Watch this amazing talk on “How to Pack Healthy Lunches and Snacks” by Sophie Alexander and Cindy Davis from Nutritional Wellness Center in Ithaca, NY.
Healthy Lunch Ideas
What to pack for a Healthy Lunch that gets eaten!
- Include some sort of protein, veggie carb and a good healthy FAT.
- Leftovers that were liked from the previous night’s dinner is a good place to start. Here are some examples of healthy FATS:
- Raw Cheese
- Olive oil ~ dressings – We recommend Primal Kitchen, they are made with good oils and do not have sugar.
- Mayonnaise made with healthy oils, we recommend Primal Kitchen or Chosen Foods, both made with good oils.
- Organic Butter such as Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter
- Coconut Butter &/or Oil – make sure it is cold pressed and unrefined.
- Full Fat Canned Coconut Milk.
Instead of a traditional sandwich for lunch try these options:
- Deli meat “roll-ups” can be packed plain or rolled up with raw cheese, add condiments such as hummus or mustard for variety.
- “Pig Dogs” or Smoked Sausages (found at The Piggery).
- Avocado mixed with a hard-boiled egg and bacon: can also be used as a filler for a sandwich or wrap.
- Mason Jar Salads: Protein on the bottom with any sauce or dressing, then layer chopped veggies or toppings with lettuce and spinach on top. When ready to eat, shake jar to mix dressing and pour on plate.
Options for sandwiches and wraps:
- Laurie’s Bread toasted w/melted butter.
- Lettuce Wraps.
- Paleo Wraps (coconut meat).
- Siete Wraps, you can find them at Greenstar.
You can make your own grain-free bread (See recipe for Grain Free Sandwich Bread: https://againstallgrain.com/2012/05/21/grain-free-white-bread-paleo-and-scd/
Snack options to pack:
- Sliced cucumbers
- Sliced kohlrabi
- Celery with nut butter
- Sugar snap peas
- Seaweed Snax
- Bubbie’s Dill pickles
- Nuts & seeds (make your own trail mix)
- Siete Grain Free tortilla chips
- Jackson’s Honest sweet potato chips
You can also add in a little container of Ithaca hummus for dipping!!
- Raw Rev Glo Bars
- Lily’s or Coco Polo Chocolate Bar squares
- Collagen Peptides Cookie Dough bites (recipe below)
- Fruit Beef Gelatin Gummy Bites – they are amazing (recipe below)!!!
- Coconut Butter Energy Bars (recipe below)
- Nut Butter Brownie Bites (recipe below)
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Coconut butter makes a delicious snack and/or treat! It is high in fiber and a good source of healthy fat. It is a great way to fight cravings!
How to use it:
- Warm the coconut butter in its own jar by putting it in a saucepan on its side and pouring boiling water over it. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes and then pour it into a mixing bowl.
- Stir in any of the following:
Chopped pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds or tahini
Almond or other nut butter
Peppermint or orange oil
Spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger
- Taste as you go and figure out what you like! Mix it all thoroughly.
- Line a cookie tray with parchment paper and pour mixture onto it, spreading evenly.
- Place in the fridge or freezer until set. Once hardened separate it from the parchment paper and divide into pieces.
- Store in the fridge or freezer and enjoy!
- 1 jar of coconut butter
- ½ cup almond butter
- 3 Tbsp cacao powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 2 – 16 oz jars of nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew, etc.)
- 4 organic eggs
- ½ cup grade B maple syrup
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup organic butter
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 tsp vanilla
- Chopped nuts for topping
- Mix all ingredients together except nuts and spread in coconut greased 9×13 baking pan. Sprinkle nuts on top of batter.
- Bake @350 for 45-55 min.
- May also scoop into muffin cups and bake accordingly.
- 2 large heads Cauliflower (cut into bite size pieces, washed and dried)
- ¼ – ½ cup coconut oil drizzled over cauliflower
Season to taste with real salt, pepper, garlic, real salt seasoning. Roast in oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 min. Remove from oven and let cool.
- 3 – 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, grated
- 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 3-5 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1½ – 2 cups mayonnaise
Stir above ingredients into large bowl and add cooled cauliflower.
- Dill added to taste
- Can also add small chopped red onion
Here are more ideas
20 ways to pack a nutrient dense, healthy school lunch your child will actually eat:
- Keep it simple – You should be able to throw this together in five minutes or less – ideally in the morning so you can send hot or cold foods. Use leftovers when possible and make a few things on Sunday to have for the week such as a roast chicken or cut up carrots.
- Don’t experiment – Stick with foods you know your kid likes. Now’s not the time to try something new.
- Include lots of saturated fat – (This is essential for sustained energy and brainpower). Don’t be shy – butter, whole fat milk, yogurt (whole fat, unpasteurized) and cheese, bacon, avocado, nuts, etc. are your secret lunch weapons. Use liberally.
- Skip the pre-packaged junk – This should go without saying, but no bags of chips, packages of crackers or cookies, even if they’re “organic” and all natural. Instead of gummy snacks or sugary baked goods, send sliced fruit, blueberries, grapes or raisins everyday. One exception to packaged foods: Toss in a pack of dried seaweed (if your kid likes it) for a salty, crunchy, mineral-rich alternative to chips. Check that it’s made with olive or sesame oil, not canola or other newfangled fats. Another option is toasted Laurie’s bread (you can find it at Greenstar) with nut butter or honey.
- Stock up – Invest in a good thermos to keep foods hot or cold. Buy some good stainless steel lunch containers to keep foods separate and avoid the mess and waste of plastic bags. Make a list of the staples you need on hand for quick, last-minute lunches (at my house it’s the fixin’s for a peanut butter and raw honey sandwich on sprouted bread and carrots from our farmer).
- Make classic sandwiches (tuna fish, egg salad, meatloaf, roast chicken) with raw cheese, and layered with homemade mayo for a great addition of fat and nutrients. Use a sprouted grain or traditionally soured bread such as Laurie’s.
- PB&J improved – Organic nut butter on sprouted grain toast drizzled with raw honey (add a layer of butter for extra fat). Option: add sliced bananas, without the honey.
- Do the dip – Sliced carrots or veggies of choice with full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream mixed with soy sauce for dipping. You can use olive oil/vinegar.
- Skip the bread – Cubes of raw cheese with leftover roast chicken or other meat from dinner and some cucumber slices.
- Homemade “pizza” – Sprouted toast topped with butter, tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese from grass-fed cows, melt in a toaster oven or under the broiler.
- Snack as lunch – Guacamole with homemade tortilla chips (cut and fry sprouted grain tortillas in coconut oil, butter or pastured lard), slices of raw cheese on the side.
- Breakfast for lunch – Scrambled eggs with bacon cooked the night before or leftover from the weekend, warmed in the morning and sent in a thermos.
- Dinner as lunch – Warm up your kid’s favorite leftovers in the morning and pack in a thermos.
- Taco Tuesdays – Wrap leftover meat (shredded chicken, crumbled hamburger, or whatever you have) in a coconut wrap. Top with shredded cheese. Send a side of Greek yogurt, guacamole, and salsa for extra fat and extra fun.
- Roll-ups – Use organic free-range turkey slices to wrap up goat cheese or raw cheddar, avocado and a sliver of carrot.
- Healthy, fast “Mac ‘n cheese” – Heat leftover cauliflower with lots of butter. Top with some full fat yogurt or cream and a handful of shredded raw cheese. Add some frozen organic peas or other veggies you have on hand only if your kid likes them, and send in a thermos, throw in some chopped bacon or chunks of chicken.
- Smoothies – Mix frozen berries or other fruit with full-fat yogurt and a drizzle of raw honey. Blend and send in a thermos.
- Fruit and yogurt parfait – Full-fat Greek yogurt with sliced fruit, slivered almonds, and a drizzle of raw honey.
- Homemade banana or zucchini bread (you can substitute persimmons or whatever’s in season) made with wholesome pastured eggs, real butter or coconut oil, sprouted flour, and natural sugar.
We hope this is helpful!