School Lunch Roundup V

Here is the fifth installment of my School Lunch Roundup Series, showing what I’ve been packing for my daughters (and sharing almost daily on Facebook)!

To learn more about the lunches I pack here are some links…

Also be sure to check out our School Lunch FAQs with other info including what I do to prevent apples from turning brown!

School Lunch Roundup Photos

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Whole-wheat pitas filled with hummus, cheese and carrot shreds
      • A frozen berry/banana/spinach/PB smoothie pop
      • Grapes
      • Cucumbers
      • Water in the cup

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Pizza toast (served cold)
      • Pineapple
      • Salad (lettuce/carrots/almonds/homemade vinaigrette)
      • Piece of dark chocolate
      • This is in a PlanetBox

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Grilled cheese with pesto (served cold)
      • Purple bell pepper slices (from the farmers’ market) with hummus for dipping
      • Deviled eggs

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • BLTs on whole-wheat (with organic bacon, local tomato, and local lettuce)
      • Organic Kettle brand potato chips (a rare treat!)
      • Wild cherry tomatoes (from the farmers’ market)
      • Apple slices

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Potato soup (recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook)
      • Organic cheese and sour cream (soup toppings)
      • Apple/peanut butter sandwich
      • Whole-wheat blueberry muffin (also defrosted from the freezer)
      • Water in the cup

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • (Make your own pizza lunch…) Sliced whole-wheat pitas
      • Organic tomato sauce
      • Shredded cheese
      • Cantaloupe
      • Carrots

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Fresh mozzarella and (local) tomato
      • Grapes
      • Carrots
      • Whole-wheat pretzels
      • Homemade onion dip (recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook)

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Prosciutto wrapped mozzarella
      • Sliced apples
      • Baby carrots
      • Whole-wheat pretzels (from Trader Joe’s)
      • Salad with (local) tomatoes, parmesan cheese & olive oil

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Homemade pimento cheese
      • Whole grain (brown rice) crackers
      • Grapes
      • Salad with almonds/raisins/parmesan/olive oil
      • Carrots from the farmers’ market

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Egg salad with 100% whole-wheat crackers (ak-mak brand)
      • Whole spelt pumpkin muffin (defrosted from freezer)
      • Carrots and frozen peas
      • Plain yogurt mixed with a little pure maple syrup and topped with orange segments

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Whole-wheat waffle and cream cheese sandwich
      • Carrots and grapes
      • Plain yogurt mixed with a little pure maple syrup and blueberries
      • Some homemade granola chunks

 

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Lasagna (made with whole-wheat noodles, grass-fed beef, pastured pork sausage, organic tomato sauce, and cheese of course!)
      • Salad (lettuce, toasted sunflower seeds, parmesan cheese, olive oil)
      • Mini carrot applesauce muffins

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Peanut butter & honey sandwich on whole-wheat
      • Apples
      • Salad (spinach, almonds, parmesan, raisins, olive oil)
      • Plain yogurt mixed with a little pure maple syrup and topped with frozen raspberries

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Leftover spaghetti sauce mixed with some noodles and steamed broccoli
      • Carrots
      • Organic dried apples
      • Leftover whole-wheat garlic toast

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Homemade cream cheese and jam “uncrustable” sandwich
      • Spinach salad with parmesan/almonds/carrots/olive oil
      • Applesauce in the pouch
      • Frozen peas
      • A broken up cheese stick
      • Leftover shortbread cookie

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Carrots and bell peppers
      • Cantaloupe
      • Whole-wheat carrot applesauce muffin
      • Frozen smoothie pop (berries, spinach, yogurt, milk, peanut butter)
      • A little cheese wheel
      • Some whole grain “woven wheat” crackers

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Grilled cheese with pesto on whole wheat (served cold)
      • Organic Popcorn
      • Apples
      • Kiwi

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Cinnamon/raisin/walnut bread and organic cream cheese sandwich
      • A little cheese wheel
      • Carrots and frozen peas
      • 1-ingredient store bought applesauce
      • A hard boiled egg

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

      • Quiche with a whole-wheat crust (served cold)
      • Organic bacon
      • Steamed broccoli
      • Plain yogurt (mixed with a little pure maple syrup and vanilla extract) topped with strawberries
      • “Breakfast” potatoes

School Lunches from 100 Days of #RealFood

Please share your ideas for real food school lunches in the comments.

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62 thoughts on “School Lunch Roundup V”

  1. Great post! Love these ideas and Love your cookbook I got for Christmas. What are the little cheese wheels that are in several of the lunchbox posts? Are they a specific brand?

      1. I’m curious about the little cheese wheels as well. What brand are they and where are they purchased? Thanks!

      2. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        Hi again. Those are Babybel. They are a non-organic “once in a while” cheese. :)

  2. I just got your book as a gift and have been experimenting with my daughter Ava. We started making quiche cups this morning and realized we were out of milk. We nervously substituted plain kefir – and it worked perfectly! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!!!

  3. I am a huge fan of your site and purchased your cookbook. Thank you for all of the fantastic recipes and tips! I just wanted to put it out there that I, for one, would LOVE to see a “100 Days” cookbook full of recipes just for school lunches! I have multiple bento box lunch cookbooks but I always come back to your site for kids lunch ideas because they are much easier for me to put together. :)

  4. Carolyn McCambridge

    I am wondering if you all could be of assistance. My daughter is starting an enrichment program that includes bringing your own lunch. It has to be nut free but the catch is all food has to be pre packaged as well. Whole fruits are okay to put in but even things like baby carrots need to be pre packaged. I am wondering if you have any resources/suggestions on items that are minimally processed and don’t have a billion ingredients in them. We tend to home make many of the suggested items on the list they sent home and it would be great to not have to spend hours in the grocery reading the ingredients on every box of granola bars.

    Thank you!

  5. Hi

    I would like fo know what do you feed your daughters for breakfast on a regular school day? I want to vary the breakfasts and school lunches, don’t want them to eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch.
    I’ll appreciate your input. Thanks :)

  6. I want to thank you for all your ideas & great information! My oldest just started Kindergarten and I just started Clean Cuisine’s 8 Week Challenge, so your blog is helping our family a TON! I also appreciate the recommendations on school lunch supplies – the Thermos containers you’ve recommended work FANTASTIC so far! Keep up the great work! I can’t wait to buy your new cookbook!

  7. Hi
    My oldest starts kindergarden next week and I’ll be packing lunches for the first time
    This site has been very helpful but I do have 1 question… What about drinks? We don’t do juice in our house. I bought a thermos, can I put milk in it? Should I stick to water?
    Thank you

  8. This is awesome, and really looks doable! My son is almost one, and is starting to eat some of the food at daycare. I am always thinking that I could do better, but sometimes it feels like enough work to get good wholesome meals made for the family at home. thanks for these inspirational ideas!!!

  9. I love the pictures- very helpful and inspiring! It would make it really convenient to have a menu or spreadsheet that lists options for each category. This way you could see the choices at once and “build” a meal. I can certainly do this myself, but didn’t want to take the time to re-invent the wheel if Lisa has already created one. Or has anybody else done this??

  10. My son just started daycare this week. I found so much great lunch inspiration here. The daycare Director even said today “wow, your sons lunch looked so yummy today”. We are slowly changing our eating habits for the better. Thank you for helping our family get healthier with whole foods.

  11. I work at a preschool, and my son attends as well. I finally gave up on the catered lunch when he was served a white bread meatball sandwich and canned fruit cocktail- I packed his first (mostly) real food lunch today! I’m certainly going to be coming here for ideas…

  12. So Cool!

    Something else to keep in mind, especially for those with picky eaters, or those with mild allergies is THRIVE–many children will eat freeze dried fruits and veggies where they would not otherwise touch the fresh version. And freeze drying locks in all the enzymes and nutrients. These foods are non-GMO, vine ripened and delicious. They are also pre-chopped! I love Thrive for putting more nutrition in all my meals and saving me time as well. Can’t say enough about it!

  13. There are great ideas in here – a very impressive balance of healthy foods! Since my son has multiple food allergies, he can’t have many of these things. I have substitutes for most of them, but what would you suggest as a substitute for the dairy or eggs you’ve incorporated into so many of these lunches? Thanks for your insight!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kathryn. You can find both coconut and almond milk based yogurts. For the eggs, I would just substitute another form of protein. Also, here are several other school lunch round ups to get more ideas from: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/04/19/school-lunch-roundup/, https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/02/04/school-lunch-roundup-iii/, and https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/05/29/school-lunch-roundup-iv-picnics-camps-road-trips-pool/. Hope that helps. ~Amy

    1. Hey Tasha – The cookbook is definitely still in the works and scheduled for an August 26th release. I had forgotten “http://” in some of the links on this post and one of our plugins strikes through broken links. I’ve since fixed them. Thanks for pointing that out! – Jason

  14. These all look amazing, however, there is no way my pre-k girl would eat about 75% of this food. I am so bummed, because I feel like I feed her the SAME thing over and over again. She does love brocolli, carrots, grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers…the basic stuff. But she will only eat PB&J sandwiches – can’t ever make a turkey one – she hates meat, only will eat chicken nuggets. She likes buttered pasta and just now started eating tomato sauce with it. She will eat a little salad with no dressing….but what do you suggest I do for a picky eater??? I can’t even sign her up for school lunches because she won’t like any of them – she won’t eat tacos, beans, burritos, chicken wraps, soups (unless it’s chicken noodle, with mostly noodles)….so frustrating! I want to feed her all this yummy stuff! The fruits and veggies thing I can swing, but really struggle with main dishes and protein. No meat, no hummus, no beans, no fish….

  15. Hello, When you send the frozen smoothie pops in the lunches, what is the consistency by lunch time? I bought the molds but am afraid they’ll melt, spill/top come off, and make a mess before she eats. Does it turn out slushy, liquidy, or still kind of frozen? I’m also not confident she would have time to finish it (slow eater!). I suppose I could put it in a baggie to test it out and have her put back in baggie if half eaten to prevent a mess…thanks!

    1. oops, I found the links that pretty much answer my questions! My child is in Kindergarten, so maybe will try one partially thawed at home!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there. Pitas are so versatile. My kids really like cream cheese, cucumber, and tomatoes but you can toss in just about anything you think your kids might like. ~Amy

  16. I’ve been struggling to find ideas for my 8-year-old daughter’s school lunch that are 100% real food (and that she will eat). This article gave me lots of great ideas. Thanks so much!

  17. Hi!

    As a pregnant RN working 12-hour shifts I pack pretty similar lunches and love these ideas! Thank you so much! I have a couple different bento containers and the sweet thermos. I’ve found my soups to still be warm even 6+ hours after the food was heated up. I love having several different options when I need a snack or get my break.

    My best lunch last week included leftover lemon ricotta pancakes from a breakfast my husband made, a few blackberries (on sale and delish!), almonds, cheese stick, leftover Mexican chicken soup, carrots, cut up cara-cara orange and yogurt! And lots of water, of course. I nibble throughout the day and then have a nice, filling lunch — it’s spectacular! Love this site for all the great ideas! Thanks!!!

  18. I loved the soup, popcorn and pear lunch! I would skip the bacon because i do not eat pork, but otherwise great! I also like the lunch with the beans and toppings, the lunch with the soup and the apple sandwich, and the lunch with the grilled cheese and fruit. Great job!

  19. Thank you for this inspiration! This is very helpful. My daughter is 5 and this is her first year of bringing lunches to school. It’s been tough for me because she goes to a totally peanut and nut-free school, and those are usually staples for her. I need to work on getting more variety in her lunches and this is helpful.

  20. Love these ideas. I have a question about the soups that you pack. It looks like you have it in a stainless steel cup/container. Does is stay hot? I’ve purchased a number of “thermos” type containers for my daughter, and none of them keep the items hot enough. Please share what you use!

    1. tracy – i wanted to chime in because i’m really happy with the thermoses we have now. they’re made by aladdin and are stainless steel with a plastic lid. they’re $14.99 on the aladdin website and are called “kiddo vacuum food jars.” the kids say food is still hot at lunch (usually at least 4 hours after it’s packed). i do follow the tip i believe i read on this site – put very hot water in the thermos for about ten minutes, to warm it up before adding the food. sometimes when their water bottles are dirty, i put ice water in these and there is still ice when they get home from school eight hours later!

  21. I’m wondering if you could make some suggestions for High School aged kids. They won’t pack a plastic type of dish and usually just bring one or two items tops. It has to be eat and go type of food, so they usually take one sandwich and one-side (crackers or sometimes fruit). It’s getting old!! Any thoughts?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jennifer. You can use more grown up versions of Lisa’s ideas for her school lunches and just scale them up for the big kids. Look through all the School Lunch Roundups and take what will work for your kids. :) ~Amy

    2. Jennifer – when I was in high school (7 years ago), I took a lot of sandwiches too but I also loved wraps. I remember doing a lot of turkey or chicken (leftovers would be great) and adding in a bunch of veggies. I also loved veggie and hummus wraps. Chicken/tuna/egg salad would also be good and I think most kids would like a burrito style wrap.

      I think I would have liked big, hearty salads in high school as well.

      My brother (a high school athlete) takes mostly sandwiches and fruit (sounds like your kids). If he needs more, he’ll sometimes take 2 sandwiches. I would think varying the types of sandwiches would help too – cold grilled cheese, different types of meat/cheeses that you don’t use often, vegetarian options like eggplant, mushrooms or bean spreads, etc.

      http://www.thekitchn.com posts a lot of great packed lunch ideas too – they often have posts specifically about spicing up your lunchbox sandwich or salad routine so you may want to check that out.

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