Meals on the Run

Staff Writer
Avoid the fast-food chains and instead grab one of these healthy, portable dishes before heading out the door.

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Whether you’re running out the door trying to get the kids to school, or rushing to meetings across town, sometimes our busy schedules get the better of us and we forget to eat. We’ve all had those moments when it's been hours since we last ate something and our stomachs roar to life — if only we had something healthy and portable packed in our bags. Instead, we typically resort to some gas station or vending machine snack that is far from healthy (and full of empty calories). Or go hungry.

While grabbing a conventional energy bar is better than not eating at all (because you’ll end up overeating later when you’re ravenous), packing a little container of something homemade is a more nutritious, cost-effective, and satisfying option. We've done the thinking for you, and have put together some of our favorite packable foods for both breakfasts and lunches on the run. Some of these dishes can be prepared in minutes, if you don’t have time to eat something sitting down; others can be served for dinner one night and then packed into half pint-sized containers, so you can grab one the next morning and go.


For Breakfast:

Credit: Maryse Chevriere

Ultimate Breakfast Burrito

From The Daily Meal

For a protein-packed breakfast that will keep your stomach silent for hours, make this before you head out of the house. It can be eaten in the car, on the school bus, or even walking to work.


Yogurt Parfait

From The Daily Meal

When creating your own yogurt parfait, the options are endless. We like to mix plain yogurt with chopped mango, sliced mint, and a drizzle of honey, while others opt for blueberry-flavored yogurt with mixed with breakfast cereal. What’s your favorite combination?


At Lunch:

Credit: Arthur Bovino

Grilled Chicken Kebabs and Potatoes

From The Daily Meal

Grilled kebabs are perfect for eating on the run, if you serve the chicken off the skewer, pack it into a pita stuffed with greens, and drizzle it with the yogurt sauce. If you make this one night for dinner, plan ahead and prepare a couple of extra skewers to have on hand for some lunches to-go later in the week.


Wild Rice Pilaf

From The Daily Meal

Grain-based salads are easily packable and full of both fiber and flavor, so you won’t be reaching for a candy bar a couple of hours later. If you need extra protein, top the salad with a couple of slices of roast turkey, or some extra chopped nuts; we’d pack a piece of fruit, too.


Baked Chicken with Rice and Saffron

From The Daily Meal

This layered rice and chicken dish is Persian in origin and is served like a casserole with yogurt and fresh herbs. After serving it one night, wrap up individual portions for a grab-and-go meal the next day.


Something to Sip:

Credit: Ashley Fahr

Carrot, Sweet Potato, and White Bean Soup

From The Daily Meal

A sweet and smooth orange-colored soup that is also full of fiber and protein, thanks to the addition of creamy white beans. It can be served both at room temperature in a travel mug, or heated up and kept in a thermos for lunch on a cold day.


Vegan Pinto Bean Chili

From The Daily Meal

This vegan chili can be made in minutes with ingredients that might already be in your freezer and pantry. For a meal on the run, serve the chili like a soup, sipped out of a container; you can also try spooning it over a little rice or small pasta — just remember to pack a utensil, too.


Served with Vegetables, for Dipping:

Credit: Sheri Giblin

Svelte Green Goddess Dip

From The Daily Meal

It’s easy to get a serving of fruit in when you’re on the run if you've packed an apple or banana in your bag. It can also be easy to eat your vegetables, too, if you make a simple dip like this and pack it to-go in small containers. Serve with a small bag of cut vegetables like carrots, celery, red peppers, and green beans.


Chickpea and Cilantro Dip

From The Daily Meal

This creamy dip reminds us of hummus, but with a Mexican twist, thanks to cilantro. While we’d eat this on the run with pita chips or carrot sticks, you can also spread it in a pita and the stuff it with your favorite vegetables.