School Lunch Ideas to Pack Your Kids

With the school year well underway this might be a good time to talk about packing lunches.

When it comes to packing school lunches, I follow a general guideline of main entrée, fruit, veggie, crunchy, sweet. I also pack foods I know my kids like and KEEP IT SIMPLE. I like to experiment with different foods at dinnertime, but for school lunch I keep things simple because (1) it’s easier on me, and (2) I want to be sure their bellies are full and aren’t feeling hungry throughout the day.

This is not the time to reinvent the wheel. I repeat a lot. I send frozen peas and fresh carrot sticks regularly. I tend to choose fruit depending on what’s in season (right now I’m packing apples every day) and/or what’s on sale. And let’s talk about shopping for a second. I’m one of those weirdos who actually enjoys grocery shopping. I absolutely love shopping at farmers markets throughout the summer, but when fall and winter roll around I rely heavily on Green Bean deliveries.

I’m a big believer in shopping local and I love that I can get all of my groceries from Green Bean. Many grocery retailers offer grocery pick-up, which is nice, but I have two kids in car seats and the last thing I want do when it’s freezing outside is take them to store. There’s the bundling up with coats/hats/boots process, plus the loading in car seats, plus the driving to store – even if I’ve ordered my groceries it’s still an ordeal to pick them up. This is why I love Green Bean so much. We don’t have to leave the coziness of our home and fresh, local, organic food is delivered to my door. Praise be!

Here are a few examples of typical school lunches I pack. I have italicized/bolded the products that I purchased from Green Bean.


Snack Plates

If you follow my Instagram account, you know I’m a big fan of the snack plate. My kids love it too. There’s just something about a plate full of nibbles.

 

Applegate salami// kalamata olives // Caprini Creamery feta // snap peas // Late July saltines // iced animal cracker


 

BBQ Pulled Pork

Since colder months are upon us, I really wanted the option of packing a “hot” lunch for my kids. I recently discovered the OmieBox and it’s great because the entree portion can be heated, therefore enabling me to pack warm meals. Yesterday I packed BBQ pulled pork leftover from dinner the night before. Recipe is below!

 

Seven Sons Pork Shoulder // apple slices // mini corn muffins (from my freezer) // rainbow carrot sticks // Hen & the Woods kettle chips

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

2.5-4 lb Seven Sons pork shoulder roast

2 cups LocalFolks Indiana Honey BBQ Sauce


Spice Rub:

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon white pepper

2 teaspoons oregano

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cups LocalFolks Indiana Honey BBQ Sauce

Directions:

1. This isn’t imperative, but if you rub the spices all over the pork shoulder, wrap in plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.  If you don’t have the time, then just rub the spices on the meat right before you heat in slow cooker.  It will still be great!

2. Place pork shoulder and 1/4 cup water in slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours.  

3. Shred and mix in the barbecue sauce.

 

PB&J Sandwiches

This last lunch is so simple and easy. This is my I’m-too-tired-to-pack-lunches-this-morning lunchbox. My kids love it so much they’d eat it every day of the week. I make up a big batch of PBJ sandwiches and freeze them on a cookie sheet for a few hours and then transfer to a Ziploc bag. All I have to do in the morning is grab a sandwich and frozen peas out of the freezer and stick them in lunchboxes. Easy peasy.

 

PBJ/ apple slices // carrot sticks // peas // Sunspire chocolate drops

 


Some other lunchbox favorites available at Green Bean are:

Hartzler’s string cheese

Good Culture cottage cheese

Snowville Creamery 6% Plain Yogurt (SO good!) my kids like it with a little jam or pumpkin butter mixed in.

F2K Energy Chunks – I pack these as a dessert.  the cocao-goji berry is our favorite.

F2K Yogurt covered pretzels or raisins

Organic Valley chocolate milk – I usually send water in thermos so chocolate milk cartons are a treat that my kids love.

Saffron Road baked lentil chips

Annie’s bunny crackers

Back to Nature crackers

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars – my kids go crazy over these and we always have them in the pantry. 

Hope Hummus – goes great with lentil chips

Justin’s nut butter packs

Pamela’s Gluten Free Grahams – we aren’t gluten free but these are my favorite grahams.

 


Hi, I am Libby Morrow.  I am continually in search of healthy food options for myself and my family.  If you are also seeking healthy meal inspiration, check out some of my favorite creations on Instagram at @libloves.