Best lunch packing ideas?

I’m about to move from working at home to going into the office. I don’t like using the community refrigerator, so I want to pack things that I can just keep in my lunch bag. I’m thinking baby spinach, boiled egg or chicken breast, and maybe one serving of higher fiber crackers. And maybe an apple. I also thought about making a crust less spinach quiche and having one serving each day. Canned soups that are 200-300 calories for the can. A serving of crackers, and one serving of cheese and a piece of fruit. It needs to be something really easy that I don’t have to think about. Or I won’t do it. So I’m thinking I might do one lunch every day for a week and then change for the next week.


  • Jruzer
    Jruzer Posts: 3,501 Member
    I always pack easy lunches. I'll pack some leftovers, or a Cliff bar, or a turkey sandwich, or something along those lines. I almost always throw in a piece of fruit and a Greek yogurt.

    If you don't want to use the communal fridge, you could throw a freezer pack into your lunch bag. I've got a lunch bag with a built-in freezer pack.
  • singer201
    singer201 Posts: 560 Member
    When I was still working, I would make main dishes with "planned overs" and freeze portions for my evening work lunches. They would thaw by lunchtime, then be reheated in the microwave. (I also avoided using the communal refrigerator.) A container of cut-up veggies and a piece of fruit would complete my lunch. It might take a week or so of freezing leftovers to accumulate enough to rotate the main dish. I also made crustless quiches, 1/6 was an appropriate calorie meal, and stayed good for the 6 days it took to use it up. Use a freezer pack to keep it cool.
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    Sandwiches and cut up veggies.

    Veggies and hummus and an egg or two (or nuts).



    Lean Cuisine or other frozen meals, with a side salad or cut up veg.

    You can take anything you would have put in the fridge, if you have an insulated lunch bag, you just can't leave it overnight, as some people do with the fridge (which probably why you don't want to use it). So, what are you having for lunch now and why can't you take that to the office?
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
    I prep lunch for the week on the weekends. I prefer hot food for lunch and I'm OK eating the same thing five days in a row. I personally haven't experienced any adverse GI situations keeping all 5 servings in the fridge all week long, as opposed to freezing the last couple of days and then moving them to the fridge to thaw again mid-week, as you'll see discussed in some mealprep spaces. Your mileage may vary, do what aligns with your personal standards of food safety in your personal kitchen.

    I also do like to cook and it sounds like maybe you don't, so maybe my recipes won't work for you, but I'm happy to share if you're interested. Do you have access to a microwave (or do you want to use the communal microwave, if there is one)?
  • rosebarnalice
    rosebarnalice Posts: 3,488 Member
    When I make my breakfast, I also pack a big salad for lunch based on a mix of napa cabbage mixed with either lettuce or spinach and then a protein and a vinegar- based dressing.

    I have an insulated lunch bag, which I find holds the temperature just fine until lunchtime without refrigeration. Also, since the napa cabbage is fairly firm, it stands up well to being "predressed" from ~7:00 a.m. until 12:30 or 1 when I eat it.
  • bebeisfit
    bebeisfit Posts: 951 Member
    I agree with using leftovers and I highly recommend buying a thermos. Make sure it has a wide mouth. That way you don't have to use the microwave and your options for lunch are endless.

    It was a game changer for me when I drove throughout the day for my job.

    Have plenty of containers available and pack your lunch the night before if you are rushed in the morning.

  • TinaLeigh67
    TinaLeigh67 Posts: 669 Member
    I alternate between leftovers and my main go to lunch, cottage cheese, cherry tomatoes and a flavored tuna pouch.
  • Whatsthemotive
    Whatsthemotive Posts: 145 Member
    Thank you.
  • vanmep
    vanmep Posts: 406 Member
    I usually make a big main dish on the weekend and freeze a few portions and save the rest for dinners that week. I have a few in the freezer from previous weeks. So I can grab whatever I feel like. It keeps my lunch bag cool and will defrost by lunchtime.
  • Whatsthemotive
    Whatsthemotive Posts: 145 Member
    Thank you. I’m partly anxious about this because I’m anxious about the return to the world in general. I did a lot of fast food lunches when I was last in the office so even though the choices seem obvious it’s daunting. I feel like I’m losing a lot of control over my environment. There will be vending machines and people who want to go to lunch ( all options open here) and treats brought in. I don’t want to lose the progress I’ve made. I’ll have to adjust the time for workouts too. And I’ll be losing an hour and a half to commuting. Plus I won’t be home in mid afternoon to start cooking a healthy meal. None of this is insurmountable but it will be a lot of change for me. And I know I had lazy habits when I worked in the office. I didn’t pack lunches and when I did I packed lean cuisine meals that were not satiating enough and would be tempted by the vending machines. So I’m trying to plan ahead to keep from sabotaging myself.
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 692 Member
    If I haven't organised anything for lunch I'll take along a tub of hummous, oatcakes, cherry tomatoes, maybe some sticks of carrot and cucumber, a few olives in a pot.
    Very quick, doesn't require cooking, will happily sit in a lunch bag for a few hours.
  • wilson10102018
    wilson10102018 Posts: 1,306 Member
    You're in control. Make lunch your main meal. Look forward to it. You won't feel self conscious when others are eating well and you have a few scraps of rabbit food.

    Make a big tub of chicken salad from chicken breast, celery and a little Mayo. Aim for 600 calories at lunch. Have the can of soup for dinner.
  • happyness4me
    happyness4me Posts: 58 Member
    I work a 13 hour day. What I usually eat is a protein bar for a morning snack, a salad with protein, a sandwich, or left overs for lunch, and a string cheese with fruit for afternoon snack. Good luck, you got this.
  • Whatsthemotive
    Whatsthemotive Posts: 145 Member
    Thank you!