Who says Paleo lunches have to be boring?
After combing through all the Paleo meal ideas on my blog (and in my cookbook and app), are you still stumped about what to pack your kiddos (or yourself) for your mid-day meal? If so, don’t despair! Review this summary—devoted entirely to packed lunches.
Before I dive into the links, I have a few final reminders:
- Some eaters—big or small—enjoy variety, while others like the same thing every day. But no matter what, make sure to pack real, nourishing foods: some protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and fruit. When I’m prepping lunches for the kiddos, I try to remember the Golden Rule of Lunches: Don’t pack anything in the kids’ lunchboxes that I wouldn’t happily eat myself.
- At the same time, don’t be paralyzed by high-falutin’ notions of crafting a perfectly precious bento. Each year, Jackie Linder (my friend and creator of LunchBots) and I spend an entire afternoon preparing these boxes to look as tempting as possible—our aim is to inspire readers to make awesome lunches!—but let’s get real: our kids’ lunchboxes aren’t nearly so photogenic in real life. When I’m rushing to get the kids out the door in the morning, garnishes and visual flourishes are the last thing on my mind. (Here’s an example of what Big-O typically brings to school.)
- Lastly: Get your kids involved in picking foods and packing their own lunches! If they have a say in selecting items from your real-food pantry, their food is more likely to end up in their bellies rather than the garbage can or trade box.
Okay—to review, here are the lunches from this year’s series (click on each image to read more):
Meat ’n Potatoes: Roast Beef Roll-Ups, Bacon-y Potato Salad, Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumbers with Pesto Mayo, and Cinnamon Swirl Chocolate Banana Bread
I know—you want more, right? Then take a gander at my lunch series from 2014:
Not enough to satisfy your appetite? Then don’t forget to read up on my lunch series from 2013:
Every time I run a series on lunches, I get a bunch of questions from readers, many of them centering on: (1) how to keep hot foods hot, (2) how to keep cold foods cold, and (3) how to feed adults (and bigger kids) whose appetites exceed the portion sizes pictured in our photos. Our answers:
- Use an insulated food container like a LunchBots Thermal to keep hot foods hot!
- Toss an ice pack or two into your lunch bag to keep cold food cold! Alternatively, you can buy a PackIt freezable lunch bag which has coolant sewn inside the bag! Get one here.
- Satiate bigger appetites by packing more food!
Remember: these meal ideas are simply meant to get your creative juices flowing—not to strictly mandate what your lunch needs to look like. So start dreaming up your own uniquely tasty lunchboxes!
What? You want more? Okay—let’s jump into our handy-dandy time machine and visit the series of Paleo lunches I made with LunchBots way back in 2012!
Wait…you want even more ideas? Man, you sure are needy. (I’m kidding. Don’t be so sensitive.)
Check out these crazy-delicious ideas for Paleo-friendly packed lunches:
- School Lunch Ideas by Everyday Paleo
- Paleo Kids Lunch Box Ideas (Nut Free) by Eat Drink Paleo
- A Month of Real Food School Lunches by Primal Bliss
- Back-to-School Lunch Ideas (and Quick Chocolate Pudding!) by Deliciously Organic. (And here’s another awesome Back-to-School Lunch Ideas by Deliciously Organic, too!)
- Packing a Paleo Lunch is Easier Than You Think by Paleo Parents. (Don’t forget to also check out Paleo Parents’ post on Healthy Lunchbox Alternatives!)
- 10 Super-Efficient Steps to Hacking Paleo School Lunches by Paleo Non Paleo
- Kids’ Paleo Lunches by Our Paleo Life
- Getting Ready for School Lunches by The Paleo Mom
- 79 Paleo Children’s Lunch Ideas by The Paleo Network
- Did you know there’s an entire blog dedicated to Paleo packed lunches? It hasn’t been updated in a while, but go check out My Paleo Lunch Boxes.
And last but not least: Zenbelly’s Paleo-friendly recipe for Plaintain Tortillas. Check out this recipe by Urban Poser and this one by Fork and Beans for cassava flour tortillas. Because TORTILLAS.
Make sure you bookmark this page because I’ll be updating it every year!
Okay, I’m all tapped out. Happy lunching!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)