10 Quick Easy Fun AIP Lunch Ideas (No Dry Salads Included)

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Lunch Ideas 1080X675 1 | 10 Quick Easy Fun Aip Lunch Ideas (No Dry Salads Included)

It’s that time of year: Back to school!

Which means: Fresh starts—Your lunchtime meal included.

No more boring brown bags for you!

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was go back to school shopping to pick out the lunch box that would become my purse for the next school year.

(School lunch boxes were like fashion-showdowns in the cafeteria).

I’ll never forget the pink Beauty & the Beast lunchbox I had my kindergarten year.

Every day at lunch, I felt a sense of pride about grabbing that “pail” and toting it to the lunchroom alongside my peers—some who had boring, solid-colored pink or blue totes; others who just had brown paper sacks.

I had a Belle lunchbox—and no matter what was inside (a boring bologna and cheese sandwich or crust-less PB & J), it didn’t matter. I ate it with gusto because I liked my tote.

Sometimes the food we eat is ALL about the presentation, the atmosphere, and/or our mindset—how we feel and what we think about our food (both positive and negative).

When you grow up, and you are more aware of taking care of your health (or healing your gut), meal time can get super boring (if you let it).

  • Tell yourself you “should” have another boring, dry green salad at lunchtime because it’s the “good thing” to do? Chances are you’re not too stoked about that salad.
  • Stumped about what to eat for lunch for supporting your gut health—especially when sandwiches, wraps, rice bowls and pizza are no longer “go-to’s” for your AIP or gut-healing diet? Chances are you enjoy meal time a lot less (or you eat the same chicken and sweet potato every day).
  • Grab a smoothie or protein bar because it’s quick—only to be hungry 2 hours later? No wonder you hit a wall at 3 p.m. or “can’t help yourself” come dinner time, when pizza, takeout or anything else goes.

No matter if you are a kid, a big kid (at heart), or an adult—lunchtime doesn’t have to be boring!

In this series, I’m going to be sharing my top tips and meal ideas for spicing up your lunch box with some of my favorite Gut-friendly, energizing eats and treats (AIP, Gluten-Free and Paleo-Friendly options included).

Here’s what to expect this week:

Day 1: 10 Quick, Fun & Easy Lunch Ideas- AIP, Gut-Friendly, Gluten Free

Day 2: Kid-Friendly, Gut-Friendly Lunchbox Ideas- (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo Included)

Day 3: 7 Fun Lunchtime Salads + Healthy Dressings You Can Buy & Make (No Dry Lettuce Included)

Day 4: 5 Low-Sugar Smoothies (that won’t make you go hungry)

Day 5: 5 Dinners that Make Great Leftovers

Day 1: 10 Quick, Fun & Easy Lunch Ideas- AIP, Gut-Friendly, Gluten Free

We all get into ruts at one time or another.

  • We hit the gym less or hit a plateau in our lifts.
  • We grow bored with the monotonous tasks at work or on our to-do lists.
  • Or, we’re totally over lunch—settling to eat the same ol’ same ol’ thing every day, or no longer looking forward to meal time (especially if you’re on a gut healing protocol, such as AIP—autoimmune protocol— or an “elimination” diet).

Tired of dry salads, protein bars stuffed in your office drawer, or spending $20 at the Whole Foods hot-bar at lunch time?

No more!

Just because you “eat healthier” now or you’re healing your gut, doesn’t mean lunch time has to be the same ol’ same ol’ boring chicken salad or break the bank—especially with one of these quick, fun and easy lunch ideas (totally gut-friendly).

Save yo’ hard earned dough, get energized and enliven your taste buds by shaking up your mid-day meal.

After all, variety is the spice of life.

Bonus: Stock up on the following weapons to take your “brown bag” lunch to the next level and make packing your lunch easy peasy lemon squeezy:


  1. Grain-Free Sandwich: Turkey “Unwich” (Organic Turkey, wrapped in Collard Green Wrap) + Paleo Ranch, Sprouts, Tomatoes (optional) or Roasted Zucchini Squash + Side of Carrot Fries*
  2. Tuna Salad: Canned Wild Tuna with Avocado-Oil Mayo + Plantain Chips + Roasted Lemon Herb Asparagus Spears*
  3. Kitchen Sink Salad: Baby Spinach + Roasted Chicken + Coconut Butter http://amzn.to/2vVbKff + Cinnamon Spiced Butternut Squash* + Broccolini + Apple Cider Vinegar “Dressing”
  4. Meatball Bites: Turkey Meatballs with Honey Mustard Dip* + Sweet Potato Chips* + Mixed Greens
  5. Taco Wraps: Coconut Flour Tortilla (or Lettuce Wrap) + Taco Meat* + Guacamole* + Sauerkraut + Roasted Summer Squash
  6. Snack-y Lunch: Ham & Turkey Roll-ups + Green Apple with Sun-butter (or Coconut Butter) + Kale Chips* (or Seaweed Snax)
  7. Energy Boosting Smoothie: 1 cup Unsweetened Lite Coconut Milk (or Almond Milk—additive free) + Greens + 1/2 Avocado + 1 Tbsp. Cacao Powder + Collagen Peptides (or Additive-free Protein Powder, like Equip Foods ) + 1/2 Banana (or Frozen Berries)
  8. Burger Sliders: Burger Patties* + Smashed Avocado + Crispy Brussels Sprouts
  9. Stuffed Sweet Potato: Sweet Potato + Roasted Chicken + Coconut Butter + Greens (Raw or Steamed)
  10. Chicken Tenders: Coconut-Flour Crusted Chicken Tenders + Paleo Ranch  + Broccoli
  11. Snappy Salmon: Canned Wild Salmon + Orange + 1/2 Avocado + Cucumber Slices
  12. Spring Pasta: Spaghetti Squash (or Zucchini Noodles) + Roasted Chicken + Homemade Pesto* + Greens


  1. Carrot Fries
  2. Roasted Lemon Herb Asparagus Spears*
  3. Cinnamon Spiced Butternut Squash
  4. Turkey Meatballs with Honey Mustard
  5. Sweet Potato Chips
  6. Guacamole
  7. Taco Meat
  8. Kale Chips
  9. Turkey Burgers
  10. Coconut-Flour Crusted Chicken Tenders
  11. Homemade Pesto
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