This post is sponsored through my partnership with Bitsy’s Brainfood.
The smell of sharpened pencils, textbooks, and notebook paper is in the air. Back to school season has officially arrived! While I admit that there are days where I’m SO thankful for the hot lunch option, for the most part, I enjoy putting together Liv’s little meals to take to school with her. (She goes for a few half days each week.) My favorite time to pack her lunch is when we’re cleaning up the kitchen from the previous night’s dinner. I mix and match from some favorites, and pack it up so it’s ready to grab and go in the morning. I try to do whatever I can at night to streamline our morning routine. I thought I’d share some of her faves if you’re looking for lunch box inspiration this school year!
Please keep in mind that I’m not a Registered Dietitian. Just wanted to share some of the ideas and combos that have worked in our family, and have also encouraged Liv to eat the rainbow.
Bento box or small containers
Cookie cutters or sandwich shapes (optional)
THE MAIN COURSE
1) Sandwich it up!
Turkey and cheese with a little mayo and mustard
Peanut butter (sunflower seed butter may be a good option if your school is nut-free. Trader Joe’s has an awesome one.), banana and cinnamon
*Sandwich tip: switch it up by cutting the sandwich into a shape -we have a heart sandwich cutter that Liv loves- or rolling it into a wrap before slicing
Almond butter (or sunflower seed butter) and jelly
BLT with turkey bacon and avocado
2) Pizza. I’ll pack leftover pizza from dinner, or make her an English muffin pizza with marinara, cheese, and olives.
3) Pasta. She loves gnocchi (from Trader Joe’s) with Alfredo sauce, and Annie’s mac n’ cheese bunnies. If you pack the pasta in a thermos, it will stay warm until lunchtime.
4) Deli meat roll-ups. Take your favorite deli meat, add some cheese or fillings, and roll up.
5) Little meat and cracker stacks. These are like build-your-own Lunchables. I’ll grab some crackers (Trader Joe’s has pita crackers that she loves), top with a slice of cheese and some turkey.
6) Breakfast for lunch: French toast sticks and banana-egg pancakes do extremely well. I’ll leave them dry and pack a small container with syrup for dipping.
7) Quesadillas or bean burritos.
FRUIT AND VEG:
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but here are some faves!
8) Bananas. Sometimes I’ll slice lengthwise and add almond butter (or sunflower seed butter) and sprinkle with cinnamon
10) Apple slices: add a little lemon juice so they don’t brown.
11) Tropical fruits or melon they enjoy
12) Whole or stone fruit, sliced and top with lemon juice
13) Crudites and dip
14) Sweet potato or butternut squash wedges
16) Soup. This will stay warm in a thermos.
*Veggie tip: cut the veggies or fruit using small cookie cutters. I have these ones from Pampered Chef and they’re the perfect size for little hands. Liv won’t touch plain chopped zucchini, but if it’s roasted or cut into a star, she’ll devour it.
19) A little string cheese or Babybel cheese
20) Olives (Liv adores these)
21) Trail mix (again, be sure check with the school’s nut policy. All of Liv’s preschools so far have allowed nuts.)
22) Energy bites (for nut-free, use seeds and sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter)
23) Pretzels or crackers
24) A chocolate kiss
25) Gummies or fruit snacks
26) Homemade granola bars
27) Bitsy’s Brainfood cookies or cereal. These are an amazing option, especially if your school is nut-free. Their cookies are free of nuts and also produced in a nut-free facility. Livi especially loves the Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin cookies, and the letter shapes make it a fun way to infuse learning into lunchtime. She really enjoys picking out the letters she knows, and we’ll spell out simple words together. You can find Bitsy’s at Target (here is the store locator) in the cookie aisle. It’s exciting to have this healthy option available, which encourage and empowers kids to choose foods that taste good while providing a nutrient boost.
Bitsy’s Brainfood kindly offered a giveaway for 20 (!) lucky readers to try out their amazing products.
Simply enter via the widget below:
The winners will be chosen and contacted on September 3.
This post is sponsored by Bitsy’s Brainfood. Thank you so much for supporting this blog and the companies who help to support our family.