Today we’re sharing a week of school lunches to help break out of the same school lunch box rut! Mix it up with some tasty ideas for keeping a fresh and healthy lunch box in this post in collaboration with Crispy Green.
Just tonight at dinner with some friends, we were all in awe that the school season is already here! I mean, it feels as though summer is still in it’s early stages. While I can’t keep waiting for summer to reach full bloom, because clearly it already happened and I missed that memo, I can get a jump start on the school season in front of me and plan ahead for those days I know I’m going to need a little lunch-spiration for the lunch box. You know what I mean, those times we hit a stand-still in the kitchen, literally, while we think about what items we have in the pantry and how it will equal a wholesome lunch that our little ones will actually eat.
With just a few items, I can mix and match and fill a lunch that packs a punch… especially because my kids will actually eat it!
Kids always love when they can build it themselves, so give them the ingredients and let them get creative. I can cut out a ton of added sugar by starting with plain or vanilla greek yogurt along with our homemade granola and a few frozen berries, than if I were to pack a pre-made yogurt cup, and it’s a completely different meal that the same ole’ sandwich option.
Think outside the square of sliced bread and roll up your kiddo’s food like sushi. The options are almost limitless, just let your imagination run wild. Try to add items from two-three different food groups so there are a variety of nutrients. You can use just about anything from fruits (banana as shown above, strawberries, melon, etc), meats (deli meats, hot dogs, etc), wraps (tortillas, deli meat, lettuce, etc) and add in some kind of spread to keep it all sticky and held together (hummus, peanut butter, cream cheese, goat cheese, etc).
If you want to see those fruits and veggies disappear, give them something to schmear. Create a dipping station by sending a couple containers of their favorite spreads and a whole slew of items to dip! Some of our favorites include hummus, yogurt, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, cream cheese, white bean dip… try a few and see what your kids like the best, you might just be surprised.
Snacks You Trust
While I like preparing as much as I can for my kids, I also have a practical and realistic side that knows kids get hungry at the most inopportune times and sometimes I need a little help filling in the gaps. Lately we’ve been trying (and loving) Crispy Green and either rounding out our lunches while replacing regular chips with actual sliced, freeze-dried fruit and no added sugar, sweeteners or preservatives (in our house we’ve deemed it “un-chip my lunch!”) or keeping items on hand to nosh on as the need arises.
Check out our lunch box hacks and free, entertaining lunch box printables here AND a Fresh Lunch Box recipe printable and shopping list! PLUS, get a week of Lunchable hacks here!
You can join us, along with Produce for Kids and a ton of great brands, like Crispy Green, and take the pledge to #PowerYourLunchbox, a challenge for kids and parents alike to pack and eat healthier lunches!
Now, I’m going to be completely honest and I’m giving you a sappy mom-moment warning; our school year is going to look a little different this year. My littlest guy is starting VPK this year (which is one “grade” before Kindergarten, since Florida starts them early)!!! I’m all kinds of excited for him, and sad that he’s growing. I’m proud of him and missing him already. I’m wanting to hold on and ready to watch him spread his wings. Really, I’m just feeling all of the feelings right now. Skylar though? He’s just ready and excited.
He’s ready to make new friends and learn and grow. He’s ready to make some choices on his own and flutter outside of our nest for a few hours each morning. In talking with him, I can see how ready he is, and it’s days like these I realize that I agree… he is. So this year we’re celebrating a big first with his FIRST day! My wish for him in this season of life is for him to be happy. It’s not for him to be the smartest or the strongest. It’s not for him to be the most popular or the teacher’s favorite. It’s not for him to be the fastest or the best… My hope is that he’s happy. Because one thing I do know is this, when we are happy with ourselves, we become better students, better listeners, better friends, better understanders and better givers. My wish is that in this day and age of comparison, my kids will learn how to be happy with themselves and content with who they are; that when they grow, they grow in confidence first and the ability to stay true to who they are.
To my sweet Skylar, may this year… this big year of firsts, be a sweet one for you. May your excitement for life never dim, may your joy in seeing others excel never fade, may your intensity for your dreams never wane and may your heart for others continue to expand. I love you!
What’s your favorite go-to school lunch box idea? I’m always on the lookout for ways to mix it up!
This post is in partnership with Crispy Green. All text and opinions are my own.
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