Need primal lunch box ideas - back to school time!
Ok...so my little one is only 2.5 so it's not technically "back to school" for him. However, he's going to be starting daycare for the first time and since he has a legitimate food allergy (soy), I get to bring his own food instead of him being forced to eat the mass-produced stuff they make there. So....help me with some lunch box ideas. They need to be something a 2.5 year old could easily feed himself (although I'm sure there are people with older kids who might benefit from any lunch box suggestions). I'll be prepping lunch and two snacks for him to take daily.
Apple slices (or a small container of berries)
Various cuts of meat and vegetables, cut into small enough pieces
Cheese sticks if he can handle dairy
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If not Velocity's post then prepare enough from the night before to put in his lunchbox in the morn. my boys love fruit and nuts for snacks...anything fruit comes back with an empty container.
I also believe the "bento" idea works (even if your own containers). They look like little presents of food...
How about primal bento boxes? Mark's frontpage post today on primal snacks will give you great things to fill up a bento box with, and frankly, a boy your son's age will probably eat half to three-quarters of one bento and that'll be it. I make bento for my partner almost every day.
My daughter is 22 months and on GAPS diet (no grains, sugar, etc). Does daycare mind warming up food for her? I give my daughter homemade chicken sausage, tuna salad (Wild Planet minimal mercury), other types of meat like chicken, salmon, steak sliced really thin, etc. Then I always give her veggies (mushroom & onions, zucchini, green beans, and so on are favorites). Sometimes I give her chicken and guacamole (she loves dipping chicken in guac) plus pea pods & carrot sticks (which she also dips in guac). Almost everyday she gets a cheesestick, which she sometimes eats and sometimes not. Lots of blueberries.
One thing I love is making her homemade lamb meatballs. She loves them. Lamb, onions, parsley, spices, egg, and a bit of almond flour to bind it all together. Roll them and bake them until done. Freeze them and that is super easy to just take out the night before and throw them in the lunch. I do the same thing with the romanian sausages that my husband's family makes. I freeze them and just take one out and put it in her lunch.
Mini frittatas made in muffin cups are great because you can put anything in them. I second the idea of bento boxes - there are lots of websites, forums and livejournal communities dedicated to bento lunches, where people will post pictures and how-to's all the time. You'll get endless ideas from those.
Also - I bring my lunch to work everyday (some bento, some standard lunchbox) and I have found VERY FEW things that don't taste just fine at room temp. I will often experiment with foods to see what else will survive sitting through the morning. The latest success story was summer squash fritters. Delicious the next day!
Thanks for the suggestions! The school will warm his foods for him if needed so that gives me plenty of hot/cold options for lunch. I never thought I'd be glad he had a food allergy but after I read the ingredients on the food they were planning to serve (they gave me the labels on all the food ingredients so I could mark which he could have), I'm SO glad that I have a legitimate excuse for him not to eat that crap. This is a GOOD daycare but most of the stuff had HFCS, sugar, soy and all sorts of other crap in it. I found some good suggestions by looking more into the Bento idea online.
We are trying to come up with ideas for our grade-school kids as well - and there is no way for them to heat anything up, so we either have to send in food that can be eaten cold, or in a thermos to keep it warm. What we've decide on (but not yet purchased) are a bento box and a 10oz thermos for each child. I'm trying to put together a set of menus so it's easy on busy days to put things together.
The nice thing about eating primally is that I don't feel obligated to send 3-4 food items in every day for lunch! Especially once it cools off outside, there will be lots of options for crock-pot stews that can be made in the morning, dinner that night, and lunches the next day...
I bought a bento-style Laptop Lunches lunchbox this year - my 3-year-old just started preschool this month. LOVE the bento style box so far. I'm photographing her lunchbox contents every day and posting the photo and a list of the contents on my blog - hopefully to give others ideas in their quests to pack healthy lunches, too. Feel free to check it out.
I am always surfing MDA and other primal / paleo blogs for inspiration on fixing her grain-free lunches. It can get challenging for sure! Hang in there and good luck packing lunch for your lil' one.
love, Love, LOVE your blog!!
I wish you would pack my lunches. I would love to see what one of your weekly shopping lists looks like if you ever get the chance.