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Forky Friday: Paleo Lunchbox Round-Up 2013

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Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Who says Paleo lunchboxes have to be boring?

Forky Friday: Paleo Lunchbox Round-Up 2013 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After reading through the week of Paleo lunch ideas that I presented with LunchBots, are you still stumped about what to pack your kiddos (or yourself) for your mid-day meal? If so, don’t despair! Today’s Forky Friday is 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. Jackie Linder (my friend and creator of LunchBots) and I spent an entire afternoon preparing these boxes to look as tempting as possible—our aim was to inspire readers to make awesome lunches!—but let’s get real: our kids’ lunchboxes aren’t quite 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 actually 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 week’s series (click on each image to read more):

Sausage Patties, Apple Sun-wich, Veggie Skewers, and Paleo Ranch Dressing:

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Egg & Prosciutto Roll-Ups, Mini Cinnamon Apple Scone, and Mixed Fruit Salad:

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My Sister’s Green Chicken, Crudités, and Roasted Rosemary Almonds:

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Asian Meatballs with Bell Peppers & Blanched Broccoli:

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Peachy Pork Lettuce Wraps and Cherry Tomatoes:

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We received a bunch of questions this week, 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:

  • Toss an ice pack or two into your lunch bag to keep cold food cold!
  • 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!

Forky Friday: Paleo Lunchbox Round-Up 2013 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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 last year!

 Prosciutto-Wrapped Frittata Muffins & Apple Slices with Nut Butter:

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Simple Chicken Salad, Blanched Carrots and Broccoli, Paleo Trail Mix, and Flavored Mayonnaise:

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Zoodles & Meatballs with Pineapple and Strawberry Kabobs:

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Roast Beef Roll-Ups and Mixed Berries:

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Hard-Boiled Eggs, Chicken Apple Sausages, Cherry Tomatoes, and Grapes:

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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:

  • 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. Because TORTILLAS.

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{Photo by Zenbelly!}

[UPDATED: What timing! Steph McCormack from Stupid Easy Paleo just posted a tortilla recipe, too—go take a look-see!]

Okay, I’m all tapped out. But please give me some feedback about this week’s series in the comments section, and tell me all about the new and creative lunch ideas you’ve dreamed up!

(And stay tuned—I may have something nice for you this weekend!)


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).