With the new school year fast approaching, I've decided to do a whole 6 weeks worth of healthy lunch box ideas for the kiddos... and the parents! My little girl is in pre-k this year, and just like all parents out there, I too have struggled with brown-bag lunches.
It doesn't help that my little mini-me is still in the midst of a rather finicky food phase. She is as close to being a vegetarian as she can get without actually being a vegetarian. I can't blame her at all either. I was the same exact way when I was her age.
You reap what you sew, yeah?
All of these lunch box ideas are going to be 'Lily Approved'. Meaning, my daughter has specifically given each brown bag meal her official seal of approval!
First thing's first. As I mentioned, my little girl is close to being a vegetarian. One thing she will eat though, is cold cuts of deli meat. Thank goodness too since her school is peanut free zone, so peanut butter is a no-go! That can make lunch planning for her even more tricky. Not that she'll eat jelly anyway, but that's a whole other story for another time.
Of course, being a child of the 80/90's... one of my fondest lunches when I was little was a Lunchable! In today's word though, it's hard to buy one and not feel a bit guilty. They're over priced and full of things that I can't even pronounce. Yuck. I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I like to know what I'm putting into my body... and hers!
This is my version of a healthified Ham & Cheese Lunchable. Yes, there are about 15 more calories in my Lunchable vs. the actual Ham & Cheddar Lunchable, but... it's probably half the price and I know exactly what's in it. Plus, I added a fruit and a vegetable to boot!
After all, the whole goal here was a more well-rounded lunch than what you buy in a box pre-packaged at the store. What's even better? You can make a weeks worth of these ahead of time and have them ready to grab-and-go!
Lily's Lunch Box (Week 1) - Homemade 'Lunchable'
Servings: 1 • Size: 1 'Lunchable' • Calories: 325 • Fat: 10 g • Carb: 50 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 12.5 g • Sugar: 18.5 g • Sodium: 522.5 mg
6 Organic Whole Wheat 'Golden' Crackers
1 Slice (1 Oz.) Reduced Sodium Deli Ham, Cut Cutely
1 Slice Reduced Fat 2% Colby Cheese, Cut Cutely
1/2 Pink Lady Apple, Sliced
1/2 C. (About 10) Mini Carrots
6 Organic Animal Cookies (I used Annie's Homegrown.)
1 Pack Organic Fruit Snacks
Pack everything nicely.
I like to separate things with fun colored cupcake liners.
Be sure to pack everything with an icepack to keep the meat and cheese nice and cool until lunchtime!
Relax while your little one enjoys a healthy and well rounded lunch.
I also send this lunch off with a container of water and an 'Honest Kids' juice pack.