When you’re running from the copier to recess duty and back again, it’s easy to fall back on fast-food teacher lunches and granola bars wolfed down in the car.

We get it. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for better ideas that are inexpensive, easy to pack, and nutritious, too. These teachers showed us how it’s done.

1. A homemade pizza bagel.

Still from @whatsforlunchinshanghai channel.

Because pizza is always a good idea. 

Source: @whatsforlunchinshanghai

2. Lots of nibbles.

Pistachios, vegetables, and other snacks in a container

Who says you have to pack a sandwich or leftovers? Snacks FTW.

Source: @thepinspiredteacher

3. Mac + cheese.

Mac and cheese plus peas, baby carrots, and fruit

It’s not just for kids! Mix in some peas or broccoli and pack some raw veggies or fruit on the side for a healthy twist.

Source: @taylorcaitlyn_

4. Salads in a jar.

Salads in jars on a countertop

You’ve seen them on Pinterest, but honestly they don’t have to be complicated, and they’re a great way to get the veggies in.

Source: @ericabohrer

5. Chickpea salad.

Chickpea salad on a cracker

For when you’re tired of both chicken and tuna salad. Pack some crackers to go with it for an extra special lunchtime treat. 

Source: @getbusyteaching

6. A build-your-own yogurt parfait.

Yogurt parfait with fruit

Sweet and nutritious. Sold.

Source: @crunchyketomom

7. A hearty veggie soup.

Still from @katienorris27 channel

This is great for quick and healthy lunches throughout the week.

Source: @katienorris27

8. When in doubt, go simple. 

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring! Sometimes the best lunches are those that rely on easy, wholesome ingredients. 

Source: @teacherandtoddlermeals

9. Chicken tikka masala.

BRB, drooling.

Source: @themindfuleducator

10. Cous cous and veggies.

Served cold or warm, this combination makes for a great salad that will also fill you up. 

Source: @let.a.girl.eat

11. Breakfast for lunch.

Still from @kate_in_the_kitchen channel

This is inspired.

Source: @kate_in_the_kitchen

12. Individual quiches. 

Still from @teachingtable channel

Imagine opening your lunch box and seeing this beauty waiting for you.

Source: @teachingtable

13. Pasta to go.

Still from @millennialmusicteacher

Standing on your feet all day does require carb loading.

Source: @millennialmusicteacher

14. Korean beef bowls. 

Still from @keeping_up_with_mrs.jones channel

This protein-packed lunch is guaranteed to keep you from getting hangry before dismissal.

Source: @keeping_up_with_mrs.jones

15. A protein and veggie bowl.

Still from @comprehensibleclassroom channel

It doesn’t get any easier than this. A variety of your favorite vegetables, a little protein, a little greek yogurt, and you’re good to go.

Source: @comprehensibleclassroom

16. Tiny boxes.

Still from @desantisfitness channel

Rather than go the mason jar route, this teacher packs her salad ingredients in individual containers so that everything is fresh come noon (or 10:30 at my school).

Source: @desantisfitness

17. A rainbow of veggies.

Still from @sendelscience channel

Get your colors in.

Source: @sendelscience

18. Wrap it up.

Still from @teacherandtoddlermeals channel

Switch up your sandwich.

Source: @teacherandtoddlermeals

19. Mini cheese board. 

Still from @easylunchboxes channel

It’s like your own personal charcuterie platter.

Source: @easylunchboxes

20. Soup with all the toppings. 

Still from @akpaulson channel

Putting it in a glass bowl helps you feel civilized.

Source: @akpaulson

21. Pineapple and black bean salad.

Still from @zerrone_14 channel

What kind of genius came up with this perfect lunchtime creation?

Source: @serrone_14

22. Chicken gyros.

Still from @

I want to be this teacher’s friend.

Source: @carollovescupcakes

23. Stir-fried goodness.

Still from @

Beats whatever they’re serving in the cafeteria.

Source: @archers_all_stars

24. Beef with Brussels sprouts. 

Still from @

This easy two-ingredient lunch will have you counting down the seconds until you can eat it.

Source: @gettingfitwithlusee

25. Bacon-fat popcorn.

Still from @

Plus lots of other yummy things … but also, bacon-fat popcorn.

Source: @cucina_kristina

What did YOU have for lunch today? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our favorite crockpot recipes for teachers.

25 Real Teacher Lunches That Will Inspire You to Pack Yours More Often