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Paleo Lunchbox Roundup

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Who says Paleo lunchboxes have to be boring?

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After combing through all the Paleo meal ideas on my blog (and in my cookbook and iPad 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.

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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):

Hot-Dog-As-The-Buns with Roasted Peppers and Sauerkraut, Vegetables, and Mixed Berries:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Spicy Tuna Cakes with Crudités and Flavored Paleo Mayonnaise:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Zucchini & Smoked Salmon Pinwheels with Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus and Roasted Beets:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cracklin’ Chicken, Heirloom Carrots, Tomato & Basil Salad, and Macaroons:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Egg Foo Young, Garbage Soup, and Fruit Salad:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Salad with Seared Prosciutto-Wrapped Peaches:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Crab Salad Stuffed Tomatoes and Lazy Devils:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Bonus: Snacks!

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Not enough to satisfy your appetite? Then don’t forget to read up on my lunch series from 2013:

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

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Asian Meatballs with Bell Peppers & Blanched Broccoli:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Peachy Pork Lettuce Wraps and Cherry Tomatoes:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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:

  • 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!

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 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 way back in 2012!

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

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Zoodles & Meatballs with Pineapple and Strawberry Kabobs:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Roast Beef Roll-Ups and Mixed Berries:

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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

Paleo Lunchbox Roundup 2014 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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:

  • Matt and Stacy of Paleo Parents have released a fabulous e-book, Paleo to Go, that takes the guesswork out of packing healthy meals and snacks. These lunchbox-packing gurus tackle plenty of tough subjects in this helpful book, including allergy avoidance and assembling complete meals in three easy steps. Interested? Click here to buy Paleo to Go!
  • 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!}

Steph McCormack from Stupid Easy Paleo has a fantastic tortilla recipe, too—go take a look-see!

Okay, I’m all tapped out. But please give me some feedback about what you’d like to see in future Paleo Lunchboxes in the comments section, and tell me all about the new and creative lunch ideas you’ve dreamed up!


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).