• You're all caught up!

Ideas for Non-Perishable Healthy Packed Lunch

author image Danielle Hill
Danielle Hill has been writing, editing and translating since 2005. She has contributed to "Globe Pequot" Barcelona travel guide, "Gulfshore Business Magazine," "Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico" and "The Barcelona Review." She has trained in neuro-linguistic programming and holds a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature and literary translation from Brown University.
Ideas for Non-Perishable Healthy Packed Lunch
Trail mix is a non-perishable food that offers protein, plus sweetness. Photo Credit MSPhotographic/iStock/Getty Images

When preparing foods for a packed lunch, balanced food groups and nutritional profiles aren't the only factors to a healthy meal. You also need to select foods that won't spoil after sitting out for hours. Non-perishables are a great way to avoid spoilage. With the variety of non-perishable foods available, it's possible to pack a well-rounded lunch that will stay fresh all morning long.

Fruits and Nuts

Ideas for Non-Perishable Healthy Packed Lunch
Trail mix with chocolate. Photo Credit Darryl Brooks/iStock/Getty Images

Mix raisins and other dried fruits, nuts and seeds for a healthy trail mix. Candy-coated chocolates add sweetness to the mixture, turning it into a kid-pleasing dessert. If the trail mix is not exposed to high heat, you can add chocolate chips, instead. Fresh fruit is another option that doesn't require refrigeration over a couple of hours. However, certain fruits travel better than others; bananas are less messy and easier to eat than kiwi, for example. Whole apples travel very well, but sliced apples turn brown when exposed to air, making them less appealing to picky eaters. If you send a fruit salad, pack it in a plastic container that seals securely, as softer fruits are likely to expel juice.

You Might Also Like

Veggies and Dressings

Ideas for Non-Perishable Healthy Packed Lunch
A healthy lunch. Photo Credit belchonock/iStock/Getty Images

Raw vegetables are a healthy option that keep well until lunch time. For fiber and protein, spoon several tablespoons of peanut butter into the bottom of a plastic container. Stick spears of celery or carrot into the peanut butter and close up the container for an easy-to-eat combo. If you pack salad, put any dressing in a separate container that seals well. Avoid dressings that contain dairy or egg, opting instead for oil and vinegar. Since you can't use fish, eggs or meat in a non-perishable salad, add interest and texture with large, meaty olives or luscious avocado.

Sandwiches and Wraps

Ideas for Non-Perishable Healthy Packed Lunch
A peanut butter and jelly. Photo Credit MSPhotographic/iStock/Getty Images

Sandwiches are the classic staple of the lunchbox. However, common sandwich ingredients like cheeses, meats, eggs and fish all spoil quickly if left unrefrigerated. Peanut butter and jelly, a popular favorite among younger children, is a suitable alternative. Create variation by using different flavors of jelly or preserves and trying almond or cashew butter. For a vegetarian sandwich, layer roasted vegetables with hummus spread and sprouts. The combination works especially well in a flour tortilla, as a wrap.

Cheese and Crackers

Ideas for Non-Perishable Healthy Packed Lunch
Cheese and grapes. Photo Credit Morgan_studio/iStock/Getty Images

Though it may sound like a snack, a healthy lunch can be made with cheese and crackers as the base. Hard cheeses such as cheddar, colby and provolone are safe away from refrigeration, according to a report in the October 2006 issue of "Food Protection Trends." Combining cheese and whole-grain crackers with shelf-stable fruit, such as grapes, or pickles on the side can fill you up when you're on the go.


Ideas for Non-Perishable Healthy Packed Lunch
Do not pack open cans. Photo Credit horex/iStock/Getty Images

While it's tempting to send leftovers as a packed lunch, do not send any meals that contain meat, poultry, fish, milk or eggs. Whenever possible, keep the lunchbox in the shade. If you include non-perishable products such as UHT milk, only pack individual cartons that are unopened. Once you open many products, they become perishable much more quickly. Likewise, if it's convenient during lunchtime to assemble a sandwich, you can pack canned items like tuna fish; however, do not pack cans that are already opened.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media