When There is No Time to Cook
Updated: Aug 30
Lunchables: my most requested snack as a child. I do not know why, but seeing little containers neatly packed with an array of deli meat, cheese, crackers, and, of course, the best part, a candy bar, was so darn exciting to me as a kid. Every week I would get a Lunchable (always the turkey and cheese one), and it made my day. Now much older and wanting to eat a bit healthier, I decided that, what the heck, I could make my own Lunchable if I so pleased. So that is what I did. And this led me to the discovery that homemade Lunchables are now my go-to lunch. I thought I made a breakthrough discovery, but upon looking it up to see if anyone already claimed my brilliant idea, I found that yes, apparently homemade grown-up Lunchables were already a thing. Even still, it seems like it is not a well-known idea, or at least not a frequently practiced one. I think people think of them as Bento boxes, but they will always be Lunchables to me.
These are the reasons that I think anyone should start preparing their own “Lunchables” for themselves and/or their families.
Easy-Peasy to Make
With a job and having to take care of my husband, dog, and home, I need quick and easy meals in my life. That was the number one reason why I started making my own Lunchables (besides the sentimental value). Lunchables are super easy to prep because all you have to do is chop up a bunch of vegetables and fruits and dump them on a plate with some optional add-ons, and you are done! Most of the time, I chop up some of my vegetables at the beginning of the week, so that way I already have everything I need to quickly throw a healthy lunch together. I even hard-boil a batch of eggs a few days ahead of time to ensure I get some healthy proteins as well. This way, it only takes me about 5 minutes to make about 4-5 containers of Lunchables that will last us 2-3 days. Talk about a huge time-saver!
My husband enjoys my lunchables so much that I frequently make them for his work lunch, and he never gets tired of them. It is definitely a good change from your typical PB&J sandwich.
Obviously, homemade Lunchables are only going to be healthy if you use healthy ingredients, but most of the time, homemade meals are generally healthier than packaged ones. I aim to have my Lunchable filled with about 60-70% veggies and fruits, and then the rest is deli meat, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, crackers, dressings, nuts, etc. This is a super easy way to get my daily intake of produce, without resorting to boring salads. You can switch it up day by day to get a wide variety of different fruits, veggies, proteins, and grains. And, since most of the produce will be raw, you get the most nutrients from it!
You can make every Lunchable your own by customizing every part of it. The options are nearly limitless for what you can do with your Lunchable! Most of the time, I make the typical Lunchable lunch by using fruits, veggies, deli meat, hard-boiled eggs, crackers, and whatnot, but you can also make your own breakfast and even dinner “Lunchable”.
Here are some ideas for a couple of different Lunchable combos:
Pancake style: pancakes with butter, maple syrup, berries, etc.
Granola style: yogurt, granola, berries, honey, nut butter, etc.
Egg muffin style: egg muffins, sauce of choice, veggies, fruits, etc.
Traditional Lunchable: deli meat, cheese, veggies, fruits, crackers, etc.
Hard-boiled egg style: hard-boiled eggs, sauce, veggies, fruits, crackers, etc.
Ranch style: ranch dip, lots of veggies, fruits, crackers/chips, protein of choice, etc.
Pizza style: flatbread, sauce, cheese, pepperoni slices, mixed veggies, fruit, etc.
Greek chicken style: cooked chicken breasts, olives, cucumbers, feta pieces, tomatoes, vinaigrette or tzatziki sauce, etc.
Simple to Store
No matter what container you use, Lunchables are pretty easy to store either in your fridge or in your lunchbox if you plan on taking them out with you. Having said that, I have discovered the perfect Lunchable container (in my opinion) from Amazon (of course). I really like these containers because they are non-toxic, durable, and hold a lot, surprisingly. To me, they are the perfect size for a Lunchable as they are small enough to store pretty much anywhere yet still hold a lot, as I stated.
There are plenty of other Lunchable containers out there, so find one you like, but this one is another one that looked pretty good. I have not tried it though, but the reviews seem to be pretty good.
In this day and age, it is hard to call anything “cheap” anymore, but these Lunchables definitely fall on the more cost-effective end of the price spectrum. Of course, it all depends on the ingredients you buy and the quality of them, but typically, I have found that I have saved a bit of money by making my own. Mostly because packaged meals are outrageously priced, making your own meals is naturally going to be a bit cheaper, but also because I found that filling up your Lunchables with healthy ingredients it fills you up quite quickly, thus causing you to eat less, which equals spending less on food.
I know what you are thinking: “This woman sure can talk a lot about homemade Lunchables!” Perhaps that is true, but I am sure that once you try them, you will understand my excitement.
I do hope this article helped you discover an easy way to make healthy meals, and if it did, please let me know in the comments below. And if you have any favorite flavour combinations, let me know that too!
See you next Wednesday!