Healthy Food Ideas for an On-The-Go Lunch

by J. Lucy Boyd

Lunch is often eaten on the go, but that doesn't mean nutrition must be sacrificed. Rather than grabbing fat-laden fast food or brown-bagging the same tired sandwich each day, consider these healthier options. A bottle of green tea or water completes these nutritious lunch ideas.

Tuna Wrap

A tuna wrap made with a whole-wheat tortilla makes a healthy, portable lunch. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends eating fish and fresh vegetables, and this wrap provides both. To prepare, place the tortilla on a plate and add chunked tuna, grape tomatoes, lettuce and shredded Swiss cheese. Sprinkle with pepper and roll into a wrap. Store in aluminum foil, which can be removed as the wrap is eaten.

Fruit Salad

A large bowl of fruit salad makes a healthy lunch for bored taste buds. Place black grapes, cantaloupe chunks, pineapple chunks, raspberries, apple chunks and banana slices into a bowl along with two ice cubes. Pecans or walnuts can be added for variety.


Smoothies should be made within an hour of consuming, unless refrigeration is available. A smoothie made with Greek yogurt, skim milk, blueberries, papaya and calorie-free sweetener packs a nutritional punch while on-the-go. The American Dietetic Association recommends daily milk consumption for both men and women, making this smoothie a healthy lunch option.

Chicken Fajita

A chicken fajita can be prepared ahead of time by grilling strips of chicken breast on a griddle along with onion and green peppers. The tortilla should be lightly grilled on both sides and the chicken and vegetables added. The mixture should be seasoned with Mexican spices and the fajita wrapped in aluminum foil for an easy, delicious meal.

Trail Mix

Trail mix, stored in a baggie or bowl, is the ultimate on-the-go lunch item. Prepare it the night before by mixing whole-grain cereal, cashews, chunks of dark chocolate, dried cranberries and husked sunflower seeds.

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Make an ordinary sandwich healthier with a few special tweaks. Smear chunky peanut butter between two slices of oat bran bread, then add banana slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. For best results, avoid cutting the sandwich and store it in a sandwich container until eaten.

Tomato Soup

Prepare soup by heating condensed tomato soup with an equal part skim milk. Pour it into a cup designed for traveling and drink it while warm. For variety, add 2 tbsp. of shredded cheddar cheese after heating and stir.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

J. Lucy Boyd, RN, BSN has written several nonfiction books including "The Complete Guide to Healthy Cooking and Nutrition for College Students." She is frequently called upon to provide career guidance to medical professionals and advice to parents of children with challenges. She also loves teaching others to cook for their families.