I get asked this question often: “What do you pack your kids for lunch?” Many people in my community know me as the healthy, gluten-free mom, so when I’m asked food, health and lifestyle questions I feel a great need to share my secret weapons. I created a fun Fox News segment for their back-to-school show this August showcasing my kids favorite lunches. School days equal long days and if you have kids with attention issues, like some of my own kids, you want to make sure they are being fueled thru out the day with both macro and micronutrients, including healthy fats for brain health, protein to keep them fuller longer, complex carbs for longer lasting energy and micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals.
Little kid lunch box
Elementary and junior high aged kids are encouraged to bring healthy snacks for breaks as well. So, I put together a list of all my kids top go-to choices.
Protein ideas: hummus or nut/seed butter with cut up veggies and ancient grain or paleo crackers – schools are becoming more strict with food allergies. Make the choice to stay away from processed crackers and chips which are loaded with empty calories and GMO’s.
Roll-ups-instead of bread-try ancient grain, sprouted grain, paleo tortillas or flat big leaf kale instead of white, processed tortillas. Fill with julienned veggies, antibiotic-free sliced turkey or chicken with their favorite condiments. If you have a child who is a vegan, add in refried beans or tofu in place of the meats.
Hard-boiled eggs with Himalayan sea salt.
Baked root veggie chips versus potato chips(easy to make or find in your local grocery store).
Fresh fruit-always go with in season, locally grown when possible.
Zemas new ancient grain cookie snack packs- a sweet treat made with non-GMO ingredients and ancient whole grains.
Roasted sunflower seeds or chickpea seeds(recipe below).
Dairy-free cheese slices with sliced organic apples or crackers.
Antibiotic and nitrate free beef, chicken or turkey jerky.
Teenager Lunch box
More opportunities to re-heat food at school but be sure to send in microwave-safe dish.
Preparing meals the night before, doubling the recipe, allows you to save time, yet create healthy next day lunches.
- Left over roasted chicken and veggies can be sliced up and mixed with chopped greens, brown rice or quinoa. Goat cheese feta is optional. Or throw make into a roll-up.
- Leftover wholegrain or bean pasta(high protein) with grass-fed beef tomato sauce can be re-heated at school. A side of steamed broccoli and fresh fruit make a well-balanced lunch. Try raw milk parmesan cheese to add nutritional benefits. For your vegan teen, use marinara sauce and nutritional yeast.
- Tacos for dinner make taco salad for lunch. Sneak in chopped greens with kale, romaine, arugula and cilantro. Side container of salsa to top it off.
Roasted Chickpeas Snack
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
2 T. olive oil
1 t. Himalayan sea salt
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
Dry the chickpeas.
Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and salt.
Spread the chickpeas out in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with salt, stir with a spatula to make sure the chickpeas are evenly coated.
Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.