Quick and nourishing lunchbox ideas for work

Nutritionist Millie Gardner gives us her favourite quick and nourishing lunchbox ideas to keep you energised throughout the work day, and save money on expensive shop-bought lunches if you are in the office!

Woman in the office eating a healthy lunchbox


The work week can be taxing on us all and fuelling our bodies properly can often be an afterthought. Contrary to popular belief, nutritious lunches don’t have to be time-consuming to prepare. Here are some fast and nourishing lunchbox ideas to power you through the work week with ease.

Power bowls

The idea of a power bowl is actually very simple. This is a lunch that can be easily prepped, but equally doesn’t have to be so it can work for anyone. The basic construction of a power bowl includes:

  • Base: Approx 1 cup cooked carbohydrate (quinoa, noodles, bulgar wheat couscous)
  • Protein: ½ cup cooked protein of choice (Tofu, tempeh, salmon, chicken, lentils, beans)
  • Veggies: ½ cup mixed veggies of choice, the best thing about power bowls is that you can add whatever veggies you like! Good options include:
    – Baked butternut squash
    – Corn
    – Shredded carrot
    – Cucumber
    – Tomatoes
    – Spinach
  • Dressing: You can add any dressing of choice, but my personal go to is a tahini dressing:
    – ¼ cup tahini
    – 2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice
    – 2 tablespoon water or olive oil to thin to desired consistency
    – 1 clove minced garlic
    – Pinch of sea salt
    – Optional: teaspoon of honey
  • Optional add-ins: Crispy onions, croutons, seeds & nuts, avocado

These can be created in whatever flavour you like. For example you could do an Asian inspired power bowl with salmon, edamame and a ginger honey dressing, or go for a mexican inspired bowl with corn, tomatoes beans and smashed avocado. The options are endless! Enjoy your power bowl of choice from home or pop everything in a tupperware or large jar and take it on the go.

Protein-packed Oats/Chia Pudding

This is a great option for an on the go breakfast/brunch, or if you’re someone with a sweet tooth this might appeal to you. This is best prepped the night before but can also be in the morning. Simply throw all the ingredients in a jar or leak proof tupperware, mix them together and you have a protein packed, and low sugar, sweet treat ready for your day ahead! The basic ingredients for this are:

  • Chia/oats: ½ cup of porridge oats or chia, or you can mix half and half of each if you like.
  • Milk: ½ cup-1 cup of milk of your choice or unsweetened yoghurt
  • Flavourings: 1-2 teaspoons of sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave), ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
  • Protein powder: 1-2 dessert spoons of protein powder of choice (I recommend Pulsin vegan protein blend)
  • Optionals: 1 tbsp Peanut butter, ½ cup fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries), 1 tbsp chopped nuts

Apple ‘nachos’

This is a great quick and easy snack to make to take to work. The basic idea is to dip apple slices into a nut butter of choice and then roll them in some crunch! I like pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts.

  • Chop up 1 apple into slices
  • Bring a small tupperware of peanut butter or nut butter of choice
  • Bring another small tub of any seeds of choice or mixed chopped nuts
  • Dip the slices in the nut butter and then roll into the seeds/nuts
  • Enjoy!

Nourishing Noodle pot

This one is a good option if you’re looking for something quick and easy to prepare before work or even the day of. Its basically a homemade nutrient rich ‘noodle in a pot’! To make the baseline use the following:

  • 1 packet (about 200g) of rice noodles
  • ½ cup mixed vegetables (such as thinly sliced carrots, small broccoli florets, sugar snap peas, corn)
  • ½ cup of cooked protein (chicken, tofu, salmon, edamame)
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste or soy sauce

Optional additions to make it more flavourful include:

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Pop all the ingredients into a heat proof tupperware or jar to take with you to work and when youre ready for your lunch add approx 2 cups of boiling water, let sit for 5 mins and enjoy!

I hope these quick and nourishing lunchbox ideas have inspired you, remember that taking care of your body is essential for sustained productivity and well-being. By making simple yet nutritious choices, you’re not only fueling your work week but also investing in your long-term health and wellbeing.

Millie Gardner is a certified Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist (DipCNM, mANP, mGNC). She specialises in women’s health issues, supporting women with period and hormonal imbalance issues, including peri-menopause and menopause. If you are interested in working with her to receive tailored nutrition and supplement advice, you can book a free 30-minute connection call here to find out more. https://www.minutrition.org/

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