Nutrition Nook: Brown Bag It! Grab-and-go Lunch Ideas

Aimee Dyess, MS, RDN, LD, CDE

When we think about lunch our minds might wander to the corner deli near the office or the conveniently located cafeteria found in the workplace. Eating out for lunch can quickly add up not only in calories, but also a big chunk out of your wallet. With a little planning you can easily plan to brown bag it for lunch.

After bariatric surgery it is important to get in three meals each day to ensure adequate nutrient intake. Regularly skipping meals can lead to overconsumption at your next meal, which in turn can cause unpleasant side effects. In addition, when you allow yourself to get overly hungry, it is difficult to control the type and amount of food you eat.

Don’t feel pressured into thinking that your lunch needs to be an elaborate meal. Pack leftovers from the night before, double up on a favorite healthy snack, or even consider breakfast for lunch. Get some additional ideas from the following websites and some quick and easy grab-and-go lunch ideas below.

Healthy Lunch Ideas under 250 calories

  • Tuna pouch + 1/2 cup celery
    (100 calories, 14 grams protein)
  • 3 oz. boneless skinless chicken thigh, 2 tbsp. hummus + 1/4 cup carrots
    (180 calories, 19 grams protein)
  • 3 oz. deli turkey/ham/chicken rolled up with 1 oz. low-fat cheese + 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
    (176 calories, 21 grams protein) 
  • Low-sugar Greek yogurt cup + 1/2 cup berries + 1/4 cup granola
    (230 calories, 18 grams protein)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs + 1/2 cup mini bell peppers
    (165 calories, 13 grams protein)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese + 1/4 cup pineapple
    (110 calories, 14 grams protein)
  • Ricotta bake (ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, egg, and marinara sauce)
    (220 calories, 19 grams protein)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, 1 oz mozzarella balls, 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp light Italian dressing
    (170 calories, 7 grams protein)
  • 2 Laughing Cow wedges + 2 Wasa whole grain crackers + 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
    (210 calories, 9 grams protein)
  • 1/2 sweet potato + 1/2 cup turkey chili
    (180 calories, 12 grams protein)
  • 3 oz salmon + 1/2 cup cooked spinach
    (190 calories, 20 grams protein)
  • 2 vegetable egg muffins
    (165 calories, 16 grams protein)
  • 1/2 cup black bean soup + 2 Wasa whole grain crackers
    (190 calories, 9 grams protein)

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