Lunch ideas for when you are in Zoom meetings all day

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Recently, I spent the day in online appointments. My sessions were stacked back-to-back, starting at 7:30am. I ate breakfast, came to my office with a cup of coffee, a glass of water in hand and got started. By noon, I was ready for lunch but had nothing organized or prepared. I frantically grabbed two easy-peel oranges, scarfed them back before logging into my next appointment, and kept going. When I was finished my appointments at 3pm, I was ravenously hungry (like “rip the fridge door off” hungry) and void of any energy.

Online meetings have become an everyday way to getting our work done. Articles posted in popular media have outlined fascinating brain-science as to why you are feeling Zoom fatigue (click here, here and here) and how to combat Zoom fatigue.


For me, I was tired because I was hungry, thirsty and hadn’t fuelled adequately for the day.


With so many of us working from home, packing snacks and lunches have become habits of the past. Afterall, we are just 10 steps from the kitchen! We “should” be able to quickly grab something from our fridge. Until we don’t.


Several things can slow online meetings down – technical issues like not having the meeting link or wifi issues. Suddenly, I am forced to prioritize bathroom breaks over nutrition breaks. The buffers in between appointments I thought I had built into my day are no longer effective.


How to fuel your body for all-day Zoom meetings


Lunches are often annoying. In the middle of the day, the last thing most of us feel like doing is to shift out of work mode into stop-to-make-lunch mode. And if we are running in between meetings, many of us blank on ideas of what to eat.


With so much uncertainty in our Zoom days, we may not make it to our kitchen to grab lunch, a snack or more water. Based on my personal experience, the option that seems to work best is to go back to packing fuel for my day.


How to pack an Adult lunch-able


After my day of not eating or drinking enough in the day, I vowed to make the next day different. I wanted something interesting, yet fast to put together. In steps the adult lunch-able.


An adult lunch-able is a grown-up version of the popular kids’ version. I headed to the grocery store with a mission to pack foods that I could graze on in between my appointments. Here is what I put together:

  • Quinoa falafel bites (found in the produce section of the grocery store)
  • Multigrain pita chips (for some yummy and satisfying salty crunch)
  • Grape tomatoes (no prep required, other than washing)
  • Baby cucumber (no prep required beyond washing)
  • Cheese
  • Garlic sausage (this is a family favourite especially this time of the year)
  • Hummus (garlic and beet) dollops (coming from samples from fellow hockey momma @mothermayibake)
  • Greek yogurt cup
  • Apple

Carbohydrates – I wanted to pack in foods with some carbohydrate for fuel that sustains all afternoon. I got some slow-release carbohydrate from the quinoa falafel bites and added in the multi-grain pita chips for some snack satisfaction. The apple also contributed some fiber-rich carb for my afternoon.


Protein – Protein-rich foods help food energy to last longer. In this lunch, the protein-rich foods came from the garlic sausage, the hummus, the cheese and the Greek yogurt cup. Some of these protein-rich foods were higher in fat, which also contributed to taste and snack satisfaction all afternoon.


Vegetables – Colorful and pop-in-your-mouth options add in phytonutrients to your plate and contribute to clean energy for your afternoon.


A little sampling of everything was tasty and enjoyable. When the mid-afternoon came at 3pm, I had sustained energy and I did not rip the fridge door off at 3pm. I felt in control.


There are loads of other adult-lunchable ideas out there.

  • PB roll up adult lunch-able – Peanut butter and banana wrap. Add in grape tomatoes, red bell pepper strips, carrot slices, hummus and easy-peel orange.
  • Greek lunch-able – Greek salad (tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, feta cheese, olives), cooked chicken, tzatziki, pita triangles
  • Charcuterie lunch-able – Triscuits(TM), cheese cubes, hard-boiled egg, grapes, cucumbers, celery, carrots, guacamole.
  • Taco salad lunch-able: Tomatoes, corn, black beans, romaine lettuce, cheese, Greek yogurt, multi-grain pita chips.


Whether you pack a grazing-style adult-lunch-able, leftovers from the night before, or a traditional sandwich/wrap-style lunch, what is most important is that you have access to foods and liquids to fuel your day so you can finish your marathon-day by sprinting to the finish line.

What are your lunch ideas when you are zooming all day?


Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall
Kristyn Hall MSc, RD Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian Calgary, AB.

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