I’ve been sharing my kids’ school lunches on facebook quite frequently this year, and in an effort to put all those pictures in one easy-to-reference place they have all been reposted below (2018 update: There are so many of these updates now that I’ve put them together on a School Lunch Roundup Series page).
Also, I seem to get a lot of comments/questions/etc. when I share these on facebook so I’d like to start off by addressing a few of the more common ones…
- I’ve written a post that includes everything you could ever want to know about the colorful “freezie pop molds” that I use frequently to add smoothies to their lunches.
- All of the school lunch supplies we use including the divided lunchbox containers, thermos cups, and freezie pop molds are detailed on my kitchen essentials page. The lunchbox containers fit nicely (with a drink cup) in both Lands End and Old Navy cloth rectangular lunch boxes.
- Some readers ask if these lunches provide enough food for my children and while I am probably not spot-on with portion size 100% of the time, the short answer is “yes.” First of all, “real food” is a lot more filling than highly processed food (especially the refined grain stuff like white flour). Secondly, portion sizes are getting out of control in America and have unfortunately skewed the public’s view of what is appropriate. Thirdly, my children are children (ages 7 and almost 5), and my 1st grader has little more than 15 – 20 minutes to eat (and socialize of course!). Lastly, both my children eat after-school snacks, and my older daughter has oatmeal (in a thermos) for her morning snack everyday less than an hour and a half before lunch. Okay, got that off my chest. :)
- A few occasionally ask if these lunches have enough protein. First of all, part of eating a “real food” diet means you no longer have to count calories, fat grams, protein, carbs, etc. You simply eat a variety of whole foods (including lots of veggies) without “overeating” and the rest will just fall into place. It’s kind of nice not to have to worry about that stuff anymore. But, if you aren’t quite ready to forget about your daily protein intake please know there are MANY sources high in protein aside from just meat products such as yogurt, eggs, cheese, cream cheese, nuts (including peanut butter), seeds (including sunflower butter), and beans. When we switched to a “real food” diet we purposely reduced our meat consumption.
- I make most of the pictured baked goods (like muffins and pancakes) in advance and store them in our freezer. So when I am packing school lunches the night before I just pull out what I need so it can defrost in the fridge overnight. Almost all of the recipes I used can be found on the blog…just use the search box at the top right of the page to find what you are looking for!
- Also, I’d like to note that my 1st grader goes to a peanut/tree nut-free school so I often use sunflower butter and cream cheese as an alternative to peanut butter.
So without further ado here is the School Lunch Roundup! And please feel free to share you “real food” school lunch ideas in the comments below…