My online friend Jill has been sharing the cutest lunches for the last year and half. She lives in Canada which limits our chances of meeting in person. And that fact just bums me out because I was hoping to learn from her in person how to recreate all of her adorable ideas for our children. Jill has been asked by 1,000s of her readers to help them, and she graciously shared several how to posts. Which led to me spending a day going through them and ordering everything I needed before the school year began. To say I was excited to begin making lunches for the kids each day is a gross understatement. I have enjoyed every single one and after seven weeks I’m not bored of it at all! That has surprised everyone around here – especially me!
I’m loving the task of creating and making nutritious and delicious lunches for the kids to take to school each day. They are NOT allowed in the kitchen after dinner while I’m busy preparing their lunch boxes, because it is my act of love for them and I want it to always be a surprise each day when they sit down to eat. They are fine with that because who wouldn’t love opening a lunch box to find beautiful and delicious lunches ready for them to enjoy.
I’m writing this next paragraph because so many of have commented on my instagram posts that your children would never eat what I make and you have never tried half of it either.
Our children eat whatever I make and they don’t care that other children are sitting next to them eating junk food. They have been taught to feel empathy for kids who don’t know about eating healthy and run on zero fuel all day. They don’t have a choice what they eat because they are not old enough or wise enough to know what is good for them. That is my job as their mom. I have done the research and know what is best for their growing bodies. It is sad to see that with all the knowledge and information out on the internet showing how fast children are becoming diabetic and getting diseases only adults had – that people still fill their children up on junk food all day and expect them to behave and do well in school. This is a HOT button for me and you can expect to see several posts touching on this as time goes on.
Now back to my how to create and make healthy lunches!
First, I had to find the right kind of containers that were NOT full of toxins and would help me keep the foods separate.
I found these and love both:
(please do NOT judge the photo quality in this post – all shots were taken with my sad phone camera and then uploaded onto instagram)
I also have these in white and blue – they are great for smaller lunches or snacks. None of the containers we use leak! HUGE bonus since the foods I make the kids and I don’t want mixing
I ordered silicone cupcake molds to put inside the boxes and stainless steel cookie cutters to make neat shapes with the fruit and veggies I give them each day. It is a HUGE HIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have the ones below and heart shapes too.
I don’t know about all of you but finding an ice pack that actually lasts until lunch time was no easy task. The blue bricks become slimy and gross to the touch. The cute little animal blocks don’t last more than two hours. So when I found these I was THRILLED! I can’t sing their praises enough! They are by far the most amazing ice packs for lunch boxes!!!! They are still partially frozen when the kids unpack their bags at 4pm each day!
Our family is GF = Gluten Free and DF = Dairy Free so all of my lunches and any recipe I share on here will be made to accommodate our health choices. I buy fresh organic produce and products locally. When they are not available fresh I buy them frozen. We eat only organic animal protein that is grass feed and without any antibiotics, etc. We also do not eat anything GMO. I will share links to help you learn more about what that means in the coming weeks.
As you will see being creative and offering nutritious lunches does NOT have to be hard or take a ton of time. I make 7 lunches every single day and with prep, packing, and clean up I’m done in 30-45 minutes.
In future posts I will be sharing our favorite products that I use in their lunches and most of our meals.
Left: Watermelon slices, cherry tomatoes, chicken salad, and GF crackers. Right: Chick pea salad, grapes and banana slices.
Left you will see my FAVORITE kitchen tool – this thing saves me a ton of time chopping. It has two blades to choose from – large or small cubes. For carrots I use the larger size. I used the flower cutter for the pears, chopper for the carrots, chicken salad, and GF crackers.
Left: Tuna salad, sweet pea sprouts, blueberries, and apple slices. I have been asked how do I keep my apples from turning brown? I use a lemon juice cold water wash and they are perfect! I found a juice at the store that I love too with Echinacea in it and ginger – that I use sometimes too for the extra health benefits. The kids love it! Right: sun-dried tomato chick pea salad, stuffed grape leaves, flower cucumbers, and red seedless grapes.
Left: quinoa salad, black plum slices, green grapes, and kale chips. (I buy them and will share the brand in a post coming soon). Right: lentil salad, yellow pepper slices, guacamole, and cloud cucumber slices.
Left: Raw broccoli, stuffed grape leaves, cloud cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and organic fruit snack. Right: Raw broccoli, hard boiled eggs, daiya cheese slices, kale chips, and fresh berries.
OK, I think this post will help many of you get started and others will now be inspired to branch out of the same old sandwich every day. Oh I have the cutest cutters for sandwiches too. I’ll share those soon. I promise!
Please feel free to pin this post and share with your friends and family. All I ask is that you respect me and my work and don’t copy or print my photos.
Wishing you all a blessed and beautiful day!