What’s in your kiddo’s lunchbox this year?

4 Sep

School is in full swing now (or, it has been since July if your kids are year round like mine!) and this year I had the added challenge of packing lunches for two budding primal eaters. My second grader is easy. She knows the drill and loves leftover dinner meats. My Kindergartener, on the other hand, is a bit pickier. She doesn’t like leftover meat cold and she likes very few vegetables raw. Luckily for me though, she doesn’t mind repetition.

Many thanks to our readers who requested more lunch box ideas and especially to Nicole who gave me the awesome idea of assigning each compartment of the lunchbox a macronutrient to help teach the kids. I still get a few odd comments about how “Suzy A. or Johnny B. told me my lunch was weird,” but I take those opportunities to remind them about healthier choices that help them grow big and strong and perhaps re-read Sarah Fragoso’s Paleo Pals together!

I usually don’t stray far from the basics below. My best advice is to keep it simple, always make extra dinner meat for leftovers, make large batches of healthier treats when you have some extra time and stock them in the fridge or freezer, let your kids buy lunch every once in a while if allergies are not an issue, use the treat box for both something sweet and non-food items like sticker or notes, and don’t be afraid of repetition.

Proteins:

  • nitrate-free deli meat
  • leftover meat from dinner
  • rotisserie chicken (buy one over the weekend, clean it up, and use it all week here and there)
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • nitrate free beef jerky or homemade beef jerky
  • greek yogurt (if your kids do dairy like mine)
  • full fat cheese

Carbohydrates:

  • fresh berries
  • sliced apples
  • dried fruit
  • baby carrots
  • sliced cucumbers
  • raw spinach
  • sliced sweet peppers

Healthy Fats:

  • nuts of any kind your kids like (aim for dry roasted or raw)
  • pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • nut butter (almond, sunflower seed, and sometimes good ol’ PB because you can’t win every battle!)
  • organic ranch dressing
  • almond flour primal crackers

Combo items:

Small treat box items:

  • gummy vitamins
  • mini m&ms
  • stickers
  • special mini notes
  • candied nuts (or “sweet nuts” as my kids call them)
  • yogurt covered raisins

Here’s a sample week full of lunches from our house. What are your favorite go-to lunchbox ideas from your family?

Have a happy and healthy school year,

Heather

Related posts:

Lunchbox ideas
Your Primal Family
Paleo Pals Book Review

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5 Responses to “What’s in your kiddo’s lunchbox this year?”

  1. Shannon September 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    I think this is so much work – what a good mom! Being that I dont have any kids I should at least be this diligent about my own lunches.

  2. the PRIME pursuit September 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Heather, great post. I love the creativity, and the fact that a treat does not have to equal sugary snack (necessarily…) though i DO think it is realistic to add a smidgen of sugar “love” regularly.

    I wanted to mention that I think that the children’s size planet boxes are probably satisfactory for adults–if your lunch is consistently similar to Heather’s examples above. With the exception of a “big salad” or a soup, I think it is adequately sized, and helps keep our portions in check! It’s compact, easy to maintain, and the carrying case is really functional–plenty of room to stick extras.

  3. Jessica D. December 23, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Just found your blog, and just started Paleo/Prime eating with a family of four! You have such great ideas for keeping your whole family realistically primal. Thanks for the great lunchbox shots, they are a great help!

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