Are you out of ideas when it comes to packing your child's lunch? Do you just throw a Lunchables in a bag with a juice box and call it a day? Well, I have some good news for you! Packing a wholesome and nourishing lunch for your child isn't difficult. I have put together some ideas to help get your creative homemade school lunch packing juices flowing!
When I send lunches with my kids to school, I pack them in this awesome lunch box! It is durable, doesn't create trash, and it keeps the food cold with a cold pack on top. The kids like the different sections and they are really easy to clean. Plus these little containers are great for holding dips and yogurts.
Usually, when I prepare a lunch for my kids I include a sandwich. My kids LOVE sandwiches, so I make them. But I don't HAVE to include a sandwich. However, since we are talking sandwiches, I will tell you about their favorites.
- Lox with cream cheese and capers
- Salami with mustard and cheese
- Peanut Butter and Honey
- Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Cream Cheese and Jelly
- Cream Cheese and Turkey with Lettuce
- Pastrami and Swiss with mustard
- Cheddar cheese with mustard
- Ham and cheese with mustard
- Egg Salad
Do you have to do it like this? No! Everyone has different tastes and preferences as well as dietary restrictions. But, I am pretty willing to bet that most parents get bored of what they are packing in their child's lunch.
Here are some ideas on ways to fill your child's homemade school lunch with a nourishing meal they can enjoy while they are at school.
Some Guidelines for Homemade School Lunch
- Keep it simple. Whole foods will suffice. No need to get all fancy.
- Keep out the crap! No artificial colors, flavors, or high fructose corn syrup. These aren't going to help your child at school, so leave them out! Read those labels to help you find the junk!
- Let your child help you pack their lunch! If they get to pick out some of the foods, they will be excited to eat it!
- grapes, berries, kiwi, oranges, apples, cherries, pineapple, peaches, melon, avocado
- dried fruits like raisins, dates, apricots, mangoes, pineapple
- cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, jicama, snow peas, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, green beans, cauliflower, celery (ants on a log!)
- DIPS! homemade ranch, hummus, homemade dressings
- Hard boiled eggs
- rolled deli meats and cheeses
- rolled lox with cream cheese (and capers)
- Pasta Salad, Tuna salad, Chicken salad
- Homemade muffins
- Bacon wrapped dates, prosciutto wrapped around melon
- Build your own TACOS!
- Bean and cheese tortilla roll up
- Cold quesadilla
- Nut butter on a tortilla
Other Fun Foods
- Popcorn, nuts
- Applesauce, yogurts, fruit leathers
- chips and salsa (or guacamole)
- Block cheeses (cut into sticks or cubes)
- Homemade trail mix
- A square of dark chocolate
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, dilly carrots, fermented berries
- Sea Snax or rice crackers
Oh! We can't forget the drink! My favorite beverage for a child's lunch? Water. Just plain old water. Sometimes they like mint water. But for the most part I just send water. There are tons of flavored water recipes on the web! Go look. Lemon and lime are popular, too.
Packing a homemade school lunch for your kids doesn't need to be complicated or labor intensive. Providing a variety for them and switching it up can keep lunch time exciting AND nourishing.
What are your favorite foods to pack for your kids?