Once upon a time, I thought it was going to be so fun to pack school lunches. Looking at Pinterest, it looks exciting and creative, right?  My son started having school lunch in Kindergarten, and I realized pretty quickly that it really was not fun at all!  I savor the half days and summer days where we don’t have to pack lunch. Three kids x 180 school days — we’re packing a lot of lunches in a year!

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We like to do variety, and also try to skip the sandwich most of the time. The idea of a bento lunch has been our favorite! Most of the lunches below are dairy free and gluten free but contain nuts.   Check out the nut-free section, too.  Enjoy some ideas below and tell me what your favorite school lunches have been!


Dairy free yogurt packs (Kite Hill)
Squeeze packs with Fruit and Veggies – Shine Organics are a favorite
Making our own squeeze packs with apple sauce or yogurt and squeeze factory. 
Simple Mills Crackers with hummus or dairy free cheese
Homemade PowerBites/Balls
ALT – avocado, lettuce, tomato sandwich or crackers/chips
Mini muffins – beet,  Against All Grain Blueberry Muffins, here is another of her recipes
Ants on a Log
Banana stackers using Amazing Grass and nut butter
Cucumber sandwiches
English muffin pizzas with dairy free cheese
Roasted Chickpeas or Crunchy Biena brand
Health Warrior Chia Bar – currently a coupon for these on Amazon
Coconut Breakfast Cookies

For a treat
Unreal m&m
Unreal PB cups
Almond Butter Mini Cookies
Yum Earth brand candies


Yogurt and Granola with berries
Crackers and Cheese, Pumpkin Seeds
Avocado Toast
Breakfast for lunch – Waffle sandwiches, Mini egg muffins, Pumpkin muffins
Soft pretzel bites or Pita chips with hummus
Turkey and Cheese Roll ups
Egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad
Hard boiled eggs
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Popcorn (Organic)

Now that you have this guide now, start thinking about what will go in each compartment, make big batches of things and freeze them, and get the kids involved and excited to pack their own lunches (following your guidelines of course)!  Below is a printable guide.  You might also enjoy these pictures of real lunches from 100 days of Real Food.

school lunch guide








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