Lunch box ideas for 5 days that includes healthy protein, carb and veggie for meals. The menu is broken down for convenience by little meal prep on Sunday, fresh veggie cutting and assembling when you pack lunch.
The quick meal prep to be done by distributing the tasks equally to all the small kitchen appliances with very little supervision needed. So the delicates like shrimp or spaghetti cooking on stove top can be attended to.
These are some of the doable, easy and healthy lunch box ideas that can be tailor made to suit your taste.
The recipes provided below can be doubled or tripled and it is suitable for kids and adults. Feel free to swap with ingredients, proteins and carbs of your choice and dietary needs.
On alternate days we are repeating one item with different combination of protein or side. If you notice Tuesday and Thursday we have egg salad. Wednesday and Friday spaghetti is used. Protein used is changed.
- Instant pot - Steam potatoes and eggs together if using mini potatoes.
- Oven - Meat balls, chicken, crostini
- Rice cooker - cook rice as per instruction( For Black rice soak for at least 1 hour in hot water so the rice turns out soft and doesn't dry out the next day).
- Stove top - Cook spaghetti as per package instructions , cook shrimp
Storage tips :
- Peel the potatoes and keep in an airtight container. Keep the eggs as such in the shell in a airtight container.
- Let everything come to room temp after cooking and before refrigerating it. If you refrigerate while the food is still hot it spoils fast.
- Keep the dips and spreads ready in the tiny containers to grab and go in the morning.
- Peel hard boiled eggs when you are ready to use. If peeled they release an unpleasant sulfur odor. They also absorb other orders from the refrigerator.
I have tried to post multiple options for each day in this lunch box ideas series
Monday menu :
- Chicken - Baked chicken skewers or Baked chicken with couscous salad
- Salad - Melon salad sweet and spicy
- Black rice - cook it rice cooker adding double the water. For Black rice soak for at least 1 hour in hot water so the rice turns out soft and doesn't dry out the next day. Also put a tsp or two of oil olive while cooking. You can also do half black and half white rice so you get nutrition required without having to deal with too much coarse textured rice.
- Chipotle mayo - store bought
Tuesday menu :
Shell the egg and mince all the rest of the ingredients and quickly make the salad on the morning of packing lunch for all the freshness. Use a hand chopper or mini food processor for best and fast lunch roll. Always remember to put an ice pack under this lunch box so the egg and veggie salad stays fresh till lunch on a hot day.
- Egg salad roll - Egg and potato salad - Hard boiled eggs and potato is already ready. Dump all the ingredients into the vegetable chopper except the egg. Either cut into small pieces or throw into chopper last so it does not turn into a mushy paste.Heat and cook the wrap allow it to come to room temp then spread the egg potato mixture. Roll neatly and cut into thick slices with a sharp knife.
- Spring salad : Use veggies of your choice for the salad .
- Dried fruit : Cranberry
Wednesday menu :
Cut the fruits the night before or the morning of packing lunch for best taste and shape. Remember when main food is pale monotone add pop of color with fruits and veggies.
- Butter sauteed shrimp : shrimp spaghetti , Garlic shrimp with just ingredients , 20 minutes honey glazed salmon
- Garlic basil pasta : Coming soon .. creamy squash rigatoni , Greek pasta salad
- Mixed fruits : strawberry, blueberry and peach used here.
- Cashew nuts : Use any nuts of your choice
Thursday menu :
Instead of making sandwich I like to have bite size crisp bread a cheese spread and egg salad on top.Veggie slices too too to keep lunch interesting.
- Egg and potato salad : Egg and potato salad - Hard boiled eggs and potato is already ready. Dump all the ingredients into the vegetable chopper except the egg. Keep it in a cabbage leaf so the salad dees not move around too much.
- Crostini : Use leftover baguette. Bake plain slices at 350 for 10-15 minutes until they crisp up. This can be stored in air tight container. Apply oil or butter only if you are going to use it soon. If fat is applied do not store these as it will go rancid after a day.
- Veggies : I have kept sliced cucumber and sweet bell pepper. Use any veggie like carrot sticks, celery sticks etc of your choice.
- Cheese spread : Store bought
Friday menu :
- Garlic spaghetti : recipe will be updated soon
- Meat balls : Use minced organic beef that is lean beef to avoid too much fat coming out of it and draining it while cooking meat ball . Please follow this Pan Grilled Kabab recipe. I have used the same recipe to make meat ball and baked it instead for 30 minutes at 390°F or until it is cooked.
- Cherry tomatoes : Remember when main food is pale monotone add pop of color with fruits and veggies.Use veggies of your choice, sweet mini pepper , carrot or other chopped veggies would be nice too.
- Red wine vinaigrette : Store bought
Google has a lot of lunch box options. I prefer something that is leak proof and break proof that is not heavy too.
If you would like to see more lunch options or different kind of diet plans. Do let me know in comments below.