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www.pexels.comA cheese sandwich, packet of crisps and an apple might be a throwback from the ‘80s but for many of us it’s whatever we can make quickly, or buy, that gets put into our lunchbox.

While we know we need to eat a balanced midday meal, the reality can look very different, often grabbing something on the go that will only leave us hungry and reaching for a chocolate bar come 4pm.

We have had a look at some easy, quick nutritious options that will keep hunger at bay and they taste pretty good too!

Pasta pack ups
We know people worry about carbs, but pasta can be a brilliant lunch staple that can be eaten hot or cold. Whether you go for white or brown, lentil or rice in bows or shapes is up to you, but there is so much choice out there you can have something different each day of the week. Salmon pasta, chicken pasta and veggie sausage pasta can be made the night before and eaten straight from the fridge at midday or popped in the microwave and you’ll have a hot meal in minutes. You can add veggies or salad as well as sauces and pickles to create a lunch that is healthy and nourishing and won’t leave you with a rumbling tummy come 2pm.

Rice salads
High-fibre brown rice is a really good way to ensure you are left feeling satisfied all afternoon. Just as with pasta, there are a lot of ingredients that can be added from sardines, egg, ham and cheese and if you throw in some cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and nuts, you will be the envy of the office.

Protein pots
We all know that we need protein for a balanced diet, but we don’t always get enough to help us get through the day without flagging. Beef and broccoli, tuna and tomatoes and teriyaki chicken are all tasty, easy lunchtime eats. Mixed beans, spinach, sweetcorn and sweet potatoes can all be added to pack out the protein and prevent you from running on empty during the afternoon.

Have a wrap
If bread isn’t for you but you want some energy giving carbs, flatbreads and tortillas are a good alternative. Peanut butter and carrots, salmon and veggies as well as humous and peppers are good ideas and you can load them up with salad to help get to your five a day. Warning; take napkins as these can get messy but they are so worth it.

Soup on the go
If you are busy but want something warm and filling, soup in a flask is a good option. Yes, you can open a can and bung it in the microwave but Mexican bean, vegetable, carrot and coriander and chicken noodle are super easy to make and if you cook in batches and freeze you will have something ready and waiting for you to take to work. Add in an apple and a smoothie, and you will be keeping bugs and hunger away as you boost your immune system with vitamins!

Super sarnies
OK, we can’t go without mentioning sandwiches, but there is more to this lunchtime basic than white sliced as soda bread, pitta, olive rolls and wholemeal bagels are all there for the taking. Bacon, brie, turkey, cottage cheese and avocado are the ingredients of lunchtime dreams and make delicious, nutrient-dense sandwiches that will make you want midday to come around fast.

Something sweet
You don’t have to stick to savoury at lunchtime. A fruit salad, yogurt with sliced banana, homemade flapjack with dried apricots and even a square or two of dark chocolate will give you something sweet to enjoy without overloading on nasties.

Why not make a batch of blueberry muffins on a Sunday, put them in an airtight box, or freeze half, and you will have something sweet a tasty to add to your lunchbox all week long.

Team Pure Beauty