It’s Back to School month for the kiddos!  That means time to pack some yummy healthy lunches right?

healthy fall lunch

Here’s an example of a Hotchkiss lunch. Be sure to explore all the fun lunchboxes out there with different compartments!

As parents, Dr. Mike and I made the decision years ago to pack our kids’ lunches so we had more input on their nutrition.  We also needed to accommodate for our son’s peanut allergy so we needed to make sure his lunches were 100% peanut free.  This month I wanted to share with you how we assemble these lunches and tips for keeping up!

  1. We make ahead and freeze batches of easy lunch stuff: meatballs, spaghetti sauce, chicken fingers, sloppy joe filling, taco meat, mashed potatoes, homemade applesauce.  Anything you can do ahead of time is so helpful during the busy week.
  2. We often send our kids with leftovers of what we had the night or two prior, so always making “just a little bit extra” for dinner cuts down on extra work.
  3. We always try to pack lunches the night before so we’re not running around crazy in the morning.
  4. Talk with your kids about what they like!  Each child has different tastes just like adults do. Every once in awhile, I give my kids a list of healthy options to choose from and let them highlight their preferences. This helps them a sense of ownership their lunches.

I try to make sure my kids have 3 basic food groups in EVERY lunch: protein, complex carbohydrates and veggies. Here are some ideas from each of those categories–all you need to do is choose one food from each category!  If you also like to include treats in their lunches, I’ve also listed a few ideas for those as well, in addition to some “all in one” meal ideas.


hard-boiled eggs, cheese, nitrate-free deli meat, chicken drumsticks, steak slices, meatballs, pulled bbq pork, sunflower seeds, nut butters, pumpkin seeds


mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, plantain chips, quinoa, tortilla chips, brown rice, pasta, bread


cucumber slices, shredded carrots or sticks, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, red pepper slices, frozen veggie mix of any kind, spinach, kale or salad greens, coleslaw, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans


raisins, dates, applesauce, fresh fruit, dried banana chips, yogurt (plain with fruit), black or green olives, avacado, dried apricots

All-In-One Meals

make-your-own salad, tacos, sloppy joes, egg mcmuffin, wraps, homemade pizza, Blts, spaghetti, hearty soups n stews