5 of the healthiest lunches you can grab on the run

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Healthy lunches when you are on the go

When you take a quick scan around the local food court, or at the menu at your local café, chances are the popular lunch time choices of a schnitzel sandwich, Caesar salad or creamy salad are not all that healthy. So what can you pick up at lunchtime when you are in a rush but still not keen to compromise your nutrition?

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A healthy wrap

Making your own wrap or sandwich will always be a better option nutritionally that buying a pre-made option as you can then control the number of high fat fillings, calorie dense sauces and in the some cases the size of the bread or wrap. Lean, protein rich options such as turkey, chicken, tuna or egg along with plenty of salad is the way to go and generally speaking wraps will have fewer carbs and calories than thick slices of Sourdough and Turkish bread.  A regular wrap with chicken breast contains between 350-400 calories and will help to keep you full for several hours if you ensure it is also loaded with salad. In cases where the wraps are large, another option is to eat ½ as an early lunch and the other ½ for afternoon tea.

Turkey or chicken salad wrap

Total Calories = 400-500

Total fat = 10-15g

Total Carbs = 35-40g

Total Sugars = 2g

Chicken strips

If you must make a fast food choice, the good news is that chicken strips offered at a number of fast food chains can be a strong choice nutritionally. With <10-15g of total fat per serve they can make a balanced lunch choice especially if teamed with salad as opposed to fries and a soft drink. 

4 chicken strips and salad

Total Calories = 360

Total fat = 12g

Total Carbs = 10g

Total Sugars = 4g

Mexican Bowl

Mexican cuisine is seen more frequently in food courts and a great choice nutritionally is the naked bowls they offer. Basically a burrito minus the wrap, served in a bowl, a naked burrito bowl is a protein and vegetable rich lunch choice and can be relatively low in fat if you go easy on the sour cream, cheese and avocado. You can further lighten this choice by asking for no rice in your bowl. 

Naked Burrito (no rice)

Total Calories = 320

Total fat = 12g

Total Carbs = 26g

Total Sugars = 8g

Make it yourself salad

Naturally a salad made with a balanced mix of lean protein, plenty of salad greens, controlled serves of fats from nuts, dressings, avocado and cheese can be a great lunch option. The key is to have a salad made to order and focus on a base mostly of low calorie salad ingredients. Then add some lean protein such as eggs, tuna, turkey or chicken breast, some nutritious carbs from quinoa, sweet potato, corn or beans and just one high fat ingredient such as nuts, dressing, cheese or avocado. This mix will give you a lunch salad that contains fewer than 400 calories and a good amount of carbs and protein to help keep you full all afternoon. 

Chicken, sweet potato and feta salad

Total Calories = 380

Total fat = 16g

Total Carbs =22g

Total Sugars = 2g


Sushi is one of the most popular default ‘healthy’ choices for a quick lunch on the run, but you do need to be careful as sushi rolls filled with fried fillings and tons of sticky white rice is not actually all that healthy. On the other hand, a serve of sashimi, along with some high protein edamame beans and a serve of seaweed salad is a high protein, high fibre, low calorie lunch option that will keep you full for at least 2-3 hours. 

Sashimi and Japanese salad

Total Calories = 200-300

Total fat = 10g

Total Carbs =15g

Total Sugars = 1g