Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nourish Your Kids With a Real School Lunch

                                  photo source

Packing a healthy lunch for your child can be fun, easy, and frugal. You'll feel good knowing you are providing the best for your kids while they're away and your kids will feel thier brightest eating nourishing food at school. The following lunch ideas have been tried by my kids with "thumbs up".

Easy Meal Ideas for a Real School Lunch

Yogurt Parfait:
Whole-milk plain yogurt such as Fage or Seven Stars Farms mixed with a teaspoon of maple syrup per 6 oz serving and a tablespoon or two of grain-free granola packed in glass yogurt jars.

Homemade and Healthy "lunchables":
In a stainless-steel container like this, pack a handful of rice crackers (my kids love Nut thins), or homemade almond-flour crackers, thick slices of grass-fed cheese, and sliced salami or pepporoni (I like Applegate Farms brand).

Nutrient-dense Sandwiches:
Useing plain rice cakes, truely whole-grain sourdough bread, or lettuce leaves filled with your choice with homemade egg salad or tuna salad, made with canola-oil free mayonnaise.

Homemade trail mix of roasted almonds, dried cranberries, cashews, shredded coconut and salted pumpkin seeds. We also really like Organic Valley whole-milk colby jack cheese, or any good string cheese. Fresh fruit and vegetables such as strawberries, zucchini strips, or carrot sticks make a nice snack, just make sure you pre-cut them, or, from my experience, you'll have some sad looking veggies coming home in the lunch box, untouched.

The best drink to pack is pure water, or whole milk, in a cool looking container, of course (like this one perhaps).

I used to pack juice boxes and milk boxes, but check out the nutritional info on these. One serving has 27 grams of carbs, which is more then a bowl of ice cream, not to mention they are made with UHT milk which is pretty gross-tasting unless you douse it in sugar.

Check out one kid's description of a traditional, healthy Japanese lunch:

"...One day we had make-your-own-sushi... We made it by covering dried green seaweed sheets with rice. Then I added some small fish, egg, and soybean spread called Nato to the rice. We also had a delicious squid stew with quail eggs. To drink, we had milk. Our dessert was an orange. After lunch we brushed our teeth using the sinks in the hall..."
How inspiring!

I'm sharing this post with Cheeseslave's Real Food Wednesday and with the Nourishing Gourmet's Pennywise Platter!


  1. I find that a thermos is an essential part of packing food for traveling. My kids and I enjoy leftovers more than anything else we have tried. I really like your yogurt idea but I haven't been able to find a corn-free milk (we are allergic to corn) so that I can make yogurt now that my raw milk source is gone (all vitamin D milk contains GMO corn). I can't find any of the whole milk yogurts that are corn-free either - apparently I am the only person interested in yogurt that isn't low-fat or nonfat.....How can that be? There is actually only one whole milk yogurt in my Kroger and it's full of corn syrup. Are people feeding even their toddlers nonfat yogurt now?!

  2. i love your blog! i am so glad that i found you ... i will be coming back. =) what wonderful, inspiring information.
    emily (great name, hee hee!)

  3. Hi Emily, this is such an important topic, thanks for a great post. The chef Jamie Oliver is campaigning right now to help spread the word about the importance of promoting healthy food and cooking skills for children. He's created an online petition which he will present to the White House this spring: Please pass along this petition to your friends and readers so that they can join, and make their voices heard too.