Easy Packed Lunches for
Kids and Adults

Easy Packed Lunches for Kids and Adults

Knowing what to pack for lunch every day can be challenging for busy families. The good news is you can have quick and easy packable lunches for the whole family ready in no time with some planning and a little imagination.

Why Is Packing a Good Lunch Important?

Why Is Packing a Good Lunch Important?

We all get busy, but keeping ourselves and our families healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Creating new ideas for what to pack for lunch at work or school is almost as important as packing healthy lunches. 

There are significant benefits to packing lunches, including the following:

  • Saving money: Packed lunches are more affordable than cafeteria lunches. You can save on lunches by packing them yourself. Kids also get more time to eat when they have a packed lunch, as they don’t have to wait in long cafeteria lines. 
  • Eating healthier: Packing lunches for the family gives you complete control over what you and your family eat. You can ensure everyone gets enough fruit, vegetables and protein. You’ll help your family make healthier choices by making packed lunches a habit. 
  • Performing better at work and school: There is a well-documented link between a healthy diet and improved concentration. A healthy diet can improve mood and concentration, which leads to better work and school performance. 
  • Reducing your environmental impact: Cutting down our cafeteria lunches can reduce the amount of waste we create. We can make even less by packing our food in reusable containers and using water bottles. 

What Should You Put in a Packed Lunch?

Developing healthy lunch ideas for kids and adults can be fun and lets you get creative. Depending on your situation, you may have to consider cold lunch ideas and heated options. A nutritious lunch should cover all the major food groups, including fruit, vegetables, healthy protein, whole grains and dairy. It’s also nice to have a healthy treat in there too. 

Use this checklist to develop the most straightforward packed lunch ideas for your family:

  • At least one fresh fruit
  • Two vegetables
  • A healthy protein
  • One whole grain
  • A dairy element or similar
  • One healthy snack

If you have all these elements, you can make lunches quickly and efficiently. 

5 Quick and Easy Packable Lunches for Adults and Kids

With so much else going on, ideas for packed lunches can be more challenging than preparing them. We’ve created a packed lunch for each day of the working week to make creating quick, easy and healthy lunches that much easier.

1. Grilled Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce and Fruit Salad

This first lunch is one of the easiest packed lunch ideas to make. You can eat it cold, and it’s great for the whole family. For six portions, you will need a 16-ounce bag of John Soules Foods Rotisserie Chicken Strips, 1 diced cucumber, 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of dried dill leaves, 8 ounces of plain greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons each of lemon juice and red wine vinegar, 3 cups of shredded romaine lettuce, 1 sliced medium red onion, 1 diced tomato, 1 package of pita bread, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. 

For the fruit salad, you can choose any of your favorite fruits. If you want an extra energy boost in the middle of the day, consider a combination of bananas, apples, strawberries, dark berries and oranges. 

2. Chicken Tender Sliders, Pasta Salad and Cheese and Apple Kebabs

This easy and nutritious recipe is a breeze to make, pack and enjoy. The Chicken Tender Sliders are perfect for all ages, and the pasta salad makes an excellent energy-releasing addition for the middle of the day. 

For the sliders, you will need one 24-ounce bag of John Soules Foods Chicken Tenders, 8 slices of quartered Swiss cheese, 1/2 cup of honey mustard, 1 pack of Hawaiian sweet rolls, 12 pieces of honey ham and 2 cups of shredded iceberg lettuce. 

You can add leftovers from the night before to your pasta salad or follow this gorgeous storecupboard pasta salad recipe. 

Just grab some kebab sticks and slice up some apples and your favorite cheese for the kebabs. Slide alternating pieces of each onto your lunchbox-sized sticks, and you’ve got your fruit and dairy snack. 

3. Chicken Taco Pinwheels, Mason Jar Salad and Chocolate Dipped Orange Slices

Tacos pinwheels are a great option for packed lunches. They’re easy to put in a lunchbox and require zero cooking time. Plus, the kids will love them. 

For this delicious chicken taco pinwheel recipe, you will need 16 ounces of refrigerated or thawed John Soules Foods Chicken Fajitas, 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil, 2 cups of room temperature cream cheese, 2 small, finely chopped red and green bell peppers, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 3 10-inch flour tortillas and 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. 

The great thing about mason jar salad recipes is you can add anything you want. It’s the perfect lunchbox meal for all ages. Add your favorite healthy options if you’re looking for mason jar inspiration. 

You can also get your daily dose of fruit with some simple chocolate-dipped, fresh orange slices. Peel an orange and dip each slice halfway into some melted chocolate. Let it cool and pack. 

4. Beef Lettuce Cups, Potato Salad and Apple and Cheese Kebabs

Pair this healthy Mongolian-Style Beef Lettuce Cup recipe with some potato salad for protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. Then get your dairy and fruit in with apple and cheese kebabs. 

For this recipe, you will need 1/4 a cup each of water and soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of corn starch, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 12-ounce tray of refrigerated John Soules Steak Strips, 2 carrots cut into matchsticks, 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper, 1 head of bibb lettuce and some cooked basmati or jasmine rice. 

The kebabs are simple — cut some apple and cheese into squares and skewer alternate squares onto a kebab stick. Make as many as you need. Choose your favorite potato salad recipe, cheeses and fruit, and you’re set for the day. 

5. Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad Jars with Mini Hawaiian Pizzas and Dried Fruit Trail Mix

What better way to end the week than salad and pizza? This quick Chicken Cobb Salad Jars recipe is perfect for packing for work and school since the the jars make it ideal for packing and enjoying on-the-go.

For each person, you will need 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 6 ounces of refrigerated John Soules Foods Flame Grilled Chicken, ¼ of a cup of ranch dressing, 1 pitted and chopped avocado, 2 slices of chopped, cooked bacon, 1 large seeded and diced plum tomato, 1 quartered hard-boiled egg and 1 cup of romaine lettuce, chopped. 

Once you have layered your salad, pack it in the fridge for the following day. All you need to do now is bake your favorite Hawaiian pizza and pack some of your favorite trail mixes. Add some dried mango or your other fruit of choice, and you have your last healthy meal for the week ready to go. 

Make Packing a Healthy Lunch Easy With John Soules Foods

Make Packing a Healthy Lunch Easy With John Soules Foods

John Soules Foods has provided customers with delicious pre-cut, pre-seasoned and pre-cooked meats since 1975, making home cooking easy for families on the go. You can add lean protein to your packed lunches in minutes and enjoy exceptional flavors anytime. Browse our products online, and if you’re looking for more inspiration, don’t forget to check out our recipes.

Save time and energy, and keep your family excited for the next lunch with any of our delicious John Soules Foods products. Find a store near you for your next quick, easy, packable lunches!