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Suggestions for kids' lunches/snacks

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  • Suggestions for kids' lunches/snacks

    OK, so I've been eating primal for about 3 months and cooking and feeding my family this way as well. Most of the time no problems but I'm running out of ideas for their lunches. They want a sandwich, which I would be okay with if I could find some bread without a lot of crap in it, like hfcs. I usually give them meat from our dinner, a piece of fruit, cheese, veggies and nuts. But usually they leave half of it. Then they come home ravenous and wanting all sorts of junk, which I just don't keep in the house so they end up eating something "healthy" and surviving just fine. Do I just need to stick it out a while longer or do I need to loosen up a little and allow them some of the crap they've been missing. They are 7 and 10, both girls. Any suggestions of what else to feed them?

  • #2

    Well growing kids should definitely not be ravenous, they need the constant fuel to stay focused at school and well for their growth. I would say nuts, fruit, cheese, and maybe a salad (with protein from a meat source). Also dosent have to be a large salad, you can make a small tuna salad. A veggie/meat stir fry would work. There are plenty of non grain orientated options.

    In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


    • #3

      And it'll be weird the first day, but im sure they'll get used to it. I brought the "healthy" lunches to high school all the time, and I sat at a table with football players who ate anything and everything. It was weird and I got a few questions, but after a while, no one really cares or notices.

      In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


      • #4

        I agree with EGY that growing kids should not be ravenous. I think the 80/20 rule should at least apply to lunches. Lunches are definitely tough, so allowing yourself a little leeway is okay.

        I think it's more important for kids to have a healthy relationship with food than that every bite they put in their mouths is perfectly healthy. If you are too strict, it can backfire when they are older.

        Personally, I'd talk to your girls and see what they want to bring. As long as my kids have some sort of protein and some sort of fat, I'm okay with a few less than stellar choices.

        This is what my girls (11 and 15) eat for lunches:

        - Hardboiled eggs in a thermos

        - Salads (we bought a "fit-n-healthy" salad box that has a little container for salad dressing)

        - Coconut flour banana bread:

        - Fruit (whole apple, banana, grapes, pineapple chunks, etc.)

        - Nuts

        - Cheese

        - Sandwiches (yep. not optimal for sure. but we buy the best bread we can find and put meat and cheese on them.)

        - Noodles with butter and cheese or high-fat alfredo (again, the noodles fit into the 20% not primal, but at least I can couple it with something that's good for their growing brains and bodies)

        - Almost primal cookies: not every day, but these are really good

        Ideas that we have thought about trying:

        - Primal Energy Bars:

        - Pemmican Bars:

        - Beef or Salmon Jerky from

        - Beef Snack Sticks from

        - YouBars:

        - High fat yogurt (if you do dairy) I'm going to pick up some Fage after reading this post:

        - Veggie Chips and Primal Trail Mix:

        - Primal Nut Crackers:

        - Deviled Eggs

        - Rolled up deli meats and cheese (maybe with cream cheese if you do dairy)

        - Coconut flour blueberry muffins:

        It's a very personal decision on how much to stray from your ideal diet. It's pretty easy to make these decisions for ourselves, but really tough with younger kids.

        Good luck finding what works for your family!



        • #5

          If you do decide to go with sandwiches, you could always bake HFCS-free bread yourself -- with the girls' help, of course!

          Veggies with guacamole dip

          Egg salad

          Turkey breast with dipping sauce

          Apple slices with almond butter

          Berries with coconut milk

          Meatballs in marinara

          Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm!

          Latest post: Stop Being Stupid


          • #6

            I make this bread to use in sandwiches: for sandwiches (for 'white' bread, just use 6 Eggs in place of the flaxseed mixture).

            For the mayo on the sandwich, I make this: or you could also make this:

            I also buy bologna and braunschweiger (provides organ meat, aka liver, integrated into the beef and it’s delicious!) from “US Wellness Meats” for a Grass-fed version of lunch meat. If I am in a pinch, I will buy the ‘all natural’ lunch meat in the lunch meat section of a grocery store, without the nitrates, etc.

            I also put cans of Kippered Herring (in Olive Oil) in his lunch (he begs me for these!).

            Celery with Cream Cheese

            I make a ‘trail mix’ with Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Organic dried cherries, Organic Raisins, Organic Dark Chocolate Chips (60-70%+) and Organic dried Apples.

            I also send him with Greek Yogurt (stupid junk at the store, which is in small packaging for easy lunch use, is all fat-free, so I need to go get the better, full-fat version).

            I still need to make some homemade beef Jerky, so I’m sure I’ll be sending him with some of that soon.


            • #7

              Kids should not need constant fuel.

              In fact perfectly healthy hunter-gatherer kids don't have constant fuel.

              The need for constant fuel is a prerogative of high-carb eating or glucose metabolism issues.

              High-carb eating causes the body to burn as much glucose at rest as during activity, leaving the brain sugar starved if a constant sugar supply is not provided. An healthier diet with less sugar will normalize things by saving glucose for the brain and spurts of intensity activity and providing energy from body fat at rest.

              It is natural for high-carb eater to taper off without food because the body, as instructed, burned or stored the sugar and the glucogenesis has been suppressed.

              If the kids are ravenous hungry it's more likely to be caused by a lack of calories and they might still getting used to instinctively consume the right amount of calories from healthy non-processed foods.

              Intermittent Fasting work for kids as well (why it shouldn't, the metabolic processes of a 11 year old are identical to those of a 50 year old) so there's no need to feed them every couple of hours, unless they can't cram enough calories at their meal or have hypoglycemia or diabetes.

              I agree with mom500

              I don't eat "perfect" (whatever that means) all the time, because obsession with perfection makes it easy to fall of the wagon. If I eat a candy and hit myself in the head for having committed the worst crime I would certainly be so demoralized to make the most out of my cheat and eat the whole bag of candies. But if I eat the candy, think of it as food, no big deal and go back to my steak and veggie I feel I'm still in the wagon and can follow the healthy schedule easily afterward.

              Being lenient the worst you can do is ingesting few grams of something that is not that good. But being obsessed with strictness the worst you can do is ending up eating a pound of unhealthy food in a sitting.


              • #8

                I've read specific articles about IFint that specify to not, under any circumstance, introduce IFing to kids.

                I don't think I'm alone in this one when I say I won't be imposing fasts on my children (not to mention that I have a child that can't fast).

                The truth is that kids burn waaaaaaaaay more energy than most adults in any given day. Most parents, IMO, would agree that children have great caloric needs and they are not about to play with their diets the way we do.

                I grok, therefore I am.


                • #9

                  The author of an Intermittent Fasting book, Brad Pilon, specifically advised against to use IF with kids. That's just to protect himself from sues from angry parents in case something goes wrong, not because any kind of evidence suggest IF could be harmful for kids.

                  There are studies showing that both IF and both therapeutic water fasting can be used with kids with success. When fasting was a common practice it was used by kids naturally. Also from a physiological point of view unless we're talking about small kids, it's not logical to think kids would be harmed by a practice that probably Grok kids had to do lot times over the course of an year. Poor kids who had no dinner to consume for days, didn't suffer any negative consequence as long as their body mass index was in the normal percentile.

                  And that's the point. IF is not undereating. Generations of kids have done IF by skipping breakfast and dealing lunch. In fact I read of an article of a university professor that said that when he was a kid, he would fast before any exam because that would give him more mental clarity.

                  A 23 year old guy burns way more calories than a 9 year old. Besides the reason why we all can go without food is that we all have body fat to burn. Even an underweight person has enough fat to survive two weeks without food. So a kid who skips a meal isn't actually depriving his body of calories. The calories are coming from the body and have the same effect on growth than exogenous calories.

                  As long as we're talking about very young kids I would make an effort to be consistent with meal timing. But for older children there's no problem, (thinking of feral children or independent kids communities on Kiriwina island tribes) while as far as teens are concerned I wouldn't even differentiate them from adults.


                  • #10

                    While I don't think IF hurts children, and I think children naturally IF (my two year old will often refuse to eat much, and then eat tons later on etc.) I don't think it's ethical to force ANYONE to IF.

                    I think kids need the ability to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. They don't need specific foods to do this though, and will adjust. We don't have bread, and my toddler doesn't miss it. He did for about 3 days, but I always had alternatives. Sometimes he refused them and was "ravenous" later, but then ate something else.

                    The more I see the less I know for sure.
                    -John Lennon


                    • #11


                      I agree with you. IF is okay with me as long as the person is not forcing it against hunger. I wouldn't stop a kid from IFing if he/she feels like it. But I would never make compulsory for kids (or anyone of any age) to IF (expecially if they get ravenously hungry)