A healthy lunch is balanced with a combination of fiber from whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables; protein from lean meats and low fat dairy; and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.


Planning and packing are the best methods of making lunch easy and healthy. If you require
a more on-the-go approach, try these items: Pre-sliced fruits and vegetables- you can find
this in most grocery stores in the produce section
• Pre-prepared vegetables – find in your grocers produce section
• Sliced and prepped fruit – you can find this in most grocery stores
• Canned fruit packed in 100% juice (although fresh is best)
• Frozen vegetables – look for the kind made in microwave ready bags, just heat and eat


Make a grocery list with healthy items, include things like:

  • Whole grain bread, pita, or tortilla
  • Hummus
  • Low-fat natural peanut butter
  • Variety of nuts
  • Variety of vegetables and lettuce
  • Chicken and turkey breast
  • Canned tuna packed in water
  • Whole grain tortilla chips
  • Reduced fat cheese
  • Fresh salsa
  • Light yogurt
  • Skim milk
  • Variety of fresh fruits
  • Light salad dressing

Pack the night before.
Cook in bulk over the weekend.
Prepare extra at dinner and take leftovers for lunch.
Lunches that include meat, fish, poultry, or dairy need to be kept refrigerated.


If you are looking for frozen meals, soups, or other pre-packaged meals, turn the product around and look at the label to find the nutritional information:

  • Choose items that are low in saturated and trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar. The %DV of each of these categories should be 5% or less.
  • Experts recommend consuming around 20-35 grams of fiber each day. To accomplish this choose products that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Fresh fruit, whole grains, beans, and legumes are our best natural sources of this nutrient.


healthy lunch

Below are some suggestions for healthy, balanced lunches. Please keep in mind that everyone has different calorie needs based on their height, weight, age, gender, and activity level.

Below is an example lunch for a 5’10, 40-year-old, lightly active, 200 pound male
Calorie Level: 500 – 550 calories
o 2 slices whole grain bread – 160 calories
o 2 oz grilled and sliced chicken breast – 140 calories
o 1 slice reduced fat cheese – 90 calories
o 6 oz light yogurt – 90 calories
o 1 baseball size apple – 60 calories
o Water

Below is a sample lunch for a 5’4”, 40 years old, lightly active, 150 pound female
Calorie Level: 350 – 375
o 2 slices whole grain bread – 160 calories
o 1 oz grilled and sliced chicken breast – 70 calories
o 1-2 tsp mustard – 0-20 calories
o 6 oz light yogurt – 90 calories
o ½ cup fresh strawberries – 30 calories
o Water


• I will pack a balanced healthy lunch 3-4 days this week.
• I will include 1 serving of vegetables and 1 serving of fruit with lunch 3 days this week.
• I will prepare extra food at dinner and take leftovers for lunch 2-3 days this week.
• I will make a grocery list before going to the grocery store to include balanced healthy items for lunch.


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JC Guidry
Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach, Author and Media Fitness Expert with over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Has served over 50,000 sessions from one-on-one, semi-private to large group BootCamp classes. Nationally and locally awarded Fitness expert on both ABC & CBS.