One of the things we love hearing from families and PackIt fans is how using a PackIt has helped them eat healthier. When you can keep food cool you can pack a wider variety of things and trust that it will still be good at lunchtime. We've compiled 10 healthy lunch ideas that are great alternatives to tired sandwiches.
Turkey-Cheese Pita Pockets
Pita pockets are a fun alternative to sandwiches. Just take a whole wheat pita, spread a creamy cheese (pimento is our favorite!), then fill with roast turkey slices, baby spinach leaves and cucumber slices.
Chips and Dips
Make a healthy and fun lunch with homemade pico de gallo and tortilla chips. Make the pico de gallo by combining chopped fresh tomatoes, lime juice, finely chopped white onion and chopped fresh cilantro. Pack flaxseed tortilla chips with small containers of the pico de gallo, avocados mashed with lemon juice, and Greek yogurt.
Chicken Soft Tacos
The great thing about this sandwich alternative is that you can use shredded chicken from last night's dinner so nothing goes to waste! Mash avocados with lemon juice and put in a small sealable container and then top with a layer of shredded Monterey Jack before sealing. Fill 2 small whole wheat tortillas with shredded chicken and sliced romaine lettuce and store in resealable bags.
Ham & Cheese Quesadillas
Spread mustard on a whole wheat tortilla, then top with slices of American cheese and ham. Add a layer of baby spinach leaves, then fold closed and cook on a Panini press or in a hot skillet until the tortilla is golden and the cheese melts. Cut them in to wedges and let them cool before packing them away so they don't end up a soggy mess for lunch.
This lunch option may take a little more planning, but you can freeze them for a last minute lunch fill in! Use your favorite go-to lasagna recipe but instead of making a huge pan, make lasagna cups in muffin tins. Let cool and place them in freezer bags and freeze. Pull them out the night before so they're good to go by lunch the next day.
A cold pasta salad only requires one thing for lunch - a fork! Prepare the pasta salad with a lean meat and/or low-fat cheese, your favorite friendly veggies, and cooked (and cooled!) whole wheat pasta. Simply throw it all together in a bowl with light vinaigrette or dressing and put proper portions in sealable containers for lunch.
Fruit and Cheese Plate
This is a lunch perfect for the kids who love to eat finger friendly foods for every meal! You can fill a divided plastic container (like the super popular Bento boxes) with assorted cheese cubes/slices and clean and cut fruits like apples, strawberries, pears, grapes and melon.
Veggies & Dip
Everyone loves to DIP! A small container of dressing (our kids are huge fans of ranch) and carrots, cucumbers, celery and broccoli make an easy and fast lunch for your veggie loving child.
This easy lunch can be prepared a few containers at a time as an easy grab and go for kids and adults alike. Layer chopped romaine lettuce, cubed turkey, halved cherry tomatoes, finely chopped hard boiled egg, and shredded cheese into mason jars or resealable containers. You can top with your favorite dressing or prepare smaller containers on the side with dressing.
We've left the most obviously non-sandwich lunch for last. We don't see leftovers as something boring and bland - we see all the ways this can be fun and new the next day! Take last nights Alfredo with pasta and toss in cooked asparagus or chopped broccoli. Or chop up left over steak and layer it on a tortilla with shredded cheese and sour cream for a yummy steak burrito. Leftovers don't have to be boring - and they don't have to be an exact repeat of the night before.
We would love to hear how you keep lunch cool and new for your family - leave a comment below with your go to lunch recipe!