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Real Food School Lunch Ideas

Real Food School Lunch Ideas

Maybe you’re tired of packing the same ol’ PB + J……

1) Because your kids are complaining about eating the same thing all the time.

2) It’s *most* likely not really healthy + you’re trying to pack your kids some nourishing foods. I get you, mama!

I understand! Kids get a limited time to eat + you are trying to do the best you can. Sometimes we just need a little motivation + inspiration. So, let me start with my must-haves…

  • I always pack a fruit. My go-to fruits are bananas, apples, grapes, alllllllll the berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, you get it….), pears, oranges, peaches (a real peach – not the syrup-y ones in a plastic container), and that’s pretty much it.
  • I always try and pack a veggie. Outside of the normal raw carrots, celery, sliced cucumber, etc. I like to use leftover cooked veggies. Like roasted broccoli, roasted Brussel sprouts, a little side salad (mixed romaine + spinach), green beans, snap peas, etc. Pretty much anything I had the night before – you’ll probably find in lunchbox the next day.
  • Proteins are a must have for my kiddo (and should be for every kiddo!). Our favorites are hard-boiled eggs, grass-fed hot dogs, lunch meat wraps (Applegate pepperoni + grass-fed cheese), leftover dinner (which can be meatloaf, chicken, meatballs, etc.) Yes, I will occasionally use a nut butter for protein, so almond butter + jelly on a slice of Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread (the cleanest GF bread you’ll find). These are pretty much my go-tos.
  • Sometimes, I’ll do a BIG yogurt parfait thing for my kiddo. Goat milk yogurt or an organic greek yogurt with a dash of applesauce, pomegranate seeds, chia seeds, and cacao nibs. We love using organic squeezable yogurts too!
  • Drinks – I just pack water. My kiddos are running around sweating throughout the day. They need the water. I’m not a juice person, which you can read here why. So, I use a glass container or stainless steel container for his water.
  • Feel free to pack some homemade trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.
  • We do Jackson’s Honest Chips (or any chip made in coconut oil or avocado oil) and the occasional Pirate Booty (not perfect, but it’s pretty dang addicting).

It doesn’t have to be complex or hard. Anything that is easy for them to grab and eat. A lot of people ask me – is it cold or hot? My kiddos aren’t picky with the temps of their food. If it’s leftovers or something cold, I’ll heat it up in the morning to at least take the chill out + they will eat it at room temp for lunch. No biggie.

Before I show you some past lunches I made, if you’re wondering the lunchbox we use – I blogged about that last week, so make sure you check it out!

Ready for some real action inspiration? Here you go!

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boat, Broccoli, Strawberries, Dark Chocolate Chips, Yogurt


Coconut Chips, Yogurt, Chicken On Romaine + Spinach Salad


Grapes, Carrots, Hummus, Scrambled Eggs, Annie’s Gummies

Pepperoni + Grass-fed Cheese Roll-Ups, Celery, Grapes, Plantain Chips

Blueberries, Rice, Grass-Fed Beef, Broccoli, Sweet Potato Chips, Hummus, Dried Cranberries


Ham Rolls (Organic Cream Cheese + Green Onions Inside), Celery, Sweet Potato Chips, Hummus

Organic Yogurt, Beef Stew, Grapes, Enjoy Life Chocolate Chip, GF Cheese Puff

Sweet Potato Chips, Grapes, Almond Flour Breaded Chicken Nuggets

BBQ Shredded Chicken, Grapes, Carrots, Yogurt

Hard Boiled Eggs, Coconut Chips, Goji Berries, Strawberries, Carrots

Egg Salad, Carrots, Popcorn, Blackberries, Justin’s PB Cups

Lahana Vigliano
lahana@thrivalnutrition.com

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Thrival Nutrition. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and currently pursing her Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@thrivalnutrition).