55+ Healthy Lunch Ideas

Heather Dessinger

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Does the lunch hour taunt you? Does it stick out its tongue and dare you to go beyond PB&J sandwiches? No fear, brave one, this post is for you! Here’s what I’ll be packing this year for my kids weekly homeschool meet-ups and other outings this school year.

Lunch Meat & Beyond

healthy lunch recipes

Quick & Easy Options

While I usually cook from scratch, there are times whenpre-made options make more sense. Here’s what I buy:

Leftovers that make good lunches




Veggie Sides

Pre-Made Options

  • Bubbies naturally fermented pickles
  • Sea Snax – It’s a sea vegetable, so it definitely counts. Seaweed is a great alternative to chips, and it’s rich in minerals such as iodine, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium.Unfortunately most seaweed snacks are made with canola or safflower oil. Safflower I don’t have a big problem with, but companies often switch between the two depending on what’s cheapest so you never know what you’re going to get. Fortunately, I recently discovered these mineral rich from Sea Snax that use olive oil instead. (Also, they test radiation and the last time I checked with them there were no detectable levels.)

Energy Bars, Granola & Such


With Nuts

Pre-Made Options

Primal Kitchen makes several protein bars that incorporate grass-fed gelatin. They’re not super sweet like most bars, which I prefer. The coconut cashew bar is my favorite.


Gelatin Treats

These really deserve their own category. Gelatin is rich in nutrients that studies suggest may make skin look more youthful, support digestion and improve sleep, among many other things. They also happen to be delicious and portable. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:


For The Thermos


Sweets & Treats

Nut-Free Options

If nuts are a-okay . .

Here are a few of my favorite recipes.

55+ Paleo Lunch Ideas #healthylunchideas #paleolunch #paleosnacks


So, I wasn’t quite sure where to put these, but as I mentioned in 15 Ways To Be Kind To Your Adrenals, carb cycling can help support normal cortisol/melatonin rhythms. For that reason, we start with a high protein breakfast that includes a small amount of carbs, followed by a larger portion of carbs at lunch and a little larger portion at dinner. When we’re on-the-go, my favorite recipes are:

Homestyle potato salad with bacon and egg


Packing Tools

These 4 oz. leakproof rounds are perfect for dips, gummy snacks, while these 8 oz. rounds are better for yogurt or a small amount of soup/stew.

For hot soups, I use this 16 ounce thermos. It holds a bit too much for my kids, so I’m getting them the 12 ounce version.

We’ve been using Lunchbot Duos (with two compartments) and Trios (with three compartments) for years and love them. Random stuff that won’t fit in the Lunchbots usually gets tucked into a reusable snack bag like this one.

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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18 thoughts on “55+ Healthy Lunch Ideas”

  1. Thanks for featuring my resistant starch potato salad! This is quite an impressive list of options! Excited to check them out!

  2. I have cold lunch every day, and I gotta tell you, it gets pretty boring when you have the same thing for lunch five days of the week. These ideas are so awesome! Thanks! Hope you can visit my blog sometime!

  3. Thank you for this post! Struggling to pack my kids lunch this year. Have you experimented with the best way to cook and pack chicken nuggets for a school lunch? Or maybe you home-school so you don’t have to worry about it. I have tried making a batch, freezing them, and baking in the morning before school. I pack them in a thermos bowl so they’ll stay warm, but by the time my kid eats them at lunch I think they have gotten a bit soggy and now it’s turned him off of chicken nuggets.

  4. Quite an impressive list with many options I am sure my kids would love. I was just curious which brands of organic hot dogs and cold cuts you use?

  5. Long time reader, first post…thank you for such real and great ideas, for lunch and every day! Your sour gummies are a family fav, even being used to carve out Happy Birthday for a grain free one year old!

  6. Hello mommy, I am new to your blog, most of your lunch ideas are strange to me, but here in Africa, we eat heavy food like garri (heavy molded flour)and egusi soup for lunch mostly

  7. These look delicious and lovely! I’m about to start my first year of teaching, and I’ve been fretting over preparing healthy lunches and thinking about food prep for each week. This will definitely make that task much easier for me. Thank you for sharing! ?

  8. Hi Heather, very appreciated for your lunch ideas! You know, it almost drives me crazy to decide what to eat each noon since there are only a few dishes to choose and I already have no appetite for them at all.

  9. I’m wondering whether the Lunchbots and U-Konserve containers you recommend have plastic inside the lids where it could touch the food. It is hard to find Thermos-style containers that have stainless steel inside the lids, but I did eventually find some on Amazon. I like the containers you recommend and would like to try them, but am worried about packing hot soup in a container with a plastic lid.

  10. Which of the gummie recipes do use when you send them to school? I’m worried about them melting into a mess in Florida heat!

  11. What great ideas for healthy lunches! I always have such a difficult time figuring out what to make, and I end up just grabbing whatever’s convenient and sabotaging my weight loss efforts. Thanks for a great post!

  12. Thank you for linking the thermos and lunch boxes. My son just started kindergarten and he is super picky! I tried school lunch last week but he didn’t eat anything and was super hungry when I picked him up, so packed lunch it is! Great ideas, thanks! 🙂