These easy Homemade Healthy Lunchables have been going with us everywhere for the last couple of years! We take them to work, and along with us in our backpacks on weekend adventures. The key is they’re extra easy to make, and they’re satisfying as well.
If you’re looking for the ultimate no-cook easy lunch, I’ve got you covered with these lunchables! Whether you’re packing a lunch for school, work, or a weekend adventure, ‘easy’ is always nice.
I started making these lunchables when I was in a panic one Monday morning. We get up at 5am and I’m really not awake at that time. So peering into the fridge and realizing there really wasn’t much in there, that’s when the panic started. How could I have let this happen again?
And that’s when it occurred to me I had a package of lunchmeat in the freezer, and we always have cheese in the fridge. So I got the lunchmeat out to thaw while I assembled some cheese and crackers. And from that day on… lunchables have been rescuing me every time I don’t have something prepped ahead!
As a kid I absolutely loved lunchables! We rarely had them because prepackaged food used to be more expensive than it is now. And it was most certainly more expensive than peanut butter sandwiches. So I guess lunchables have always been a ‘treat’ in my mind. But I never really thought of them as ‘healthy’ before.
So how do you make healthy lunchables
- First up buy the best quality ingredients you can afford. Standard lunchmeat isn’t on any ‘healthy’ lists that I know of, but there are good quality brands without additives, (see lunchmeat tips below). We buy the Diestel brand because they have really clean ingredients. And the same can be said for cheese and crackers, read the labels carefully and choose what works for you.
- Add variety with fruits and veggies, (see below for seasonal options). I’m not going to sit here and tell you I always load up my lunchables with fruits and veggies. But I definitely include them when I have plenty around. When we’re hiking, it’s definitely just meat, cheese, and crackers because we’re mostly interested in packing the most calories with the least amount of weight!
Tips for lunchmeat and alternatives to make these Easy Homemade Healthy Lunchables
- Buy extra packages of lunchmeat when it’s on sale and store the extras in the freezer. I learned this tip from my mom, and it’s a great budget friendly tip.
- Cook your own protein – you can either meal prep by cooking up some chicken breasts/hard boiled eggs, etc. and slice them to pack into lunchables. Or another thing I like to do is use leftover meat from whatever we had for dinner. You can always cook more than you know you’ll need for dinner, then use it to pack for lunches. It’s much more affordable to cook your own meat than to buy the brands of healthier lunchmeat. But I almost always have some packages in the freezer for convenience sake.
How to pack seasonal Easy Homemade Healthy Lunchables
- Spring – berries and the end of the winter citrus are good options for fruit. Broccoli and cucumbers are usually affordable at this time, along with the usual ‘carrot and celery sticks’ option.
- Summer – the sky’s the limit in the summer as you can see from these photos. Grapes are especially nice since they keep well, and cherry tomatoes too. Blueberries and cherries also keep well for a couple days if you’re making these ahead. I love to pack cucumbers and cherry tomatoes for veggies, but whatever you have that you like to eat fresh works.
- Fall – end-of-the-season grapes, the first of the season’s apples, and blackberries are all good options. Fall is when I usually switch over to carrot and celery sticks, but if you have any roasted veggies in your fridge, that works great too.
- Winter – I usually rely on citrus and apples for winter fruits, but I have packed cut-up pineapple, or half of a banana before. For veggies, my go-to is carrot and celery sticks, but as mentioned above roasted veggies work well especially root veggies.
Our favorite combinations
- Ham & Cheddar – shocking I know… but this classic combination is truly delicious in lunchable form!
- Smoked Turkey & Havarti – this is our absolute favorite, and you’ll see it on Insta Stories anytime we’re hiking.
- Roast Beef & Jalapeno Jack – we love to throw this one in every so often because it’s different and has a more assertive flavor than the others. It’s probably the least kid-friendly combination, but sub in something else for the jalapeno jack cheese if spice is a problem.
More easy lunch inspiration:
- 5 Ways to Make Simple Healthy Lunches
- Greek Chicken Meal Prep
- Healthy Meatloaf Meal Prep
- Tuna Salad Meal Prep – almost as easy as these lunchables!
- Meal Prep Turkey Taco Salad
I sure hope you enjoy our all-time favorite easy lunch! And if you do get a chance to make these, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here in the comments. And also over on Instagram where you can tag me at #getinspiredeveryday with photos of what you make.Print
Easy Homemade Healthy Lunchables
- Total Time: 20
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Our favorite easy and packable lunch with lots of fruits and veggies!
8 thin slices lunch meat or cooked meat of choice, 8 ounces
8 thin slices cheese of choice, about 6 ounces
Fruit & Veggies:
1 cucumber, thinly sliced, about 20 slices
20 small cherry tomatoes
2 cups of fruit, 1 used 1/4 cup each per container, grapes and blueberries in the photos
1 box crackers, we love the gluten free almond crackers from Blue Diamond
Portion out the meat and cheese into 1 side of your 4 containers of choice.
Equally portion out the fruits and veggies of you choice on the opposite side of your container. If you don’t have a divider, be mindful of what you put next to the meat and cheese.
Seal each of the containers, and place them in the fridge. Eat within 2 days for the best results. Lunchmeat doesn’t keep long in the fridge once it’s out of the sealed package.
Pack the crackers in a separate sealed container, about 10-12 per serving, depending on the crackers you choose. Store the crackers at room temperature, and pack them with your lunchable to go.
The nutritional facts were calculated with low sodium turkey, havarti cheese, and 12 Blue Diamond almond crackers per serving.
- Prep Time: 20
- Category: Lunch
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Homemade Lunchables, Homemade Lunchables Recipe, Lunchable Ideas
8 thoughts on “Homemade Healthy Lunchables”
I love the idea. Do you also have an ice pack in the lunch bag for cheese or lunch meat?
I do pack these lunchable with ice, either in a bag or small cooler depending on the environment. My husband works outside, so I send these in a small cooler with a small block of ice I freeze in plastic snapware containers. I hope this helps and be sure to let me know what you try or if you have any more questions!
I love this idea! planning is key
Agreed, planning is everything!
Where did you get your glass dishes with dividers?
I got these containers at Home Goods, they usually have 2 compartment glass containers and they’re a good price too!
This is such a super idea for the kids! They are always asking me to get them store-bought Lunchables, but I’d much rather make these with my own healthy ingredients!
And they’re so good too, I sure hope your kids enjoy these!