Healthy Bagged Lunch Ideas for Adults.

Bag lunchHey Davey,

I work in construction so I’m pretty much forced to bring a bagged lunch to work. There are no microwaves to heat up stuff so its pretty much sandwiches. I usually eat sandwiches but I’ve heard that deli meat isn’t good for you. I sometimes eat yogurt and an apple and sometimes salads, but salads get old quick. What can I bring to work that is healthy?


Hey David,

Personally, I think it’s a lot easier to eat healthy with bagged lunches than going out to restaurants and delis. You have complete control over your menu – and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into the food you eat.

I have a few tips for you to try.

  1. Start with healthy bread. When picking out a loaf, read the ingredients carefully. Just because a bread is labeled as “multigrain” or “wheat” doesn’t necessarily mean that the bread is made from whole grains. The ingredients must list the word “whole” before any of the grains. “Wheat” isn’t the same as “whole wheat” so don’t be fooled.
  2. Load up the veggies. Pile your sandwich up with a generous portion of veggies. Vegetables are low in calories but high in nutrients – so this is a great opportunity to truly indulge without adding to your waistline. Cut up peppers, thick slices of tomatoes, red onions and so on. I like to top my sandwiches with lettuce, sprouts and a spread of avocado.
  3. Opt for lean meat or other protein sources. Though you mentioned that deli meats are unhealthy, the truth is that not all sliced meat products are created equal. Meats like bologna are terribly unhealthy. But fresh sliced turkey or chicken can be a smart choice. Fresh deli meats will have less sodium and some consumers like to avoid nitrates (though the research on nitrates is still somewhat inconclusive).
  4. Pick clean sides. The devil can be in the details. A delicious and nourishing sandwich should be accompanied by equally healthy sides like carrots sticks, hummus, mixed unsalted nuts with raisins, apple slices and real peanut butter, a bowl of fresh fruit, quinoa, brown rice, berries or even my healthy three ingredient cookies. If you’re craving a crunch, try making some homemade whole wheat pita chips. A side salad is also a great choice. Speaking of salads…
  5. Spice up your salad! My grandmother said that only boring people get bored. I’d like to extend that to only boring people make boring salads. The salad can even be the main course if you top it with some sliced chicken or other type of protein. I like to mix my salad with sprouts, microgreens, kale, homemade whole wheat croutons (so easy to make!), peppers, onions, seeds, tomatoes, cranberries or other dried fruits, olives, strawberries, tofu or so many other delicious ingredients. There are a zillion different salad combinations – and literally hundreds of heart-healthy dressing options.

I hope this helps to upgrade your bagged lunches. If anyone has any other tips, please share them in the comments below.


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  1. My favorite summer time sandwich is a baguette with pesto on each slice, fresh mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes. Grapes, orange slices, mini carrots, and sliced bell peppers do well in tuberware containers. I like taking several types of fruits and veggies for a variety of flavors and colors in my lunch.

  2. You mentioned crunch…and pita chips…I also like to made home made spiced kale chips…really easy to make..and basically as simple as fresh kale thrown on a baking sheet with some pepper/whatever spices you like.

  3. Dave from Boston says:

    Wow, I can’t believe Davey replied to one of my emails..and so quickly!! (happy guy here)
    These are some great tips and I am going to make those changes starting next work week.
    I think I just got in a rut with the same boring sandwiches.
    Some of you other guys that replied have some good ideas too…thanks.

  4. Thanx for the advice man. Really good posts on here.

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