling your name.

Meal Prep Lunch Ideas: Sandwiches + Wraps

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Photo from Physical Kitchness
  1. 1-Minute Lunch Wraps: Basic Turkey Wrap + Chickpea Smash Wrap from Nourish Move Love — the chickpea smash wrap is a classic favorite of mine.
  2. Strawberry Spinach Sandwich from Nourish Move Love — if you’ve never added fruit to your sandwiches, you’ve got to try it!
  3. Slow Cooker Hawaiian Shredded Chicken + Veggie Wraps from The Real Food Dietitians
  4. Lunch Box Deli Wraps from Physical Kitchness — the ultimate healthy kids school lunch idea! I use these often for my almost 2-year old son, Brody. And I recently made these for a baby shower I hosted, the herbed turkey with roasted sweet potato are a must try!
  5. Spicy Tuna Wraps with Homemade Greek Yogurt Ranch from Ambitious Kitchen
  6. Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps from The Real Food Dietitians

Meal Prep Lunch Ideas: Harvest Bowls + Buddha Bowls + Burrito Bowls

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  1. Roasted Vegetable Harvest Bowl from Nourish Move Love – a staple in my meal prep and see the recipe card below for my tips + tricks to roasting veggies for this bowl. And I love having extra roasted veggies on hand for my toddler’s lunches too.
  2. Meal prep Chicken Burrito Bowl from Nourish Move Love
  3. Butternut Squash Buddha Bowl from Fit Foodie Finds
  4. Meal Prep Carnitas Burrito Bowl from Fit Foodie Finds

Lunch Meal Prep Roasted Veggies

I over-did raw salads in my 20’s, so I’m all about roasted veggie salads and bowls in my 30’s! Enter my meal prep staple, meal prep roasted veggies. Turn them into a Roasted Vegetable Harvest Bowl or add them to any meal prep lunch bento box.

Meal Prep Roasted Veggies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Roasted veggies are a meal prep staple; colorful, hearty, delicious in any season!
Author:
Recipe type: Meal Prep, Lunch
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1-2 c Cubed Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes
  • 5-6 Medium Rainbow Carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 c Broccoli
  • 1 c Cauliflower
  • 1-2 tbps Avocado Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place cubed, sliced and prepped veggies {squash/sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or other vegetables of choice} on a sheet pan and drizzle with avocado oil {or cooking oil of choice}. Feel free to add minced garlic and additional seasonings if you'd like, like salt and pepper. Sometimes I'll event toss all vegetables in a large ziplock bag with minced garlic and seasonings prior to placing them on the sheet pan.
  3. Roast vegetables at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Until golden and slightly soft.
  4. Add roasted vegetables to bed of raw greens, or to the meal prep lunch of your choice.
  5. Eat immediately as a warm salad or bowl, or store in the fridge overnight as a meal prep bowl.
Notes
*Feel free to customize roasted vegetables based on your personal preference or what you have on hand in the fridge or freezer.
**For meal prep roasted veggies -- batch roast vegetables ahead of time {scaling recipe to cover as many meals as you would like}. Let vegetables cool and store in glass lock container in refrigerator until needed. Roasted vegetables should last 2-3 days in refrigerator. NOTE: using less avocado oil OR using spray avocado oil can help prevent your veggies from getting soggy.

 

Meal Prep Lunch Ideas: Soups + Salads

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Photo from Cotter Crunch
  1. Blueberry Kale Quinoa Salad from Nourish Move Love — another baby shower and pretty much anytime I’m hosting side salad staple, that makes an even better leftover lunch!
  2. Creamy Pesto Chicken Salad from Fit Foodie Finds
  3. Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo from Pinch of Yum – I’m currently obsessed with this soup!
  4. Tortilla Chicken Verde Chili from Cotter Crunch

Want to whip up your own meal prep lunch bowl or bento box? Here are my staple lunch box ingredients:

  • Protein. My personal go-to’s: a slice of egg bake or baked eggs, shredded chicken, chickpeas, deli turkey, or nuts.
  • Whole Grains. Adding whole grains will keep your energy levels steady throughout the day, provide a great source of fiber, and actually fill you up {Harvard School of Public Health}. My personal go-to’s: quinoa, brown rice, or a slice of avocado toast.
  • Colorful Veggies. Normally I make the base of my lunch some form of veggie — typically roasted veggies with a little fresh spinach or arugula to add some greens. My personal go-to’s: rainbow carrots and broccoli.
  • Fresh Fruit. I follow most lunches with an apple because they are easy to pack {I always have one in my purse} and I need that something sweet to feel like my lunch is complete.

My Top 5 Meal Prep Lunch Essentials:

Meal Prep Essentials | Meal Prep Kitchen Accessories

  1. Leak-Proof Glass Meal Prep Storage Containers {variety of sizes} OR Leak-Proof Glass Meal Prep Containers {3-compartment bento box style containers}
  2. Replace Ziplock Sandwich Bags with these Stasher Reusable Silicon Food Storage Bags
  3. Thermos Stainless Steel Food Jar
  4. Glass Food Jar On the Go with Dressing Container
  5. PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag

These are my favorite products, but for packing my son’s lunches I love these Yumbox lunch boxes and snack boxes.

You can find more of my favorite products I use to make meal prep a little easier on my shop page!

This post does include affiliate links and I earn a small commission on each purchase. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love.

Looking for more meal prep recipes? You can find a whole archive of meal-prep-friendly recipes on the blog here! 

Pin these 15 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Adults and Kids

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