School Lunches & Tips

Posted on Posted in Kids, Lunches, Snacks

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This week I’d like to share with you some tips on food, kids and what we pack our 3.5 year old for school lunches.

My husband and I work full-time, so our kids are in day care 5 days a week.  That means we need 5 lunches and 5 snacks we feel comfortable sending our son to school with (baby is easy, she is still on 100% bmilk).

It really doesn’t take much effort or thought for us any more, but if you are new to this real food thing, it can be a tad anxiety ridden thinking about what to pack your kid besides PB&J and Dorritos.

Let me start by explaining a bit about how we approach lunches and food in general for our little dude. (if you’re just looking for lunch ideas, scroll down, I don’t want to bore you)

Our son is at a stage where he can, and will, put up an argument about anything and everything from who gets to flush the toilet (we’ve had big time melt downs over this, no joke), close doors, and put on shoes. When it comes to food, he is no less opinionated. If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about. We’ve struggled as parents about how to handle these moments, especially the food melt downs, because we don’t want him to develop any resentment about eating healthy, whole foods. That would be no Bueno!

Here are a few tips we have found work, for the most part…

Only buy food we are OK with him eating every day. That includes snacks!

Teachable Moments.

Teach him about what kind of food fills his belly up and satisfies his appetite so he is not hungry again in a half hour. We teach him things like “cookies taste good, but they’re not good for you” and healthy snacks are ones that include a healthy fat (nuts, seeds, olives, butter, full fat coconut milk, etc.), and protein (beef jerky, leftover meat or egg muffins), NOT SUGAR. And by sugar I mean fruit (unless it is smothered in a nut butter), cookies (unless they’re Paleo with a healthy serving of coconut oil or butter and natural sugars like dates or maple syrup), and chips or otherwise packaged junk food with industrial seed oils.

Agree on Acceptable Foods to Swap.

We teach him that lunch should have at least three things: protein, vegetables and healthy fat so it is satiating. As long as there are those three things he can help decide what makes up those three compartments in his lunch box.

Compromise but Don’t Stress About It.

Compromise on some “non-primal” foods at your discretion. This is my least favorite, but for now it is working. Example: packing a gluten-free pizza for Friday lunches because it is pizza day in his classroom and all the other kids will have pizza. Pizza is, of course, one of his favorite foods and I don’t want him feeling shitty every Friday when all his friends have some and he doesn’t.  I am thinking of eventually making a cauliflower crust pizza instead, but the thought of doing that every week sort of stresses me out, so I compromise, for him, and for us.

Perfectionism is for losers.

Don’t fret about being perfect every day. As long as most of the time he is eating whole foods and very little processed foods, we’re happy.

Variety is Key, but it doesn’t have to be every day.

Having the same snack every day for a week is OK, kids like routine and knowing what to expect after all, but we change it up every week to add variety.

There is probably some cool thing we do that I’m forgetting, but maybe I’ll save that for a more comprehensive post later on that topic alone.

For now, check out one week of lunches and snacks:

MONDAY

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Lunch: 50/50 Bacon Burger, Raw Cheddar Cheese, Broccoli.
Snacks: Raisins and a Caveman Cookie

TUESDAY
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Lunch: Applegate Smoked Ham, Full Fat Cheddar, Cucumber Slices.
Snacks: Raisins and a Caveman Cookie

WEDNESDAY

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Lunch: Wednesday is chicken nugget day at school – they bring in Chic -Fil-A. Instead, we make a batch of Paleo chicken nuggets and freeze them for these days. So it’s Paleo Chicken Nuggets, Baby Carrots and Ketchup.
Snacks: Lara Bar, Caveman Cookie

THURSDAY

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Lunch: Bison Burger, Raw Cheddar, Peas.
Snacks: Lara Bar, Caveman Cookie

FRIDAY

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Lunch: Gluten Free Pizza, Cucumber Slices
Snacks: Epic Bison Bar, Caveman Cookie

And now for some photo bombs…

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