Most kids go to school about 180 days each year, which means you’re packing 180 lunches—or more, if you have multiple children. It’s natural about this time of year for old routines to get stale—for parents and kids.
Luckily, there are plenty of healthy and delicious Primal lunch choices for kids. Here you’ll find inspiration and a few helpful tips that will make packing kids’ lunches an easy task instead of a dreaded chore.
Leftovers Make Life Easier
Protein that can be eaten without utensils is perfect for school lunches, so make a double (or triple) batch for dinner and pack leftovers for lunch. Think chicken thighs and drumsticks, meatballs, skewers, meatloaf and sliced steak.
Maintain a Running List
It’s amazing how easy it is to blank out each week when it’s time to write a shopping list for school lunches. Here’s a simple trick: Make a list of lunches that you know your kids will eat and keep the list on your refrigerator at all times. Simply refer to your lunch list each week for lunch planning (instead of getting overwhelmed on Pinterest).
Keep the Sides Simple
If you have time to bake or cook homemade snacks, great! But there’s no reason to feel guilty if you don’t. Simple, whole foods are the healthiest and easiest option for school lunches. Fresh fruit, raw veggies, nuts, beef jerky, olives, cheese, and plain whole milk yogurt are all delicious options you can stock up on each week. For variety, include dip for fruit (like coconut butter) and/or dip for veggies (Primal Kitchen Mayo and Salad Dressings, pesto, tapenade, guacamole).
7 Lunch Box Menus
1. Chicken drumsticks + Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing for Dipping + Cherry Tomatoes + Olives + Carrot Sticks + Green Beans
Variations: Chicken thighs instead of drumsticks
2. Meatball + Cherry Tomato Skewers + Blueberries + Green Beans + Carrot Sticks
Variations: Add small mozzarella balls the skewers and pesto for dipping.
Tip: Make a few dozen meatballs and keep them in the freezer. To defrost, move meatballs into the refrigerator the night before.
3. Seaweed Snacks + Smoked Salmon/Lox + Avocado + Cucumber
Kids can assemble their own sushi wraps as they eat lunch!
Tip: To keep avocados green, drizzle a tiny bit of lemon or lime juice on top, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pack a fork or spoon for kids to scoop out the avocado.
5. Primal Pancake Sandwiches Filled with Nut Butter or Sunflower Seed Butter + Fresh Fruit + Beef Jerky
6. Salami Chips + Guacamole + Sliced Cucumber + Primal Cornbread
Tip: Make salami chips by baking salami or pepperoni at 375º F for 8-10 minutes until crisp. Store overnight in an airtight container. Also, here’s how to keep guacamole green.
Variation: Pack bacon guacamole with cheddar chips.
7. Sliced Steak + Pesto + Mozzarella Cheese Sticks + Dark Chocolate + Nuts
Tip: Make steak the night before and pack leftovers for lunch.
Variation: Thread steak onto skewers with roasted vegetables, pack guacamole instead of pesto.
How do these lunches compare with your current routine? Ideas to add—for kids’ (or adults’!) lunch options? Share your favorite suggestions below, and thanks for reading, everyone.