September means that it’s officially back-to-school routines and with that comes all the joys (or headaches?) of packing lunches. Now that my son is getting older, we’re trying to get him more involved in making his own lunches.
For us, it’s easy enough to include a protein and veggies, since the protein included in his typical lunch is usually leftover roasted chicken or stew or some other dish from last-night’s dinner that we warm up and put in an insulated container. But, if you’re stuck for ideas beyond leftovers, I’ve included some options for those below too.
Veggies can be as simple as cutting up raw mushrooms, cucumbers, or carrots, a handful of cherry tomatoes or some combination of the like. Kale Chips (this recipe from Whole New Mom), are also a favorite. When the weather gets cooler, a thermos of soup (like this creamy leek soup) is always comforting.
One of our earliest challenges, in going grain-free as a household though, was finding little snack-y extras to include. Don’t get me wrong – there is plenty of fruit included as ‘snacks’. My son loves his fruit and could (and probably does) eat his weight in apples and bananas. But, it can be hard for a kid who is eating “clean”, to look around and see his classmates munching away on candy fruit snacks, cookies and the like.
To make things easier for us and other ‘Paleo’ families, I’ve rounded-up some of my family’s favorite school lunch and snack recipes, and those of some of my favorite bloggers. These lunch and snack recipes are grain-free, and nut-free, since many classrooms these days prohibit nuts.
Protein options for lunch:
As I said before, more often than not, set aside leftovers for lunch the next day. One of our favorite things to do is batch-cook a bunch of meatballs on the weekend for using in lunches for the upcoming week. The great thing is meatballs freeze well too! In a pinch, there’s always the last minute boiled eggs, or some good quality deli-meats like roast beef, salami etc. Check the list for some other awesome ideas: