10 Instagram accounts to follow for lunch box inspiration
Despite the cost-cutting benefits, it’s easy to quickly lose momentum when it comes to bringing a lunch box to work every day; after all, there’s only so many ham sandwiches one person can eat. Fortunately, there are so many other delicious and simple homemade lunchtime options that are good for your body and your wallet.
To inspire your next lunch box, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite recipes and role models on Instagram. From colourful salads to warming one-pots, these Insat-feeds are sure to leave you drooling – and best of all, there are options to suit all your dietary needs.
Renae’s packed lunches are colourful, healthy and always vegetarian. For her colourful salads, she swaps the traditional boring bed of leaves for exciting options like coconut rice, quinoa or pearl couscous, and mixes it all together with a range of roasted veggies, nuts, beans and baked tofu. Leftover pasta and risotto dishes often make an appearance, as well as a vast selection of snacks – think carrot sticks and dips, crackers, and refined sugar-free treats like quinoa and cacao bars, and apricot, oat and chia seed Bliss Balls.
Chickpea Biryani and Paneer Butter Masala are just a couple of the stand-out options you’ll find filling Uma’s stainless-steel lunchbox. These warming options are great for those keen on batch cooking, taking the hassle out of weeknights by cooking up a couple of these delicious curries on the weekend. Her snacks are equally exciting; fruit and veggies, mini stir-frys, and Aloo Pea Masala.
PROTEIN SIMPLICITY: @healthifulbytes
A feed full of nutritious and simple lunches, college student Emily is a gym-goers go-to. Her protein-rich lunches generally feature baked salmon or cubed chicken breast and are pretty much always paired with hard-boiled eggs. Colourful accompaniments often include edamame, seeds, peppers, sweet potato chunks and avocado.
Sharing healthy, plant-based lunches, Tiana is the true definition of ‘aesthetic vegan’. Head to her page for an abundance of original recipe ideas like home-baked falafels, sweet potato quinoa patties and veggie tofu brown rice sushi. And who said plant-based people can’t enjoy a sweet treat? Tiana’s Dreamy Raw Strawberries and Cream Cheesecake Slice and Chia Jam Cookies are mid-afternoon snacks that look so delicious they are bound to make your colleagues go “is that really vegan?”
You can trust that medical doctor and MSc Nutrition student Doctor Hazel Wallace has got the scientific knowledge to back-up her lunches – in fact, her captions often include a detailed description of the health benefits of the particular foods she’s chosen. You’ll find lots of lentils, beans and roasted veggies on this fabulous feed, as well as batch-cooking favourites that are perfect for the time-stretched, like veggie chilli. And to top it all off, approved snacks include carrot cake bars, and chocolate and raspberry squares – all refined sugar-free.
ON A BUDGET: @budgetbytes
Beth is the true hero for budgeters who still want to eat yummy food and an absolute champion for finding a use for all of your leftovers! Pasta, salads, and big one-pot dishes come out on top, with stand-outs like Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Black Bean Salsa, Curry Chicken Salad, and Quinoa Tabbouleh proving that stylish, Insta-worthy lunches can still be achieved if you aren’t an influencer.
GUT/IBS FRIENDLY: @madeleine_shaw_
With a history of IBS, Madeleine is a Nutritional Therapist whose meals are both healthy and gut-friendly. She posts natural recipes on to her feed – such as Kale and Lentil Lunchbox Salad and Pumpkin Risotto – which are all generally low in gluten, dairy and sugar. In January, Madeleine released her ‘Happy Gut Guide’ with dietician Laura Tilt (@nutritilty), which aims to help people navigate their way through IBS using low FODMAP recipes, stress management tips and helpful information from the experts.
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I love making the humble cabbage the star of a meal. Roasted brown + crispy, topped with a spicy pickled jalapeño yogurt dressing, feta, pickled onion, avocado + cilantro. Thinking a lot about cheap but impressive ways to feed a crowd/entertain. I think this dish cost about $5 to make.
As her Instagram handle suggests, Julia is a firm believer in the power of a good salad. Throw your preconceptions of bland greenery out the window, and head to Julia’s inspiring feed, where you’ll find an abundance of colour and texture. Smoked salmon and hard boiled eggs often take centre stage, whilst seasoned lentils, sprinkled nuts, fresh herbs, dates and roasted veggies make frequent accompaniments. Warming one-pot meals and healthy snacks also often make an appearance.
HEARTY GRUB: @fitmencook
The home of gourmet cooking, Kevin Curry’s drool-worthy recipes are all about taking comforting meals, and making them fit into a health-conscious diet – you won’t find salads and fancy ingredients here, just deliciously simple and hearty grub. Try out Kevin’s lunchbox version of Chicken Alfredo, where simple swaps like replacing whole milk for coconut milk, and stuffing the alfredo mixture in a roasted bell pepper – rather than mixing it in with pasta – make carbs a secondary part of the meal.
For proof that ‘gluten-free’ and ‘bland’ should never belong in the same sentence, a visit to Sarah’s feed is essential. A one-pot hero, Sarah’s dishes are perfect for a batch-cooker, with her delicious yet time-efficient recipes like Golden Cauliflower Quinoa Curry, Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup and Mediterranean Chickpea Stew with Spinach & Feta expelling the myth that gluten-free living has to be a faff. Perfect for a warming and nutritious GF lunch!