Thinking of creative and healthy lunch ideas for you child can be time consuming and monotonous! Take a break this week and let me help you out with some ideas?‼️ Keep reading for recipes and pictures!
Monday: Pepperoni Pizza “Lunchable” with Red Peppers and Applesauce
Tuesday: Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups, Honey N’ Pumpkin Spelt Muffin, Carrots and Berries
Wednesday: Peanut Butter and Jelly “Uncrustable” with Baby Cheese, Peas and Grapes
Thursday: Turkey and Cheese “Lunchable” with Cucumbers and Peaches
Friday: Homemade Spaghettis with Yogurt and Orange Slices
Honey N’ Pumpkin Spelt Muffins: From Simply Sissom (Click on link for recipe)
- Whip up the honey n’ pumpkin spelt muffins on Sunday afternoon, set one aside for each child’s lunch, and serve the rest as a quick grab and go breakfast option!
- Double the recipe if you want to get ahead. These muffins will keep in the freezer for months!
- These muffins are made from all natural ingredients and don’t keep very long when kept at room temperature. Make sure to refrigerate or freeze. (FACT: I sent Cooper to school with a rancid pumpkin muffin!).
Homemade Spaghettios: From Simply Sissom (Recipe Below)
- These take just a bit of time to make (10 minutes hands on ; 15 minutes cook-time) so I like to make them the night or even day before I need them.
- The Spaghettios are easy to make and secretly loaded with vegetables! I double the recipe and freeze individual portions in mason jars so that 1 cooking session creates multiple school lunches. Don’t want to mess with freezing? Serve it to the kiddos for dinner.
Monday: Pepperoni Pizza “Lunchable” with Applesauce and Red Peppers:
- I use ONEBUN pre-sliced multi-grain sliders for the “crust.” They are free of artificial preservatives, whole grain, and non-GMO verified. I purchase them at Whole Foods.
- The pepperoni is from Wellshire and purchased at Whole Foods. It is raised without hormones or antibiotics, free from nitrates and nitrites, and is minimally processed. Pepperoni is obviously not a “real food.” This is the healthiest version I could find. You could definitely do a BBQ chicken pizza version of this “Lunchable” if you want to avoid the pepperoni. Just sub out the pepperoni for chicken and use a clean bbq sauce in place of the marinara sauce.
- Pre-shredded cheese contains some funky ingredients that keep it from sticking together. I use a food processor to grate LOTS of cheese at the same time with minimal effort. You could use a cheese grater as well. Make sure to buy an organic white cheese made from whole milk!
- I used Rao’s Organic Marinara Sauce. It is made from whole-food ingredients and tastes delicious! You could make your own, but why?
- For applesauce I make sure to buy a plain apple variation. If your child prefers cinnamon or strawberry flavor, add it yourself. This gives you control of the quality and quantity of ingredients used (aka.. sugar).
Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups with Strawberries, Pumpkin Muffin, and Carrots:
- I used Applegate Organic Turkey. This is available at most grocery stores. Make sure to look for organic, not natural. This turkey can be a little difficult to work with. It sticks together since it doesn’t have preservatives. You can tell from the photo that my turkey rolls are a little crumbly ?. Be patient! Each rolle has 1 piece cheese and 2 slices of turkey.
- I had the cheese cut into slices at the deli in order to avoid funky ingredients that can be found in cheese that is pre-sliced. I asked them to slice it thin so that it would roll easily. Look for a white cheese that is organic and made from whole milk.
- I made the pumpkin muffin sans Pumpkin Seeds so that they were a little more kid friendly?.
- Organic Strawberries are expensive and hard to find right now since they are no longer in season. I like to buy frozen. If you place them frozen in the lunch box in the AM they will be perfectly thawed by your child’s lunch time.
- I found rainbow colored mini carrots at Whole Foods. Cooper says they taste better… lol. It’s worth a shot!
- The lunchbox that is pictured is called “Yum Box.” It was a little bit on the pricy side, but it is REALLY great to work with. It contains a meat, dairy, vegetable, fruit, grain, and dessert section that are perfectly portioned. It has been really educational for Cooper to learn what foods fit into each category. This is far and away his favorite way for me to pack his lunch (although this could be because there is a space for dessert… a little dark chocolate).
Homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly “Uncrustable” with Peas, Grapes, and Cheese:
- Make your own “uncrushable sandwiches is simple.” You do need a sandwich press/mold. I bought mine from pampered chef. I like to make lots of these at the same time and freeze them. If you place them into your child’s lunchbox frozen in the AM they will be completely thawed by lunch. If your classroom or school is peanut free, try a sunflower seed butter or make a ham and cheese variation.
- You will notice in the pic that the peas are frozen.. they will be ready to eat by lunch!
Turkey and Cheese “Lunchable” with Peaches and Cucumbers:
- I used the same mini bread that I used for the pizza “Lunchable”. You could use a whole food cracker instead, but Cooper does not like the taste. Mary’s Crackers or Triscuits are both great options.
- Frozen Organic Peaches are cheaper and easier than finding fresh this time of year. Place them in the lunchbox frozen and they will be good to go by the time you child eats his/her lunch.
- I sliced a few slices of the block of cheese that I used for the pizza prior to putting it through the food processor. It is organic white cheddar made from whole milk.
- The turkey is Applegate Organic Turkey that I had them slice thick in the deli. 1 lb. will make about 4 lunches. I used a circular cookie cutter to shape the meat so that it looked like the real deal. Don’t worry… I didn’t waste the scraps, the baby loved them!
Homemade Spaghettios with Yogurt and Oranges:
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1-2 TBS of honey (to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whole Wheat Pasta – If you can find “O’s” go for it!!! – because veggies vary in size I can’t give you an exact amount of pasta to make. I cooked about 1 1/2 cups of dry pasta.
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Chop veggies into equal sized pieces (about 1/2 inch)
- Add veggies to pot and allow them to boil until soft (almost mushy), about 15 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove veggies from boiling water and place them into a blender with 1/4 cup of chicken stock(I used my Blend-Tec) Blend until smooth… if you kiddo is like mine you better makes sure there are no chunks!
- Because all veggies are different sizes there is no way to give you exact amounts for seasoning. I used about 1/2 tsp of salt, sprinkle of pepper and 1 1/2 TBS of honey for sweetness! You really just need to taste and adjust.
- Mix sauce with cooked pasta and mix well. Enjoy!
- Calling these “Spaghettios” is probably not a great name. I could not find “O” shaped whole wheat pasta. Instead I used 100% whole wheat rotini and cut each piece into thirds (Coop’s choice), you could use whatever you have on hand.
- Yogurt should be organic, plain, and made from whole milk. I like StonyField. Yogurts that are flavored contain non-essential ingredients and a lot of sugar. By flavoring your own you are able to control the ingredients and the amount of sugar. I like to sweeten with a little bit of honey and top with granola (if you have any) or fresh berries or oats.
- The meatballs are not necessary. I had some Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs left over from dinner so I decided to stick them in. I wouldn’t make a whole batch of meatballs just for a lunch (unless you just want to freeze some to have on hand). The yogurt, veggies and pasta combined have plenty of protein for a healthy lunch!
- In order to keep the spaghettios warm, heat them in the morning and place them in a thermos. Your chid can dump them into the “bowl” section of the lunchbox or eat them straight from the thermos! They may not be piping hot, but Cooper assures me they are more than edible!
- Looking for more healthy whole-food recipes? Check out Simply Sissom on Pinterest. If you like it, follow! New pins are added daily from my favorite bloggers from around the web!
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More Lunch Box Inspiration:
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