Running Errands? Ideas for Quick Healthy Lunches on the Go

Rohan Mathew

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When you live a busy lifestyle, it might seem like there’s no time for nutrition—or for sticking to that healthy diet you have in mind.

When hunger hits and there’s no time to prepare a meal, it’s easy to veer off the designated path. Even the mere act of seeing a billboard with unhealthy food can be tempting to our brains!

That’s why it’s crucial to figure out how to get better access to quick, healthy lunches on the go. Looking for some options? Here’s how to make it work.

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Prep Your Healthy Meal in Advance

When you’re eating on the go, no one knows what you need better than you do. That’s why it’s often better to pack your own healthy meal instead of purchasing pre-packaged or processed foods.

Of course, you often have to make do with no-heat foods if you need healthy on-the-go lunches, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work! Here are some ideas for easy healthy lunches you can make the morning or night before.

  • Make-ahead salads: Try this classic option for a fuss-free and filling lunch
  • DIY Lunchables: Pack these into a bento box for some delicious nostalgia
  • Healthy sandwiches: Add your favorite proteins and veggies for a quick, healthy meal
  • Yesterday’s leftovers: If you’ve made a healthy meal for dinner, pack the rest for an easy lunch!

With these quick options, you’ll have no trouble putting together your own easy and healthy lunch.

Have the Right Snacks and Sides Available

Sure, you’ve eaten the main meal—but if you’re still hungry, you may want to keep some healthy sides and snacks close by. Try packing a few of these options:

  • Rice cakes: These are low in calories and sugar but high in fiber
  • Protein and breakfast bars: Opt for low-sugar, nutrient-rich brands
  • Nuts: These pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrients and vitamins
  • Fruit: Grab whatever you have on hand before leaving the house
  • Kale or veggie chips: The right brands will offer a boost of antioxidants and fiber
  • Veggies and hummus: Add a savory, tangy twist to your favorite veggies
  • Jerky or beef sticks: Check for low-sugar and preservative-free options

Having these on hand—or even storing them in your car—is a good way to keep hunger at bay all day.

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Choose Wisely at Restaurants

When it comes to on-the-go lunch ideas, of course, the easiest option may be to stop and grab some food from a restaurant. However, nutrition sometimes falls to the wayside in light of the delicious-looking but often unhealthy menus of many locations. That’s why it helps to consider your choice in advance.

Check out the menu in advance so you know what the healthy options are. When you’re facing just words instead of sights and smells, it’s easier to make a decision! Look for options that are “grilled” or “steamed,” for example, instead of opting for foods that may be heavier on oils and fats, like “fried,” “creamy,” or “smothered” options.

Of course, if there are any healthier restaurants on the way to your destination, stopping there can make all the difference. Look for a vegan or vegetarian health food restaurant, find a venue with a salad bar, or opt for those providing nutrient-rich foods like poke or sushi.

Pave the Way to Quick, Healthy Lunches on the Go

Whether you want to dine in or have portable meals prepared, having quick, healthy lunches on the go can help you stick to your healthy diet. With a little preparation and advance planning, you’ll stop settling for unhealthy meals when you’re in a rush, allowing you to pack more wholesome goodness into your body.

Looking for more of the quick health tips you should keep in mind? Check out our other posts for helpful insights!