It’s a beautiful week here and Labor Day weekend is coming up fast!
School looks a little bit different here this year. If they haven’t already, kids all around the US will be going back to school soon. Whether kids are going back virtually or in-person, summer is winding down and everyone will be getting back into the routine of the school year.
Since I’ve had lots of questions over the years about what to put in your kid’s lunch box, today I want to share with you some ideas.
If you don’t have children, or your children are not in school, you can take some of these ideas for yourself. I’m actually considering buying myself a lunchbox like the one I mention below! I think it will help to motivate me to get back to preparing more food and packing my lunch. It’s like buying new workout clothes helps to motivate you to go to the gym!
Here are some healthy back to school lunches and recipes:
Packing a Whole Foods Lunch
Packing a lunch that contains more whole foods may be challenging if you have a picky eater… this was me growing up! I quickly grew out of that when I started to learn about nutrition and what was best for my body. I was fortunate enough that my Mom packed my lunch pretty much every day. Thanks Mom 🙂
Use packing lunches as an opportunity to educate your children on how the food they eat can affect how they feel and perform.
Encourage your kids to be the ones to choose what goes into their lunches from whole food options that you give them. This way, the food you pack will actually stand a chance of getting eaten. Don’t get caught up in the fact that lunches for you or your kids have to be fancy. Often times the simpler the better… ensure there is protein, vegetables, healthy fat, fruit or a starchy carbohydrate, and sometimes a sweet treat.
We don’t usually include gluten free bread in this list, as many are highly processed and filled with extra ingredients that aren’t always gut-friendly. However, we know it’s sometimes hard to quickly transition away from the foods kids are used to eating. If you find that including some gluten free bread works best during your transition to healthier and wholesome meals then go for it! Try looking for some from a local bakery instead of in the freezer section, as they tend to have more limited ingredients. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try making some yourself with this delicious paleo sandwich recipe from Paleo Running Momma.
Below are some suggestions of whole foods and more optimal processed foods to pack:
- Hard-boiled eggs Chicken Sausages
- Applegate or Thousand Hills Hot Dogs
- Leftover Crock-pot Chicken
- Apple sprinkled w/cinnamon
- Dried fruit: mango, apricots, etc.
- Raw or cooked veggies: carrots, celery, etc
- Banana or plantain chips
- Ham or turkey roll-up
- Kerrygold cheese
- Fruit: grapes, strawberries, clementine, etc.
- Dark choc. chips or a square
- Popcorn made with coconut oil
- Jackson’s Honest brand chips
- Crackers (Simple Mills/Mary’s Gone Crackers)
- Lara or Kind bars
- Paleo muffins or breakfast cookies
- No sugar added applesauce
- Leftover beef or pork roast
- Applegate pepperoni or salami
- Leftover meatballs
- Medjool dates
- Maple Hill creamery yogurt
- Homemade tuna salad
- Soups, chili
- Clif Kid Organic Fruit Rope
- YumEarth Organics fruit snacks
- Stretch Island Fruit Co. fruit strips
- That’s It bars
- Homemade grain free granola or homemade trail mix
- Justin’s Nut Butter packets
- Coconut butter packets
- Chocolate covered almonds
We also have some really good recipes featuring some of the above foods on our Pinterest boards. Check them out!
Lunch Box Options
LunchBots is a wonderful stainless steel option for packing lunches. They have a variety of sizes as well as thermal options to keep soups or chilis warm.
Opting for a stainless steel lunch box is important for a variety of reasons:
- Recent studies have shown a correlation between chemicals found in plastics (BPA & phthalates) and short & long-term health concerns.
- Only food-grade stainless steel comes in contact with your food. No toxins.
- Refill your LunchBots over and over, save money and add zero waste to landfills.
- Your child has the coolest lunch box!
Find LunchBots here: www.lunchbots.com
Healthier Back-to-School Snack Recipes
Here are some of my favorite homemade snack recipes…
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites from Real Food Dieticians
No Bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars from Real Food Dieticians
Coconut & Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars from Ambitious Kitchen
Strawberry Banana Trail Mix Collagen Bars from PaleOMG
Breakfast Cookies from Against All Grain
Happy Back To School!!!
In Health & Happiness,