Packing lunches for school is a necessity for the school year... but honestly something that we all kind of dread.
By the second month, it feels like we are packing the exact same thing every day! So here are some ideas we put together for you all. A lot of it is simple but can be helpful to have ideas, right?
The first biggest tip we can share is to PREP for the week!
Plan what lunches you want to prepare for the week and keep it simple. It's ok if you have the same foods for a whole week if you want- just switch it up the next week!
Second, prep as much as you can in advance!
Cut up a ton of veggies to have ready to eat and store in glass mason jars or glass storage containers. This makes packing lunches and grabbing healthy snacks so much easier.
When you are cooking dinner, grab some extra veggies and chop while you are cooking to have fresh things available all week.
If you can, go ahead and divide and store other foods in small containers to put straight into the lunch box like chicken salads, sauces, trail mix, etc.
Third, an easy rule for preparing lunches is to always include fat, fiber, and protein in meals.
This helps stabilize blood sugar levels and give kids balanced meals to have the most consistent energy and focus possible.
-Carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper (easily prepped in advance!)
-Mini sweet bell peppers are ready to eat as-is
-Fruits: apple slices, grapes, oranges, berries, etc.
-Hummus in individual snack packs (at Costco!) to pair with veggie sticks or gluten free crackers
-Dried fruits or raisins (check for sugar and sulfates or unwanted preservatives)
-Nuts (omit if nut-free classroom)
-Pressed by Kindbars (at Costco); a nut free option, too!
-Gluten free or grainfree granola
-Custom trail mix to your liking with coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, clean chocolate chips, etc. This is a GREAT way to get kids involved with packing their lunches and being excited about creating their own food!
-MamaChia squeeze pouches
-GoGo squeeze pouches
-Pure Organics or Stretch Island fruit strips
-Non-gmo air-popped popcorn (if you tolerate corn)
-The Good Bean Dried chickpeas (if you tolerate beans)
-Pickles (check for unwanted dyes and sugars; love the organic dill pickles from Trader Joe’s)
-Gluten free pasta with veggies and protein (nuts, seeds, or meat) Trader Joe's is our favorite price and flavor.
- Jackson's Honest chips
-Guacamole snack packs or tubs (Great prices at Costco)
-Justin's Almond butter snack packs: pair with carrot/celery sticks, or apple slices for the fiber.
-Trailmix has great fats as well!
-Chia seed pudding
-Grassfed/Organic/Raw cheese (if dairy is tolerated well)
-Simple Mills muffins (mixes are easy to make!)
-Trail mix. (Pumpkin seeds are an amazing form of protein!)
-Simple Mills almond flour crackers,sprouted seed crackers (if nut free is required), or cookies.
-Organic turkey breast slices rolled by itself or with mayo or hummus spread
-Lettuce wrap with turkey and avocado slice
-Lettuce wraps with tomatoes, bacon for a breadless BLT
-Hard boiled eggs
-Deviled eggs or egg salad
-Chicken Salad with crackers
-Chicken tenders with sauce to dip
-Protein bars like RX bars and Primal Kitchen are favorites
-Unsweetened organic/grassfed yogurt with berries and granola
-Egg muffins- another great thing for kids to help make!
-Smoothies store well in insulated thermos' and can be super nutrient dense and a fun treat! (Using collagen is a great protein source to add!)