Healthy Real Food Lunch Box Ideas

Life can get busy! Yet it is so important to find healthy fast food to prepare…especially for the developing and growing child. This article is intended to help you pack a healthful lunchbox or cooler anytime your family travels, including going to school.

Healthy “on-the-go” Real Food, Lunch Box Ideas

Healthy on-the-go

Today we are faced with a challenge…packing a lunch that inspires our child to eat nutrients. Unfortunately, approximately 1 in 2 children have a chronic illness. And we foster children who HATE real food and are all sick of something. [Read our article at this amazing site!]

Their bodies are accustom to processed, fast food. It takes perseverance and patience. If we can do it, I am confident that you can too! Today school lunch boxes are filled with fast foods that contain vitamins which are NOT very absorbable nutrients because of the processed/synthetic material. According to my friends who are teachers, the typical lunch box, you might find: pop tarts, a sandwich, soda, and other processed “food-like” products. And in the classroom there are compartments for all the children who need epi-pens, benadryl, and prescription medications of all sorts. Yes, I absolutely put these two facts together! Here’s Dr. Mercola’s agreement article!

Food is fuel. So let’s make the best fuel possible to grow our children healthy. It just takes some creativity and experimentation. I’ll help you get started today.

So what in the world are we to do?!

We fight. We fight with love to keep and achieve the health of our children. The cute little packaging and sugar foods make the processed foods inviting! But beware! With a simple glance at the ingredients, it is painfully clear that these pre-packaged foods are not nourishing. Too many times, I’ve seen a child improve rapidly just by dropping the “foods” with sugar, bread, additives, chemicals and colorings. As Sally Fallon, of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats says:

“Long Shelf Life means Short Human Life!”

Since I have the privilege of being a Foster Family, we really had to learn creativity. We also see the tremendous difference REAL food and love make. Please believe me when I say you give the greatest benefit to a child when you fill his/her belly with nutrients to sustain the body. Even if they eat very little. They will grow into it.

There are influencing factors such as environment, sleep, exercise, but the most important and effective way to give health to a child is through Fostering Nutrition {I couldn’t resist!} and love.

Our food and the source of our food is truly significant. When the gut health of a child is compromised, there are many chronic illnesses that can present themselves. Read my article and series for more informative data on the importance of diet. Here are a few chronic illnesses we have lived with and improved:

Eczema, cancer, tummy aches, childhood depression, diabetes Type 2, constipation, ASD, ADD/ADHD, etc…Folks this is NOT normal.

A Successful Plan to Emotionally Change

For every child we work with, raise and love, we respect their ability to understand. No matter the age. This is the discussion we had when fighting cancer but we share this now in order to help others make the change:

Mom: I love you. [pause]

Mom: You are angry and mad. There are times to have these emotions, but God made you able to handle it better. [pause]

Mom: I need you to be strong and brave, can you try for me?

Child: Yes, maybe.

Mom: You may not like the food, but I want you to understand that we are making a change. We are going to eliminate foods that harm you…like processed bread and sugar. No more cheetos. You must be strong, OK?

Child: But I want bread and cheetos. Do I have to stop eating it?

Mom: Well, it will be gradual because its a big change. We need to remove processed breads from our diets to help you be amazing! We love you very much and feel that you should be given the very best opportunities to succeed and this is a huge way to do that!

Child: O.K.

Mom: You keep eating and tell me what you like, and my job will be to make the food tasty and fun! Deal:?!

Child: O.K.

Make it yours, but this is the start we find critical for “getting on board”.

Veggies with hummus

“Keep it Real” Food Lunch Box Ideas

So here’s a smorsaborg to help you turn around the health of your child AND hopefully give you inspiration to make lunch affordable, healthy, yummy, and fun!

I’m putting it together in 4 food groups.  Simply pick from each group and put together a fun and healthy meal. Let the child(ten) help with ideas. Involvement always helps our children get more excited to eat.

For budgeting, it’s a lot cheaper to find a local farmer, plus the vegetables are more fresh. Seek for the organic/non-sprayed and non-GMO! This is a great site to help you find farmers/markets around you.

Vegetables and Fruit (largest section of lunchbox!)

  • Apple slices (soak in water and a drop of food grade lemon oil or 1 Tbsp of lemon juice)
  • Carrots (sliced)
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Medjool dates
  • Red, Green, Yellow, Orange Bell Peppers (sliced or chopped)
  • Salad; lettuce leaves, boc choi leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Zucchini slices (non-GMO)
  • Roasted vegetables; carrots, beets, onions, green beans
  • Olives without chemicals! Like this

Grains

  • Choose organic, non-GMO crackers and chips We use these sometimes
  • We mostly use sliced fruit (apples, pears) and vegetables for this category
  • Pancakes (blend 1 zucchini, 1 egg, 1/2 cup nut butter, 1 tsp salt and skillet fry in coconut oil)

Dairy

  • Raw cheese slices are filling and delicious (good source of fat to rebuild cells and brain nourishment!)
  • Yogurt (topped with nuts and honey)

Protein

  • Hummus
  • Nuts, soaked and crispy [like this]
  • Grilled Chicken, turkey, steak – great leftovers, fish
  • With a thermos we like this, a great addition is seasoned bone broth
  • Boiled Eggs, sprinkle mineral salt and a bit of pepper while warm and moist

The concept is a buffet! Every day you can mix and match a different combination for a spectrum of nutrients. Be sure to choose one out each of the 4 Food Group ingredients:

Wrap: Lettuce/ Bok Choi (shown in photos) we dip in hummus, it’s delicious!

Dips: Hummus,cheese, blended veggies with cheese and chips (crackers, sliced; carrots, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, etc…)

Filling Snacks: Nuts and dates

Chop: Salad, just put dressing in a separate container! [Here is a dressing we make with probiotics]

Have fun and inspire those kiddos to eat healthy and delicious!

Healthy Real Food lunch boxes

 

 

 

 

 

Mandy
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Mandy

Mandy is the force behind the advocacy portal Real Food Recovery. Since losing a 4 yr old to cancer while fostering to adopt, Mandy founded a nonprofit organization recovering children at-risk using fun and real food. As a Mom to birth, foster, and adopted children, author, Nutritional Therapist, & NRT, Mandy shares simple, affordable ways to recover health and to have fun, while supporting your doctor... Connect with Mandy through Twitter and Facebook.
Mandy
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4 thoughts on “Healthy Real Food Lunch Box Ideas

  1. This is a wonderful article to help parents pack nutritious lunches that are relatively easy to make! Thank you!

  2. I could spend all day here, just reading all of your ideas!!! We have to eat nut-free, and it is so HARD. I’m off to bed, but I will be back to read more!

    1. Thank you, April. Boys are fun aren’t they?! Goodness, no nuts is hard. We had one child that couldn’t have nuts and when we worked through that, I wrote a lot of articles on nuts…we were so thankful. Fortunately, there are a lot of options. Sunflower seed butter and tahini are tasty with raw honey, if you haven’t tried yet.

  3. i am a school counselor at the elementary level. I have students that have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and I would love to offer parents alternatives ways to help their child (rather than meds which is of course a parent’s decision). I feel nutrition may help address some of the issues naturally and without upsetting the delicate balance of a child’s chemistry which meds seem to do. Do you have any articles on how children with ADD/ADHD could be helped through healthy nutrition that I could refer parents to? Thank you for any suggestions or ideas!

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