Back to School – Back to Lunch Packing

Just about a week or two before school begins, I start to look forward to my kids getting out of the house (or my hair) and into a routine again. I crave the routine too, but not all of the obligations that go with it. The one I dread the most is packing lunches everyday for both my sons. It’s not only the chore of it, but it’s the pressure to come up with a variety of lunches so they don’t get “lunch burn out” by Thanksgiving. And I won’t cave to letting them buy school lunches until Jamie Oliver is the personal chef at my son’s school, so that’s not an option.

I’d like to share with you a simple idea I came up with that my son thinks is awesome. Now if your child is GF/CF, you’d have to come up with alternatives to replace the gluten and casein in my idea. I’m sure you have seen, heard, or perhaps bought Lunchables for kids. I happen to think its a genius of an idea for kids that are sick of sandwiches, but of course the packaged food industry takes a simple idea and adds a ton of crap to it. I don’t like any product that Kraft puts on the supermarket shelf. Even Lunchables “healthy” alternatives like their ones with fruit and 100% fruit Capri Sun has a ton of sugar and sodium in it, plus artificial colors, flavors and enough preservatives to choke a horse (has several plus that nasty one BHT), high fructose corn syrup, and American Cheese. American Cheese is not cheese in my opinion and it’s pretty gross. So I put together a clean Lunchables version for my kids.

Homemade Lunchables:

  • Crackers (your kids’ healthy, favorite choice)
  • Cheddar Cheese (rBST hormone free dairy) sliced in 2″ squares
  • Canadian Bacon (try to find a brand that is nitrite free)
  • Green/red grapes
  • 2 cookies (I like Trader Joe’s brands without all the artificial stuff, or no cookies if your child is sugar-free)
  • Water

Now this is enough food for my 9-year-old but I do have to add more to the lunch for my eating machine 13-year-old. As for the cracker choice, read the ingredient labels and try to find one that is organic and GMO free. That’s a tough one to find when it comes to grains.

As for more ideas other than sandwiches, I’ve also switched out the Canadian bacon for slices of turkey. My youngest also loves hard-boiled eggs so I give him that with the crackers sometimes too. As you see here, my goal is to get healthy proteins in my kids at lunch without filling them up with a ton of carbs that will slow their brain down in the class after lunch. Protein will convert to the necessary neurotransmitters dopamine for cognition: focus and attention. Plus give them energy for the rest of their afternoon.

What healthy lunch ideas do you pack for school?

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13 Responses

  1. I have heard that Kashi is GMO. I wonder if it applies to all their products. I would have to find out but besides that this is a great idea!

  2. Hi there

    My Autistic son is 6 years. I would really love to help him with his focus and attention. My son receives speech therapy, OT and social skill group at school. We live in Singapore where everything is extremely $$$ and unfortunately we are not well off. Please advise me what to try first. I was thinking of TCM, diet. Skin brushing/ weighted squeeze jackets or NAET. Really dont know where to start.

    Many thanks Kim

    • Hi Kim,

      Diet, probiotics, and a multi-vitamin would be a good start. NAET for allergy testing will also get you on a good track on what foods/allergens to eliminate. Get his body in balance to help his therapies succeed.

  3. OK, so I checked and some of Kashi cereals are nonGMO but not the crackers. So I checked out another cracker my sons love, Back to Nature Crispy Wheat Crackers. I’m not crazy about Kraft Foods purchasing this small company back in 2008, but here’s what they say about their crackers:
    “The Back to Nature cookie, cracker, cereal and dinner lines feature non-GMO grains; no hydrogenated oils or trans fats; and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The cheese is made from organic milk certified by Gainesville, Fla.-based Quality Certification Services, with no added growth hormones, animal rennet, antibiotics or ?harmful pesticides,? according to product fact sheets. The fruit is real; the sweeteners are not high-fructose corn syrup.”

    OK, but they are not organic grains….grrrrr! I’m still searching. I’m off to Whole Foods to check out their 365 brand of crackers since they are nonGMO and try to find an organic one that my boys will like. Once I do, I’ll update this blog post to include that new cracker.

  4. i was told by tony pantalleresco (he’s on youtube, an herbalist) to stay away from all grains as they cause more trouble than benefit.
    thank you for your blog…this helps a ton! my daughter is sensative and this is all new to me. for sure i need ideas as to what to pack for luch. i’m pretty much left with fruits. veggies and protein from eggs and meat/poultry etc…

  5. I am so glad that this forum exists…I thought I would add my two cents, not exactly for lunch only but for b/fast, as well: So for b/fast, I discovered almond meal (powder) @ Trader Joe’s and I have been adding a bit of this coupled with flax seed meal (tiny bit to start out for my picky customers πŸ™‚ in oatmeal that I cook 2-3 times/week…so far the kids have not discovered anythign different…
    For lunch, I try to make this pasta sauce again with TJ sauce. However, I first saute onions, garlic, fennel, zucchini, a few carrots and mushrooms. Then I blend the whole thing into mush and put it back in the saucepan to add the browned ground turkey and voila…no one knows the ‘secret’ ingredients πŸ™‚
    All the best Moms.

  6. Hi, I just saw your website thanks for your very valuable informations. My son 4 years old daignosed autism. 2 week ago I stop to give him any kind of candy / chocolate. Juice I prepare everything at home for his lunch box I usually put omelette( 2 eggs &cheese &butter) for breakfast,for a snack an apple, grape,peach,melon one of these ,for a lunch I prepare, home made burger from ground beef & rice or boiled or ovened chicken&pasta or lentil soup,yogurt soup,chicken soup . He eats all of them . After we stopped candy or something from not homemade he changed positivly a lot. And I gave him daily multivitamin,equazen fish oil and synaptol for ADHD. Thanks

  7. Hi, I just stumbled on your blog and love all the helpful information you provide. Do you know how I would go about finding a DAN doctor in my area? I live in southern California for your reference. Any help, would be much appreiciated!

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