35 Healthy Lunch & Snack Ideas

35 Easy Real Food Lunch and Snack Ideas

I’ve gotten several emails lately asking for some easy lunch and snack ideas. I admit, this isn’t my strongest area since my kids are still pre-school age and my husband is often in and out of his home office around lunch time, so I’m able to just prepare food at home.

The times that I do have to pack ahead when we are on the road, it definitely takes planning, and I see why this is one area a lot of people would prefer to simplify.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled some of my favorite simple and fast recipes (my own and from around the web) that can be packed for lunches or snacks on the go.

A Few Of My Own…

Jerky From Ground Beef

Meatball Shish Kabobs

Chia Seed Energy Bars

Perfect Chicken Salad

Grilled Citrus Chicken Salad with Cucumber, Egg and Strawberries

Fiesta Chicken salad with Guacamole and Salsa

Coconut Granola

Tuna Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Healthy Rice Free Sushi

Homemade Energy Bars

Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars

Cheesy Chips- Grain and Potato Free

Healthy Homemade Meat Based Pizza- Meatza!

Simple Lettuce Tacos (can also be made with lunch meat or other leftovers)

Leftover Salmon Cakes Wrapped In Bacon

Water Kefir Soda

You can also make extra of any of the meals on my Recipes Page and send/bring the leftovers for lunches. These are a few of my favorite (kid-approved) snack ideas

Brilliant Recipes From Around the Web…

Some Easy Snack Ideas from Mark’s Daily Apple (Kids will like these!)

Tons of lunch/snack ideas with recipes compiled at MDA

Bacon, Egg and Avocado Salad at Food Renegade (great blog… check it out while you are there!)

Sausage “Cupcakes” at Food Renegade

Homemade Probiotic Lemonade at Food Renegade

Grain Free Crackers also at Food Renegade

Kale Chips at Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Amazing Greek Salad at Keeper of the Home (add some chicken- amazing!)

Garlic Dill Pickles at Keeper of the Home

Homemade Yogurt at Keeper of the Home

Awesome Gravlax at Gnolls

Butternut Squash Chips at Health, Home and Happiness

Chicken Pepper Poppers at Health, Home and Happiness

Homemade Fried Cheese Sticks at Health, Home and Happiness

Grain Free Crackers at Health, Home and Happiness

Homemade Chicken Nuggets (use coconut or almond flour!)  at Health, Home and Happiness

There’s also nothing wrong with a great homemade salad each day for lunch, and there are a million different ways to mix this one up! For kids, finger foods like nuts, veggies and fruit with dip, beef jerky, cheese, etc. are often easier and can be sent with homemade smoothies, water kefir, or other healthy drinks.

If you’re not into making your own healthy snacks, one of my family’s favorite are these grass-fed beef sticks.

I’m sure I’ve missed some great ideas from around the web… please share your favorites in the comments below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Hmm, some of these look really good. I’ve been searching for primal lunches for kids that are something more than kebabs. I look forward to trying a few of these over the summer

    • I will be making/buying some of these at the grocery store next time I go!

  2. This is amazing.  Seriously! My husband and I eat 95% paleo but we’ve been looser with the kids, but my resolution for June is to rein in their eating.  This is like an answer to prayer for that!  We’ll be making: rice-free sushi, apple chips, jerky (my kids love regular homemade jerky but have a hard time chewing it–I think your ground beef version will be easier), almond meal crackers…and then next week we’ll try some more of these recipes!

    I have a post planned for Monday that I’m calling “The New Healthy.”  I am absolutely linking to this!  

  3. A few years ago I was in a Mediterranean restaurant and wanting to order the hummus. At the time I was trying my best to go gluten free. I asked the server if I could get cucumber slices instead of pita bread slices. I figured if the cucumber was sliced thick enough, the slices would be strong enough to be dipped in the hummus without bending. Instead of slicing the cucumber straight they sliced it diagnally. Not only did it work, but it was so deliciously refreshing I didn’t even miss the pita bread! From that day forward cucumber slices with hummus is one of my favorite snacks and the bonus is I can still enjoy it going grain-free ;D

  4. Oh yeah…and I wanted to share another one of my new favorite snacks. I slice up a granny smith apple and put it in a small reusable to-go contaianer. I squeeze a little lemon juice over the top, then sprinkle it with some ground cardamon and (very lightly) stevia powder. I like to stick a toothpick in one of the apples and then put the lid on. I shake it up a bit then toss it in my backpack. It’s one of my favorite between class snacks. The toothpick is very convenient so I don’t have to touch the apples with my fingers as I’m making my way to my next class. It’s a great tangy-sweet snack on the run ;D 

    • That sounds delicious! Have you tried apple slices, lemon juice, and smoky paprika? Here in Chile, they have a great spice called “Merken”, it is like a spicy, smoky paprika and it really gives the apple a great flavour not to mention a spicy kick!

  5. Kale Chips

    I have made some easier kale chips using the pizza cutter and a Misto.

    Mist a cookie sheet with your preferred baking oil, and sprinkle sea salt over it. Preheat oven to 300.

    After washing making sure kale is dry, lay it on its side with both sides of the leaf facing the same direction. Get your pizza cutter and run it right up next to the spine. Tear the cut off kale into pieces and toss onto the prepared sheet. Don’t worry about overlapping, etc.

    Once all the kale is on the sheet, mist again with oil and dust with salt. Pop it into the oven for about 1/2 hour. The time is going to depend on how large a bunch of kale you have and how large the cookie sheet is. Keep track of how the kale is browning. Once most of the kale is brown, turn the oven off and let it sit inside the oven until it cools.

    Enjoy these chips that give you the peppery salty taste while still giving you a daily vegetable and low calorie count. Since this is so easy, you can make it often and experiment with the oil and salt/no salt flavors.

  6. Oh my goodness! Thank you for this timely posting! We started revamping our eating habits last week and my 6 yr old daughter and 11 yr old son are asking “What about lunch at school?” I was going to do research this week to see what alternatives there are besides the usual sandwiches. Thanks for the post! Can’t wait to show some of the ideas to them!

  7. the bread reciepts i’ve made don’t use yeast, why not? staying away from grains not the yeast?

  8. This post is what brought me to your website for the first time almost a year ago. I was looking for healthy things to pack for my guys. I was looking for low-carb ideas, but I was only finding the typical low-fat nonsense. I was surprised and happy to find this post, and eager to see what else you had on your site. Since then I’ve learned so much from you and other websites about things I didn’t even know were out there. I’ve been on a slow but steady journey to detox my family and made many of your bath and beauty recipes. Thanks for providing all the info that you do. It has really changed my life.

    • You’re welcome! So happy you’ve found it helpful in your families journey.

  9. i have to giggle at the chia seed energy bar snack as a school snack…..god help the teachers! 😉

  10. 🙂 !

  11. Thanks for the link to the Gravlax recipe. I was hoping for one that didn’t contain sugar, though. How do you sub it out without the salt getting overpowering and harsh? I’ve tried curing salmon without the sugar but wasn’t very successful so I had high hopes for a sugar-free cure.