Kid Lunch Ideas

Y’all asked for it so I’m trying my darndest to bring it to ya!

I used to get so frustrated trying to make lunches for L. I didn’t want to be sending her with the same ol’ thing all the time but I also just felt like there weren’t that many options that fit in to what I was willing to feed her. I mean there’s bad oils, dairy or questionable ingredients in everything these days! Combine that with the fact that my kid doesn’t just LOVE raw veggies and I was feeling in a bit of a predicament. Ya feel me?

So with that in mind, I figured I’d share a few photos of meals I’ve served and lunches I’ve sent with my little. Some days they come back completely empty, sometimes the whole thing is left intact and she barely even touches it. Most days we’re somewhere in between.

Now I definitely recognize I can be a bit much when it comes to food. I think just with all I’ve learned over the past few years and with the work I do now, it’s hard to NOT notice every little ingredient. So, no, I don’t count my kid’s macros. Yes, I do try to limit certain oils, dairy, products containing gluten and just generally questionable ingredients, but more than that, I just try to focus on emphasizing real, whole foods from quality sources. As a family, we definitely go through phases where we pull more from the pantry than from the fresh options or the fridge, but we always try to refocus on what’s important to us.

Something I think is worth noting is that our school does not have a “no nut” rule. Well, they do for their toddler class but not for elementary and primary. I know this is something a lot of schools do have and may I just encourage you to be understanding of those rules. There’s a lot of mama’s out there worried their kids are going to die from being exposed to peanuts. So can we all just agree to try to support each other in that and work together to keep our kids healthy here?! Gotta pick your battles, ya know, and this doesn’t seem like the one to fight if yours is the kid without allergies. Just my two scents. But what do I know?!

Click for the link to these stainless steel lunch boxes on amazon!

Click for the link to these stainless steel lunch boxes on amazon!

Bottom: Turkey, cucumbers  Left corner: green and purple grapes  Right corner: carrots and sunflower butter

Bottom: Turkey, cucumbers

Left corner: green and purple grapes

Right corner: carrots and sunflower butter

First of, I absolutely LOVE these stainless steel lunch boxes. They’re the perfect size for L right now. I loved them so much I bought two because I couldn’t get them clean fast enough. I know there’s a lot of good options for stainless steel lunch boxes out there and especially Amazon has a pretty good selection. I used to use a mix of plastic and glass but then I learned that plastic is basically fucking all of our hormones and the glass just gets heavy and broken so stainless it is!

One of my lunch time go-tos for L and for me is sunflower seed butter. There’s a few different brands out there, but I love this option from Trader Joe’s because there’s no added sugar or other weird ingredients.

Another lunch time fave is this Organic sliced turkey also from Trader Joe’s. Y’all it taste so good. If you’re someone who counts your macros for yourself, there’s literally no fat or carbs and the sodium isn’t terrible either. This turkey or boiled eggs are my main protein go-to’s for lunch time.

Most weeks, I prep Monday and Tuesday lunches on Sunday night while I prep my own. Then I made the rest the night before as needed.

 
Main: Turkey, nuts (hazelnuts below, cashews above) and vegan kale chips from Trader Joe’s  First small section: roasted broccoli  Second small section: Sweet potatoes and blueberries

Main: Turkey, nuts (hazelnuts below, cashews above) and vegan kale chips from Trader Joe’s

First small section: roasted broccoli

Second small section: Sweet potatoes and blueberries

Main section: half and apple and some organic turkey hot dog slices  Top left: hummus  Top right: cucumbers

Main section: half and apple and some organic turkey hot dog slices

Top left: hummus

Top right: cucumbers

Main: Turkey, cucumbers, butternut squash  First small section: Apple and sunflower butter  Second small section: broccoli heads

Main: Turkey, cucumbers, butternut squash

First small section: Apple and sunflower butter

Second small section: broccoli heads

Main: Turkey, banana chips, cashews  Bottom left: grapes  Top left: cucumbers and carrots  Extra container: hummus

Main: Turkey, banana chips, cashews

Bottom left: grapes

Top left: cucumbers and carrots

Extra container: hummus

Top left: organic turkey hot dog  Top right: Carrots and tomatoes  Bottom left: banana chips and almonds  Bottom right: grapes

Top left: organic turkey hot dog

Top right: Carrots and tomatoes

Bottom left: banana chips and almonds

Bottom right: grapes

Bottom: Cucumbers, pistachios, carrots, tomatoes  Top left: shredded chicken  Top right: sweet potatoes

Bottom: Cucumbers, pistachios, carrots, tomatoes

Top left: shredded chicken

Top right: sweet potatoes

L honestly prefers her food cold or unheated. Maybe it’s because we never warmed up her bottles, haha who knows!! But so she never seems to have an issue with her food being cool or room temp when she’s at school but of course I definitely throw an ice pack in there with her lunch box.

Here I’m throwing in some lunches and breakfasts we’ve had while at home. This is still a busy time so most things are cooked prior and heated up (or not) as needed.

homemade french toast with honey, strawberries and a bit of Siggi’s yogurt

homemade french toast with honey, strawberries and a bit of Siggi’s yogurt

Toast with peanut butter, chicken sausages, strawberries

Toast with peanut butter, chicken sausages, strawberries

Top left: homemade banana muffin  Top right: blueberries  Bottom left: bacon, duh  Bottom right: Turkey

Top left: homemade banana muffin

Top right: blueberries

Bottom left: bacon, duh

Bottom right: Turkey

Top left: zucchini   Top right: blueberries  Bottom left: chicken sausage  Bottom right: raisins

Top left: zucchini

Top right: blueberries

Bottom left: chicken sausage

Bottom right: raisins

While we definitely try to encourage L to include a protein, carb, fat and veggie at each meal, I definitely don’t force it, as you can see. I don’t want to make it a “thing” ya know? But I still think it’s important to talk about what food does for our bodies, what each macronutrient helps out body do and which foods fall in each category. Who knows it she retains any of it, but a mom can dream right?

I also encourage L to make her own breakfasts and snack as much as possible. She’s to an age (almost 4) and ability level now where she can move her stool to reach about anything she needs, and she’s very capable with our children’s knife (also from Amazon). Of course I supervise and never leave her unattended with a knife but she’s definitely made meals for herself completely on her own before (actually she made a snack on her own as I’ve been here typing this LOL). Mostly I just want her to feel confident and self sufficient in the kitchen and when it comes to feeding herself.

Well, hope this helps all you mamas out there!! I’d love to hear some of your favorite lunch ideas and products you love in the comments section!!

LOVE,

MEL BELL SHEFF

p.s. I’ll try to update this every so often as more ideas come to me.