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30 Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas (that aren’t all sandwiches)

September 1st, 2016 Posted in Family

30-healthy-back-to-school-lunch-ideas-that-arent-all-sandwichesPa-lease tell me I’m not the only one that always had the same reoccuring back to school dream of walking in to class completely naked. Never failed – every night before that big first day, the nude dream creeped into my subconscious and freaked me out. Graduating from college meant many things, but the most important was kissing the awkward naked nightmares goodbye. I can’t guarantee your kids won’t be haunted with the same dreams, but I can give you an awesome list of 30 healthy back to school lunch ideas (that aren’t all sandwiches).

A dear friend requested I write this post as her little one is starting preschool this fall. She’s that kind of mom friend you can text and say things like, “Ok I understand why they say never shake a baby, but is it ok to shake a toddler?” or “I’m trying to go #2 and I see little fingers under the door so I feel like I need to hurry but I just want like three minutes”. Then she responds with, “I’m drinking a big @ss glass of wine as I’m giving both boys a bath” or “I ate blueberries off the floor because he threw them all but I didn’t want them to go to waste. Seriously feeding him cardboard if he does it again”. She’s the mom friend every mom needs.

And for the record, it’s not ok to shake a toddler….apparently. (KIDDING!)

So when you’re the mom that can laugh and cry at the same time or jokes about running away, but truly can’t imagine a second without those addicting round ‘lil cheeks….If you’re the mom that isn’t Martha meets Pinterest yet still wants to feed your little one healthy and nutritious meals, I got you covered (and I like you, a lot).

Making lunches for your kids doesn’t have to be a grand production, or a stressor in your already crazy life! So if you are worried that pb & j’s are the extent of your creativity and need some better alternatives, check these out!

#1. Deli meat wrapped around pickle spears

#2. Paleo pizza egg cups

Pizza-inspired egg muffins. Paleo and perfect for breakfast on the go!

#3. Avocado and cucumber sandwiches on whole wheat, gluten-free, or sprouted grain bread

#4. Lunchbox Kabobs from It Is A Keeper

Lunch Box Kabobs from it Is a Keeper
#5. Build your own pizza with a whole wheat english muffin, pizza sauce, and variety of vegetables

#6. Hard boiled eggs

#7. Cinnamon spinach mini flapjacks

Toddler approved and healthy! Cinnamon Spinach Mini Flapjacks are paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and sweetened with only banana and cinnamon!

#8. DIY chicken salad (made leftover shredded chicken, paleo mayo, and sliced grapes) with whole grain or rice crackers

9. Almond butter and hemp seed banana ‘sushi’ from Fit Foodie Finds

Almond butter and hemp seed banana sushi from Fit Foodie Finds

#10. Paleo carrot cake energy balls

The best paleo snack ever! Try these carrot cake energy balls next time you're in a snack rut! Great for kids too.

#11. Grilled chicken tenders with choice of dipping sauce (hummus, honey mustard, sunshine dip, etc.)

#12. Build your own tacos (separately packed soft tortillas, beans, guacamole, shredded chicken, cheese, etc) inspired by Forks, Folks and Fun

#13. Lunchbox turkey and cheese “sushi” from The Weary Chef

#14. Mini skewers – protein of choice on toothpicks or mini skewers with previously roasted veggies

#15. 4-Ingredient Carrot Stars from Feeding Fin

#16. Apples, thinly sliced with nut butter in between for ‘sandwiches’

#17. Organic hot dogs or chicken sausages, quartered for easy finger food

#18. Paleo broccoli “cheese” sticks

#19. Build your own pita pockets – protein of choice, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

#20. Spinach sweet potato tots

#21. Roasted fingerling potatoes with hummus or sunshine sauce to dip

#22. Pea and Sweet Corn Fritters from My Fussy Eater

#23. Grain-free crepes with shredded chicken or sliced ham, spinach, and cheese OR strawberry chia seed spread

#24. Flaxseed crackers with tuna or deli meat

#25. Chicken and rice patties from Planning with Kids

Chicken and Rice Patties from Planning with Kids
#26. Gluten-free sweet potato cereal

Making your own gluten-free cereal is so easy and super healthy! Packed with vitamin A, this sweet potato cereal is the perfect breakfast to power through your day!

#27. Sandwich kabobs from Mom Endeavors 

Sandwich Kabobs from Mom Endeavors
#28. Prosciutto & Egg Roll Ups from Nom Nom Paleo 

Prosciutto and Egg Roll Ups from Nom Nom Paleo
#29. Mashed sweet potatoes with almond butter or leftover protein to top

30 Whole30 Hacks - microwave sweet potatoes

#30. Almond butter or cashew butter and strawberry chia ‘jam’ on whole grain or gluten free english muffins

Need some additional finger food side ideas? Here are a few!

Sliced apples

Mini sweet peppers

Sliced cucumbers

Berries of any kind

Sugar snap pease


Sliced jicama

Peeled oranges


Baby carrots

Broccoli or cauliflower florets

Pineapple slices


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