School Lunch Roundup III

Here’s yet another “round up” of my kids’ school lunches that I routinely share on Facebook. In case you are new here these links might help set the stage for you:

Sponsor Shoutout: The Fresh 20 Meal Planning Service

Before we dive into the pictures though I want to make sure you know about our meal planning sponsor…The Fresh 20! Through their service you’ll receive 5 unprocessed dinner recipes each week that can be made from only 20 fresh ingredients (organized shopping list included). The cost is $5/month and you can choose from their Classic, Vegetarian, or Gluten-Free plan. If you are struggling to get a wholesome dinner on the table every night why not let someone else do all the planning for you?

School Lunch Roundup Photos

Whole-grain (ak-mak brand) crackers, havarti cheese slices, strawberries, carrots, and hummus (for dipping)
Whole-grain (ak-mak brand) crackers, Havarti cheese slices, strawberries, carrots, and hummus (for dipping)

Egg salad, whole-grain crackers (Multi-Seed brand), zucchini muffin (made with whole spelt flour instead of wheat), berry/yogurt/spinach smoothie pop, and frozen peas
Egg salad, whole-grain crackers (Multi-Seed variety), zucchini muffin (made with whole spelt flour instead of wheat), berry/yogurt/spinach smoothie pop, and frozen peas
Chicken noodle soup, whole spelt zucchini muffin, cantaloupe, and water
Chicken noodle soup, whole spelt zucchini muffin, cantaloupe, and water
Sandwich bread pizza (tomato sauce and cheese on top of regular sandwich bread and toasted), melon/blueberries, applesauce, and carrots
Sandwich bread pizza (tomato sauce and cheese on top of regular sandwich bread and toasted), melon/blueberries, applesauce, and carrots
Carrots, frozen berry/banana/spinach/yogurt smoothie pop, whole spelt pumpkin muffin, stovetop organic popcorn, and store bought applesauce
Carrots, frozen berry/banana/spinach/yogurt smoothie pop, whole spelt pumpkin muffin, stove-top (homemade) organic popcorn, and store bought applesauce
Homemade tomato bisque, fruit mix (kiwi/apple/cantaloupe), a cold grilled cheese sandwich, and some water
Homemade tomato bisque, fruit mix (kiwi/apple/cantaloupe), a cold grilled cheese sandwich, and some water
Leftover egg salad, whole-wheat (ak-mak crackers), cheese cubes, strawberries, and leftover cooked broccoli
Leftover egg salad, whole-wheat (ak-mak crackers), cheese cubes, strawberries, and leftover cooked broccoli
Red bell pepper slices, hard-boiled egg, 3 mini whole-grain pumpkin muffins, frozen smoothie pop (made with berries/bananas/plain yogurt/swiss chard leaves), and some whole-wheat pretzels (from Trader Joe's)
Red bell pepper slices, hard-boiled egg, 3 mini whole-grain pumpkin muffins, frozen smoothie pop (made with berries/bananas/plain yogurt/swiss chard leaves), and some whole-wheat pretzels (from Trader Joe’s)
Whole-wheat waffle and cream cheese sandwich, an organic ham/cheese roll up (once in a blue moon I buy Applegate organic sandwich meat just to switch things up), some apple slices, and a homemade trail mix (nuts/seeds/raisins)
Whole-wheat waffle and cream cheese sandwich, an organic ham/cheese roll up (once in a blue moon I buy Applegate organic sandwich meat just to switch things up), some apple slices, and a homemade trail mix (nuts/seeds/raisins)
Sunflower seed butter and honey sandwich, whole-grain pretzels, organic cheese stick, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and hummus (for dipping)
Sunflower seed butter and honey sandwich, whole-grain pretzels, organic cheese stick, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and hummus (for dipping)
Sunflower seed butter and honey sandwich, whole-grain pretzels, organic cheese stick, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and hummus (for dipping)
Whole-wheat “pita pizza” (toasted in the toaster oven and served cold), raw carrots, leftover steamed broccoli, and hummus
Leftover veggie corn chowder (warm in thermos), whole-wheat cinnamon raisin bread, and cucumbers/carrots
Leftover veggie corn chowder (warm in thermos), whole-wheat cinnamon raisin bread, and cucumbers/carrots
Hummus & cheese sandwich (topped with a few spinach leaves), carrots, cheese slices, honey dew melon, strawberries, and applesauce
Hummus & cheese sandwich (topped with a few spinach leaves), carrots, cheese slices, honeydew melon, strawberries, and applesauce
Popcorn, applesauce, carrots, berry/yogurt/spinach/banana smoothie pop, and a whole-grain zucchini muffin
Popcorn, applesauce, carrots, berry/yogurt/spinach/banana smoothie pop, and a whole-grain zucchini muffin
Spaghetti and meatballs (made with carrot bits and defrosted from freezer), an apple/PB sandwich, and water
Spaghetti and meatballs (made with carrot bits and defrosted from freezer), an apple/PB sandwich, and water
Whole-wheat waffle/cream cheese/cinnamon sandwich, carrots, plain yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce, and a hard-boiled egg
Whole-wheat waffle/cream cheese/cinnamon sandwich, carrots, plain yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce, and a hard-boiled egg
A "make your own pizza" lunch with whole-wheat pita triangles (from Trader Joe's), store bought organic pasta sauce, a little grated cheese, and some "ants on a log" made with sunflower seed butter and raisins
A “make your own pizza” lunch with whole-wheat pita triangles (from Trader Joe’s), store bought organic pasta sauce, a little grated cheese, and some “ants on a log” made with sunflower seed butter and raisins
Whole-wheat cinnamon raisin bread/cream cheese sandwich, grapefruit slices, pineapple bits, and plain yogurt mixed with a little vanilla extract, pure maple syrup and frozen blueberries
Whole-wheat cinnamon raisin bread/cream cheese sandwich, grapefruit slices, pineapple bits, and plain yogurt mixed with a little vanilla extract, pure maple syrup and frozen blueberries
Refried bean/cheese tostada (cut into 4 triangles and served cold), peanuts, honey dew melon, and an apple/sunflower butter sandwich
Refried bean/cheese tostada (cut into 4 triangles and served cold), peanuts, honeydew melon, and an apple/sunflower butter sandwich
Blueberry/spinach/yogurt smoothie pop, carrot, whole spelt pumpkin muffin, popcorn & roasted pumpkin seed mix, and clementines/grapes
Blueberry/spinach/yogurt smoothie pop, carrot, whole spelt pumpkin muffin, popcorn & roasted pumpkin seed mix, and clementines with grapes
Homemade tomato bisque (with whole-wheat noodles floating in it), melon/raspberries, a zucchini muffin, and water.
Homemade tomato bisque (with whole-wheat noodles floating in it), melon/raspberries, a zucchini muffin, and water.
Leftover roasted chicken, berry/yogurt/spinach frozen smoothie pop, cheese stick, apple slices, and a whole-wheat banana nut muffin
Leftover Crock-Pot chicken, berry/yogurt/spinach frozen smoothie pop, cheese stick, apple slices, and a whole-wheat banana nut muffin

 

Please share your school lunch ideas in the comments below!

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230 thoughts on “School Lunch Roundup III”

  1. I ordered the regular sized silicone muffin cups, but am disappointed that they don’t reach the top of the ziploc container when I have the lid on. I am afraid everything will just spill out. Do you know if the jumbo size reach the lid so that it would keep the items from spilling out of the muffin cup during the day?

  2. My 4 1/2 yr old daughter is in daycare all day, from 9am – 6pm. I send her to “school” with lunch and snacks for two afternoon snack times. Til now, her snacks have been Snack 1: yogurt with wheat germ and fruit, and then Snack 2: a snack bar or homemade muffin. I see in your girls’ lunches you often serve them a muffin and/or yogurt. I would like to copy some of your lunches for my daughter but don’t necessarily want to give her two servings of yogurt or two muffins in a day. How would you recommend I divvy things up?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Tracy. Lisa gives the girls a pretty big variety of lunches. Have you taken a look at the other roundup pages: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/04/19/school-lunch-roundup/, https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/09/04/school-lunch-roundup-ii/, and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/05/29/school-lunch-roundup-iv-picnics-camps-road-trips-pool/? There are so many combination possibilities. Just have fun with it! And here is a super healthy snack list: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/31/85-snacks-for-kids-and-adults/. Hope that helps ~Amy

  3. I have a 9 and almost 13 year old boy. They both have symptoms of hypoglycemia/adhd/sensory, etc not sure what else. I am trying to make healthy lunches for school. I do ok on certain foods but they are picky at times. I can’t seem to find other alternatives besides sandwiches every day. I can’t find a thermos for soups or milk to stay hot or cold. They don’t eat till after 12pm. I have to keep snacks in the nurse’s office for them to have in case they start feeling sick. I don’t have a lot of time to make a bunch of food. How do you keep the frozen smoothie pop from melting? Thanks for the help.

    1. Hi Laura,
      I use the thermos that they show for my son. He also eats after 12 and I make sure I make the food pipping hot and put it right in the container and seal it immediately. He always says that when he opens it later in the day it is still hot.

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Laura. In addition to Julia’s comments, the smoothie pops do melt and become the consistency of a yogurt tube…sometimes a little more icy. How you pack it is key. Take a look in the post as to how Lisa wedges it in the container. ~Amy

    3. Hey Laura,

      I know it can be tricky to get kids to eat especially if they have their ‘love’ food (you mentioned sandwiches). My advice is to let them have sandwiches for most lunches, but make them healthier by skipping processed cold cuts, etc. I like to make some extra chicken or whatever meat I’m cooking and just thinly slice that for sandwich meats- the cheese is your choice- then you can add some other veggies in there and make sure the bread is whole grain.

      If you’re going with a PB&J you can switch up the type of nut/seed butters for variety and go for the least processed kinds (you can even make em at home in the processor!). This helps to avoid extra sugars and help w your kids’hypoglycemia concerns. Also, adding some cinnamon to their sandwiches, yogurts, etc is great because that keeps sugar from being absorbed into the bloodstream, so if theyre having a healthy sugar but it’s a bit much you can curve these unwanted effects (insulin spikes and such).

      I say let them have ‘healthy sandwiches’ because you can also incorporate good side ‘dishes’ that they enjoy to help keep the meal well-rounded. Have them help you make snacks for the next day and they’ll be much more excited to take part in eating something they helped plan/create.

      Best of luck my dear! :)

  4. I have an 8th grader and a freshman in high school. Our whole family follows this blog and we want to know if you could gear some of your healthy lunch ideas to teenagers. Since studying, tests, and stress only become more challenging as kids get older, a nutritious lunch becomes that much more imperative for energy and focus. Possibly, a School Lunch Roundup IV? :). Thanks for all you do!!

  5. Is there a way to get a list of these lunch ideas in one easily printable form? I hate thinking about the combos. So, I love the ones photographed here. I could just use a cheat sheet. thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jennifer. Not sure if that can happen anytime soon but we sure appreciate the suggestion! ~Amy

  6. How do you keep the popsicle that you send to school frozen. I tried, even added an ice pack, but it still melted:(

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Ella. They do not stay frozen. They are thawed but cold by the time they are eaten. Lisa usually makes frozen smoothies that are a thicker consistency. If you look closely at the way she packs them, you can see that they are secured as to not leak. Hope that helps. ~Amy

  7. These are great ideas for little kids. What about older, bigger, athletic kids who need way more protein and way more food? I can’t really see my high schooler eating much of this. And, it’s not enough food! She leaves school and goes straight to practice or a match. We would have to pack at least 5 times that amount of food! Many times they even miss dinner so we have to pack for that as well. Please help! I am really running out of ideas! Thanks!

  8. Do you treat the apple rings used in the Apple PB sandwiches? They are so cute, but I’m worried if they brown, my kids won’t touch them. Thank you for all the ideas!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Laurie. Lisa’s girls don’t mind the browning. You can always coat them in lemon juice, orange juice, or pineapple juice. ~Amy

  9. I like the ideas for school lunches, especially the apple sandwiches. How do you keep the cut fruit fresh until lunch time? My kids won’t eat apples after they’ve browned.

  10. I just found your blog and love it! I do not have children, but want to establish healthy eating habits for myself. I love your apple/peanut butter sandwich idea and will be taking that one! I have shared your site with a fellow teacher of mine who is getting her kids to eat real food! It will be right up her alley!

  11. Thanks for all the great lunch ideas. The one thing I dread with the upcoming school year fast approaching is making lunches that are tasty and fun to keep my little one interested. When preparing for a vacation, I discovered the Ziplock containers to pack food for our flight. My daughter was so excited to make her own lunchable! Now I have more ideas and will involve her in the preparation.

  12. thank you so much. My peanut and egg allergic son is starting preschool next week. My DH thinks he’ll feel left out with his “brown bag” lunch, but with these exciting ideas I think it may be the other way around.

  13. Hello! Where do you get the thermos that the soup is in? I noticed the water thermos from target, but did not see what the soup thermos looks like….thanks!

  14. I’ve been following 100 Days on FB for quite some time now. In a couple weeks, my daughter starts Kindergarten at a new charter school in Shelby, NC. Lunch will not be provided, and I will be packing her lunch daily. This post has been awesome and so helpful in preparation! I’m also super stoked because I work in Charlotte a few days a week and can easily stop in Whole Foods to stock up on items. Can’t wait to see what you’re packing for your girls this school year!
    (I’m hoping that this will help with my previously not-so-picky eater turned picky-eater!)

  15. Hi, just curious if those are just cupcake wrappers
    you use to put some of the food in? Or are they a little more durable because in some pictures they almost look plastic. Thanks!

  16. I’ve used this for both my kids for the past 3 yearshttp://www.amazon.com/Friendly-Laptop-Lunch-Box-PBA-Free-Pink/dp/B001DJ0E62/ref=sr_1_15?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1375154736&sr=1-15&keywords=laptop+lunch+box The kids love them & so do I! I hear other kids comment on them all the time and it fits the perfect amount of food.

  17. Can you tell me what brand of thermos you use and how you warm things in it? My son will not eat anything in the thermos, he says its cold by lunch which is around 11:30 am. Thank you.

  18. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Elizabeth. We typically just send water. You can freeze smoothies so that they are perfect by lunch time! You can make those as nutrient and calorie dense as you choose. :) ~Amy

  19. What do you send for your children to drink? My son is very thin (always has been) and I like to send higher protein drinks such as milk or milk boxes, but I know they contain additives that are unhealthy. (Even the organic milk boxes) I though about a thermos of milk, but I worry about keeping it cold enough. I guess, maybe I should just try to pack lunches that are higher in calories, good fats, protein, and save the milk for home.

    1. Instead of milk drinks, can you just send raw milk in a container with an ice pack? That’s what we do since our girls will not drink store milk, only raw Jersey cow milk we get from the farm, that has no bad things in it, only good things…

  20. Hi, I was wondering it the lands end lunch boxes can hold the ziploc container u use and the thermos . I was wondering before i order the lunchboxes. We love the bento style. so anything that they like that works I try to go for..

  21. Hi! These are amazing! I have a two year old and she doesnt like eating, anything. It seems she dislike chewing, as she prefers smoothies, soups, porridge. Its not so bad, since i can sneak in veggies and fruits, but i think its much better if she manages to choose to eat veggies rather than me sneaking it to her food… any advoce??

  22. Hi, was wondering where we can find the recipes for things such as the zucchini muffins or the trail mix. Thank you!

  23. Hi! Your lunchbag link does not work anymore! It’s broken. Can we get a new link or other recommendations on lunch boxes that fit the divided rectangle ziplock box? Thank you!

  24. I am starting to prepare for school lunch season for next year (I know…school is hardly even over!). Do the frozen yogurt pop containers fit in the duo lunchbot containers? I see that they fit in the rubbermaid containers but I don’t see them in any pictures of any of the other containers. The second question I have is- (other than the Lands End bag) what lunch bags do you recommend? Have you found ones that are particularly cute that hold up well? I ADORE the planet boxes but would love a cuter bag option or a bag that was sold by a different company that would fit the planet box. Help?! I’m so sorry for the multifaceted questions!!

  25. Nichole Perkins

    I’m so sad, wen t to buy the lunch bag – backpack that clips together. That you rave about, it appears that Lands End no longer carries them. Yes, they match but my daughter is always leaving one or the other. :(

  26. Mandy Lengerich

    Can you tell me where you have bought the cute food picks that are in some of the lunches?
    Thanks!

  27. These look awesome. Thanks for the inspiration. I really like how you used the reusable cupcake wrappers to separate different food items. I never thought of that. Almost everything is very simple and nutritious.
    thanks you!

  28. Great lunch ideas! Could you please post the recipes for your whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread and zucchini muffins? Thanks.

  29. Have you ever thought about including a column on 100 days of purchased at school lunches to highlight the state of what a school district considers a lunch. I love your site and do my best to send health stuff. However what about the kids on free lunch programs who are forced to eat some pretty awful stuff out of financial need.

  30. Great ideas, but how do you keep your lunches looking that pretty by the time they take their lunch box out at school?

  31. I have tried to give my boys fruit in their lunches and I am just starting your program. How do you suggest keeping the sliced apples and bananas looking fresh?

  32. I was just a Trader Joe’s today looking at their whole wheat pita pockets. The second ingredient in them is unbleached enriched wheat flour. Is this a change in the ingredients or do you feel that this is ok because the first ingredient it whole wheat flour? I see that the package I have just says “wheat pita pockets”. I did not see a “whole wheat” option. Am I missing it?

    1. Unbleached is better than bleached! I am trying hard to avoid so much dependance on wheat at all in my home after learning that it’s a GMO product and totally different today than what it used to be. But it’s SO hard to find other options and seems like most of these lunches rely heavily on wheat products/ingredients. Would love some other options.

      1. Thank you Amy! I asked last time I was at TJ’s and learned that the bread varies by location because they try to use local bakeries. I live in Oregon and they do not carry 100% whole wheat pita. The second ingredient is unbleached enriched wheat flour and it contains preservatives. Bummer! Good to know that not all products are the same.

  33. On School Lunch Roundup III, in the 3rd meal down (Chicken noodle soup, whole spelt zucchini muffin, cantaloupe, and water), can you please tell me more about the small stainless steel(?) container?

  34. Hi, we struggle to use anything ith egg or nuts as there are children at school with allergies. Can you tell me where you go he frozen ice pop contine nd how long it stays frozen for?

      1. That link doesn’t bring me to the molds. So do you also pack ice packs in the lunch? My kids lunch is packed at 645am and they don’t eat it until 1115 and 1215 consecutively. I’m worried I’d have a pile of liquid. Even the Thermos’ won’t stay warm that long and I’m at a loss!

      2. I use klean kanteen for my coffee (i have a insulated thermos) and they work! I pour my coffee before i go to bed and when i am on my way to work the next day it is the perfect temp (very warm!) i havent tried the little containers but i think they should solve your soup problem! :) well worth the $$!!

  35. Leah Parkinson

    I showed some of these meals to my daughter and she said she would actually eat most of it, so I am gonna give it a try and I love how you organize it with the silicone cups.

  36. what great lunch ideas…they are so healthy and great for kids…wish all kids were able to eat this way

  37. Thank you for these wonderful ideas. We’ve been procrastinating with our almost 3 year old and feeding her the same lunch everyday. Its difficult since she has a dairy allergy and we’ve just been putting it off. With these great ideas we now have a stepping stone to start with and great ideas for things we can eat.
    Thank you!

  38. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Kathy. The containers keep everything contained but the food looks a little less perfect at lunch time. The only way to avoid a bit of “disheveling” would be to carry them perfect flat. Not happening. :) ~Amy

  39. How do you keep their lunches organized once they go into the lunchbox though? My girls’ lunchboxes get tossed around and just the process of carrying them ruins the pretty presentations.

  40. Any cut melon is considered a potentially hazardous food and needs to be kept cold, such as on an ice pack (I’m a former food inspector). Love the lunches!

  41. Thank you so much for the great lunch ideas. My daughter has terrible acid reflux, and we’ve had to completely change her entire diet. And, while she can’t eat everything here, you’ve given me enough inspiration and I can certainly make some basic modification for her so she can have more than just a turkey sandwich.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Penny. Good news, that recipe will be in Lisa’s cookbook. Keep checking back for details as to the release date. ~Amy

  42. I love how you use real carrots, peeled and sliced, and not those disgusting “baby” carrots. They taste so much better and I’m always suspicious of those little carrots.

  43. I bought those smoothie pop holders and sent them to school with my girls and they all exploded. Any suggestions? I love the idea but I can’t send them to school if this happens.

  44. I am a kid and HATE school lunch! My school doesn’t even really wash the trays! They put water on it for 5 seconds! I’ve seen it! They have cold and unhealthy meals! Yuck! I started packing my lunch this year. I’m getting board of sandwich, fruit, and Chios so I thought I’d look for some ideas thanks so much!

  45. Does anyone else have issues with these divided containers, where they leak and blend into each other? I pack them and they go in back backs and lockers and get up-ended. And sometimes blend together into a mushy mess. Ideas? I love them and use many of Lisa’s ideas, but want to avoid the occasional mess. Thanks!

    1. We use these: http://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-Lunch-Blox-Includes-Kits/dp/B008NAEZBY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1360610786&sr=8-9&keywords=rubbermaid+lunch+blox and we love them! We have the small matching lunch bag (got them all at BJ’s for really cheap in August). They don’t leak and there’s one for every purpose. Dishwasher safe and easy to clean. Comes with a freezer-pack too. Good luck! (We also love the ones that Lisa uses, for camp and the car.)

      1. Thanks Heather! They do look great, and that they lock together. We use the Rubbermaid storage containers similar to these, so this might be the best bet.

    2. You can also use a small piece of that press and seal paper/plastic over the compartment with liquid … though I’ve noticed the ziploc ones have the least issues with leakage (so in this case name brand does make a difference).

  46. I love the pictures and can’t wait to have my kids pick out there favorites to make. I love making my kids lunches but have become bored with the same old options. We are all excited to try these great examples. The one thing I didn’t see (I’m new it might have been done before) is a yogurt parffie (sp?). My daughter loves fruit , yogurt, and granola or hemp hearts as her lunch. We do this in a cup with a lid. Thanks for all the new ideas.

  47. i just found your blog and love it, especially these school lunches! i’ve been trying to move our family toward healthier eating and your blog is very inspiring. thank you!

  48. Your daughters are so lucky Lisa.. These meals look so delicious and lovingly prepared. You are very inspiring…making healthy food options that are appealing to children and sharing them with us!

    Thank you for your hard work.

  49. OMG!!! I LOVE your lunches!!! I am going to ask my 5 yr old if she would consider eating any of these lunches rather than the old PBJ she usually requests. I’m inspired!
    thanks!!!

    Do you have problems with the thermos containers leaking at all? I’ve always wanted to buy some for my LO.
    thanks again.

  50. Was wondering how you get your kids to eat some things at room temp? Mine won’t eat pizza, quesadillas, sliders, etc unless they are warm? These really aren’t things that fit into a thermos well bc the mouth isn’t wide enough. Any ideas?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Mel. I guess mine have just gotten used to eating stuff that way…maybe just more time of offering it? Jill

  51. Thanks for the ideas. Packing lunch is a tough one for me. The daycare does not allow any type of candies, cakes, muffins, or snack food like pretzels (which I am actually glad about). My daughter won’t eat sandwiches or bread. I oppose to packing lunch in a thermos and let the food sit warm for hours (gross). And most classical winter vegetables don’t taste as good when served cold.

  52. I have a 11 year old and a 9 year old I really like your lunch round ups most of them seem a bit Kiddy do you have any ideas for slightly older kids?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Amy. You can just adjust the portions as necessary for your children. Lisa’s girls are only in second and kindergarten, so, they are geared towards what works for her girls. Jill

  53. Investing in a thermos has been the best move for school lunches that we’ve made this year. My son loves homemade mac’n’cheese (with some squash in there for extra nutrition), spaghetti, and chili. And I love that he’s getting a good dose of veggies in each one, and a warm lunch. :)

  54. Inspired as always. I have to know, is this what your average few weeks looks like with this much variety, or do you pack the same thing a few days in a row? I sincerely hope you are including a school lunch portion along with a corresponding 3 meals/day + snack weekly meal plans in your coming cookbook.

  55. I have a very picky kindergartener. She won’t eat sandwiches with bread and is struggling to gain weight. Apple sandwiches have been a hit with her. She eats the same thing every day. It’s ridiculous! Apple sandwich with peanut butter, Trader Joe granola bar, cheese stick, carrots. She does a yogurt drink and apple juice and water. Hopefully she’ll grow into an adventurous eater. We are just not there yet. Thank you for apple sandwiches!

  56. Yum. It does get a bit more difficult when they become teens. He’s over the peer pressure concerns about the weird lunches he brings. And, I think, even the naysayers have to admit that it all looks pretty good–even if it’s made with tofu, or some such. No, it’s the amount that makes it harder to pack–what with after school activities along with the fact they simply eat more. Right now we’re covered with the new version of the Laptop lunch, which is somewhat larger than the original, and a wrap-n-mat with an additional snack.

  57. Thanks for all the great ideas! I showed my 2 kids this and they said they were happy to take it as long as I’d make it!

  58. We just started doing Fresh 20 & they are really great! I do want to warn people that on the vegetarian one there is at least one Tofu recipe per week :( To me that does not count as unprocessed. Their sample does not have one but each week we’ve gotten at least one recipe on it. I have emailed them several times about this issue & about another issue and have never gotten a response from them. Not great customer service but at least I got it on a Groupon & got a great deal!

    1. Cori,

      Tofu is featured once every two weeks and we try to not overuse it as most people do not have access to fresh unprocessed tofu.

      Our customer service reply time is less than two hours and we have one of the most responsive customer service teams is the industry so I must apologize that you did not receive a reply. I am wondering if you sent us an email directly instead of using our customer service portal which is monitored every hour and tracked with ticket numbers.

      We’d be happy to assist in any way possible if you’d like to provide your email, I will have someone contact you.

      1. I will check where I sent it, thank you!

        I did check the last several weeks of menus under Vegetarian and every week had Tofu & this week had 2 recipes with Tofu.

      2. Two emails to feedback@thefresh20.com & I believe I also commented on FB but notifications don’t always show up.

        Thank you for your time. I love the non-tofu recipes and appreciate only having to get 20 ingredients for the week and we always have left-overs!! The whole idea is really fabulous!!

  59. I like the ideas – wish you had a PDF of the list – no pics needed – so we mom’s- could pull it out and get an idea of what to make/throw together – rather than just the pics listed here – no good way to print it off for keeping. Just my 2 cents. And if you do create that – let me know – would love a copy!

    1. For what it’s worth, I just took a piece of paper and wrote down ideas and combos. I taped that list in my dinner idea folder and it’s there when I need inspiration!

  60. Yay! I love your lunch round ups!
    Thanks to you and your blog, my kids have not bought lunch one time this entire school year. Their friends love to see what they have packed in their lunches each day. Healthy… and fun!

  61. We just started last week with phasing out all processed foods and making from scratch. We have two granddaughters we are raising, 12 and 16. So far I have mixed the whole wheat flour and whole wheat pasta with the “regular” to get them used to it. I have made homemade Mac n cheese (big hit) pasta salad and muffins using the half ww and white. Today for lunch they had pasta salad(pasta, olives, Monterey Jack, bell pepper, salami, carrots, and oil/vinegar herb dressing) celery with pb, half banana, triscuits, and muffin. All in the divided dish. They also each take a 12oz Camelback of water.
    Tonight we re having chicken burritos with homemade refined beans on whole wheat tortillas.

  62. I have been packing similar style lunches for my kids using the PlanetBox. I am wondering what ages those examples are for because they look a little small (yummy, but small).

    1. I use Planetbox, too. Live it and highly recommend it. We got them when my son was in preschool and he is now in 2nd grade. We’ve replaced the carry bag, but the metal container is going strong.

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Maura. Lisa’s girls are in 2nd and K…but, you can adjust the meals as you need to for your appetites! Jill

  63. I love the pictures! My 11yod started going to school for the first time this year and she is experimenting with the school lunches but I have to say that the pictures look so good here, I hope she’ll be tempted to ask me to fix her lunch.

  64. Love all of these lunches, and thanks to you, our lunch boxes look very similar. A new one I just tried today was mini hamburger sliders wrapped in romaine lettuce leaves. They were leftover from dinner over the weekend. Easy to prep, healthy, and my son ate every bite!

  65. Thank you so much for posting these school lunch round ups. They really are inspirational. I have printed them all off and put them in our school lunch binder. I just wish my boyfriend’s kids would eat things like this. I can guarantee my son will have lunches that look this amazing, though! And I might start doing some for myself! :)

  66. This is awesome, thank you! We are at about 80% real food (cereal seems to be the toughest one). We have the same thermos and I have been sending hot grill cheese, pancakes and pizza for about a year now inside it. I just heat it up with some hot water while cooking the meal, then empty, wipe dry and it stays hot till lunch (apparently pita pizza gets a little soggy though). I really like your quantities and I love the stickers and notes also…

  67. Beautiful lunches! It actually inspires me (as an adult) to be a bit more creative with my own lunch box – thanks for the great blog, I really enjoy it!

  68. I just wanted to say my oldest daughter is only 2.5 and home all day with me or her grandmom while I work part time, so I dont have to pack school lunches. I still use your ideas to help keep her routine varied, since otherwise she would eat pb&j everyday! But seeing your lunches, makes me actually look forward to packing lunches when she’s in school! So Thanks and keep up the great work!

    1. The corn chowder recipe is going to be in my upcoming cookbook…so nothing I am able to share at this time. Sorry for the tease! :)

  69. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see so many examples. When I look at these, I feel like, “I can do that!” It’s hard when you have grown up on junk and aren’t even sure what “real food” is supposed to look like. It’s because of you that we are making the leap to 100% real foods this year. Thank you!

  70. These all look so good! I’m wanting to pack more for my daughter but I’m often at a lose (I feel so uninspired in the kitchen for lunch sometimes!!) To answer Erin’s question above about a lunch box to fit the Ziploc containers, we have found that the shallower, rectangle shape lunch boxes fit these containers very well. The taller ones, shaped more like a cube don’t really work, unless you don’t mind the lunch sitting on it’s side! The shallower, more rectangular ones hold them really well and have enough room on top for a napkin and utensils. No room really for a drink.

  71. Do you have a lunch bag/box that you put the ziploc container in? Or do they just take the container by itself? I love the ziploc divided container, but haven’t found a lunch box that it will fit in with a drink and ice pack.

    1. I bought my kids a “pack-it” lunch box – they fit in pretty good, with a water bottle; and you don’t need an ice pack – the pack-it is one! you can find them on Amazon. I even fit their morning snack in as well.

    2. Go to the top of this post and Lisa has a link for her recommended lunch box from Land’s end. We have the older Land’s End fold up (non-zippered) style and it fits a ziplock divided container. It also has a side pocket that fits a Thermos brand Funtainer thermos. Though I don’t send water on days I send a smoothie pop.

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