Lunch is my most difficult meal of the day. Between my newborn and my toddler, nap times and feeds, finding a moment to feed myself is nearly impossible. While my lunch time experience may be strikingly different from yours, I know for most people lunch is merely a meal to squeeze in between work in the morning and work in the afternoon. Sometimes it’s devoured hunched over a desk. Sometimes it’s sucked down as you drive back to the office from a quick fast-food pick up. Regardless of your circumstances, lunch is likely a very quick meal full of distractions.

I do know, however, that if I don’t power up, the afternoon is sure to be super tough, full of headaches, and I’m likely to succumb to the temptations of chips, candy, and other junk to try and get through. So, I try to keep easy go-to options on hand (great to pack for work, too!) so that I can eat quickly, often with just one hand. Here are some of my favorites.

1) Hummus with veggies – super easy, super healthy, and super simple to customize. Flavored hummus or traditional. Snap peas. Bell pepper. Broccoli. Cauliflower. Cucumbers. Carrots. Mushrooms. Celery. Hummus is full of healthy fat and protein and a great way to spice up your veggies.

2) Avocado Toast with a Hard boiled egg – I know this was on my breakfast list, but it’s great for lunch, too. You can pack bread (most offices have a toaster) and the avocado and mash up fresh at work when you’re ready to chow down.

3) Grown-up Lunchable – fun little lunchable-like lunches are just for kids. Try some whole grain or rice crackers with cheese, carrots, and a piece of fruit. You cover all your nutrient bases and it’s like your own mini picnic.

4) Chicken Salad – make up a big batch of chicken salad over the weekend. Take portions each day and pair with some lettuce or spinach and some crackers. Full of protein, tasty, and super easy without any fuss each day other than scooping out some each morning.

5) Smoothie – again, often reserved for the morning, but so easy and a great way to pack in a huge amount of nutrition. Choose some fruit. Choose a liquid (milk, coconut milk, almond milk). Choose a fat and protein (full-fat yogurt, nut butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds). Blend and enjoy. Most smoothies will also save well from morning to lunch, so make a double batch in the morning and refrigerate at work for lunch.

For more great ways to make sure you get the nutrition you need at every meal of the day, come visit at CoreLife.

Aubrey Phelps MS RDN LDN