Think you don’t have time for a healthy, quick and easy lunch because you’re a teacher? Try these 15 lunches for busy teachers and say goodbye to wolfing down junk food between lessons!
There’s some key BAD habits I’ve had over the years as a teacher that have worked against me being at my best.
Unsurprisingly, they are mainly focused around physiological needs.
- not getting enough sleep
- not drinking enough water
- not going to the toilet when I need to
and perhaps one of the worst:
- making poor choices around food while at school
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Those poor choices can manifest themselves in a number of ways:
- forgetting my lunch
- eating fatty, unhealthy things from the cafeteria because it’s convenient
- eating way too many crackers and cheese on Cheese Tuesday (yes, it’s a thing at our school!) instead of lunch
My husband is good as a rule – we cook enough so he has leftovers – but I found when I did that, I was eating too much and as a result, was packing on the pounds.
(His main issue is that he runs out of time to a) get to the staffroom and b) heat his lunch up).
However, without the simple choice of leftovers, I started thinking it was all too hard. Cue all those things above.
And add in boredom. My husband laughs that I’ll come up with a lunch idea, have it for 3 or 4 days in a row, and then never want to eat it again.
I needed some lunch ideas that were a combination of:
- make ahead
- prepared in bulk
- not needing to be heated (thinking about the husband here too)
And I needed enough of them that I wouldn’t get bored.
These teacher lunch ideas fit the bill – with 15 ideas here, there’s enough to try out a few, discard a few, and still end up with enough that you can have a decent rotation.
Teacher lunch boxes
Before I get into the best teacher lunch recipes, let’s talk lunch boxes! I recommend an insulated lunch bag like the one below, plus reusable lunch containers for your food.
Insulated Lunch Bag for Teachers
Now here are the best teacher lunch ideas to pack for lunch at work!
Teacher lunch ideas
I would suggest reading through the recipes, testing out a recipe or two at a time, and then creating a two-week lunch schedule.
Don’t force yourself to mix it up every day – you might eat the same thing two or three days in a row.
Many of these teacher lunch ideas actually are perfectly good dinners too so why not try it out for dinner and make enough for leftovers?
While it may sound super boring to plan your lunch in advance, it’s just like meal planning for dinner – it takes the stress and decision making out of your eating!
It’s a simple way of looking after yourself.
Lunches for busy teachers
5-minute Buffalo chicken wrap
This buffalo chicken wrap can be put together in just 5 minutes using leftover chicken tenders or rotisserie chicken and can be made ahead of time, making it a perfect lunch for busy teachers.
Avocado chicken wraps
These wraps are the perfect lunch idea for your busy schedule: easy to eat and fast to make.
They're loaded with avocados, shredded chicken, grape tomatoes, cilantro, a spritz of lime, and a blend of Mexican spices.
Easy Instant Pot Spanish rice
Easy Instant Pot Spanish Rice is a delicious vegetarian rice recipe that's quick to make.
You can store it for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator - ideally in lunch sized portions individual containers.
Healthy chicken salad with Greek yogurt
This healthy chicken salad is packed with protein and doesn’t need to be reheated! One recipe makes enough to prep lunches.
It can be eaten as is or as, or in a wrap or with bread.
Healthy chicken wraps with mandarin oranges
These delicious and healthy chicken wraps are super simple to prepare and ready in only 20 minutes.
Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. When ready to enjoy you can heat the wrap in the microwave until warm OR enjoy cold!
This Italian chicken pasta salad is so easy to make in your Instant Pot! Served cold, this makes a great meal prep lunch!
Israeli couscous salad with artichokes and olives
This fresh Israeli couscous salad is loaded with flavor from artichokes, olives, basil, and garlic. It is a satisfying make ahead lunch.
Lunchbox fried rice salad
This fried rice salad is lunchbox perfection! Perfect for kids and teachers alike, it’s super yummy cold and can be reheated too.
Mediterranean quinoa salad
This make ahead Mediterranean quinoa salad is the perfect hearty lunch.
It’s packed with veggies and feta and is vegetarian and gluten free!
No cook mason jar chicken taco salad
This healthy and easy chicken taco salad in a jar is quick to put together and uses canned chicken breast so it requires no cooking. It's the perfect, on-the-go ready to eat lunchbox meal for busy teachers.
Quick and easy Instant Pot rice and beans
Easy Mexican Instant Pot rice and beans makes a delicious and quick vegetarian lunch that's loaded with the bold flavor of salsa and spices.
Slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs
Take some time out on Sunday to make a batch of this slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week OR pop it in single serving sized containers and freeze it for up to 3 months!
It's a perfect lunch for the cooler months.
Slow cooker chicken enchiladas casserole
This foolproof, easy to toss together crockpot enchiladas recipe is full of Mexican flavor.
It's a filling, hearty, and tasty casserole made with everyday pantry ingredients. Like the above recipe, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Veggie burrito bowl recipe
This veggie burrito bowl recipe is simple to prepare and super healthy.
It will last for up to four days (and also tastes delicious in a wrap).
Zucchini noodle chicken salad recipe
This zucchini noodle salad with chicken recipe is fun to make and put in a mason jar for an easy healthy make ahead lunch for work.
This recipe also includes super useful tips for healthy eating at work.
These lunches for busy teachers are simple and easy to make – and simple and easy to eat! No matter how on the go you are, you’ll be able to look after yourself with a tasty and nutritious lunch.
You might also like: Pantry Meals for Busy Teachers
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