Packing Healthy Lunches and Snacks for Work


Packing your lunch for work is a healthy and budget-friendly habit. Fuel your workday the healthy way with these fresh ideas for packed lunches!

Sandwiches are simple

Sandwiches are easy to make and take to work. To keep sandwiches interesting, try these tips.

  • Choose different breads: Go for whole grain bread, pitas, mini bagels, tortillas, small dinner rolls, English muffins, flat breads or naan. Check the label for at least 2 grams fibre per serving.
  • Try a variety of spreads: Use mustard, salsa, hummus, tzatziki or lower fat mayonnaise. Imagine the tasty combinations!
  • Mix different ingredients: Try peanut butter and sliced apples, egg salad with arugula, salmon with teriyaki sauce and baby spinach, roasted turkey with avocado, tomato and lettuce, hummus with grated zucchini and carrots, refried beans with salsa and grated cheese, or leftover stir fry in a wrap.

Love your leftovers 

Leftovers are great for packing lunch in a hurry. Here are 5 tasty lunch ideas made with leftovers.

  • Stir-fry: Try this Sweet Chili Tofu Stir-Fry filled with colourful veggies.
  • Soup: A warm vegetable-based soup is a great way to enjoy more veggies at lunch! Add a toasted whole grain pita and hummus for dipping.
  • Salad: This simple Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Salad, made with leftover grilled chicken, is rich in protein. Enjoy with a slice of whole grain baguette.  
  • Chili: For a hearty lunch, serve chili with a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese and a small whole grain dinner roll.
  • Pasta: Freeze single portions of this Spinach and Mushroom Vegetarian Lasagna for a quick lunch. So easy!

Tip: Check out these salads and soups for more leftover ideas. 

A note on food safety

Make your lunch the night before and keep it in the fridge so it can chill completely. Pack it in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack (or a frozen juice box) to keep things cool and safe to eat. 

Remember to wash your lunch bag, containers, water bottle and utensils with warm soapy water after each use. 

What to drink

Staying hydrated can help you feel refreshed during your workday. Keep a reusable water bottle at work so you can sip fresh water during the day. Add a little lemon, cucumber or mint for flavour.

Snacks to pack

Small healthy snacks can help keep you energized when you’re hungry between meals. Pack snacks in your lunch bag so you don’t have to rely on vending machines or coffee shop treats. Try these snacks:

  • Hard-boiled egg and a few whole grain crackers
  • Plain or vanilla Greek yogurt with berries
  • Steamed edamame (soybeans)
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Veggie sticks with black bean dip
  • Protein-packed bars

Tip: Check out more snacks you can pack.

Snacks to keep at work

Keep some non-perishable foods at work for those times when packing snacks just doesn’t happen:

  • Light tuna: Buy single-serving cans or vacuum-packed pouches. Eat with a few whole grain crackers for a snack or scoop onto a salad for lunch.
  • Fruit cups: Try unsweetened mandarin oranges, fruit cocktails, pineapple, applesauce and peaches packed in water or juice.
  • Trail mix: Make your own with nuts, seeds, dried fruits, popcorn and multigrain pretzels.
  • Granola, nut or seed bars: Choose plain bars with little sugar and at least 2 grams fibre.
  • Cereals:  Choose an unsweetened cereal with at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. Buy milk at work to add to a small bowl of cereal.
  • Crackers and bread sticks: Choose whole grain ones with at least 2 grams of fibre per serving. Enjoy with natural peanut butter, hummus or a little cheese. Keep some in the workplace fridge if you have one.

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Last Update – February 15, 2019

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