This year is my first experience packing lunches for school. My daughter is 3 1/2 and has just started pre-school. I have to admit it's a little overwhelming at first. The school lunches I had as a kid mostly consisted of sandwiches. Since we eat a low-grain and gluten-free diet, a sandwich everyday doesn't really work. As a real food school lunch newbie, I started searching the web for ideas…
The Lunch Box
First I was on the hunt for a lunch box that would suit our needs. The lunchbox needs to be…
- Eco-friendly, meaning it replaces the need for plastic bags or plastic wrap.
- Non-plastic, preferable stainless steel. I don't feel comfortable sending my 3 year old with glass.
- Easy to open, something a young child can open and close on their own.
- No mess (or low mess), if I were to pack something like applesauce I don't want it to get all over everything else.
- Easy for Mom to pack quickly, the less parts the better, easy to clean
What to Pack
Packing a non-sandwich lunch is almost like packing multiple different healthy snacks consisting of different proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. This is helpful to keep in mind because the things you are packing can't be heated up at lunch time so snack type items work well. Some simple ideas include hard boiled egg, cut up carrots & cucumber, sliced apples, nuts, etc. To make things more interesting, there are a number of recipes that can be made ahead of time on the weekend and used in lunches all week.
Here are some recipes that I have used so far for lunches that were successful (meaning they were eaten)…
- Mini Quiche – I made a batch of these and used them all week in lunches.
- Guacamole – There is a nice recipe in The Veggie Book
- Coconut Milk Yogurt
- Almond Flour “Bread”
- Crock Pot Chicken & Quinoa
- Simple Seasoned Chicken Tenders from Much Ado About Chicken
- Grain-free Pumpkin Muffins
- Paleo Banana Pancakes – I've seen people use grain free pancakes as bread for a sun butter and jelly sandwich, neat idea!
- Katie's Homemade Granola Bars – Katie's eBook Healthy Snacks to Go is one of my all time favorite eBooks.
- Quinoa Pilaf