Tuesday, September 3, 2013 / 18 Comments / , , , , , ,

September Lunchbox Ideas





We made it through the first week of school! As you know, I was nervous about 5 days a week of school starting early in the morning, now that we have a big kindergartner. But it was actually really easy and fun! Although the kids are back in school, the first day of Autumn isn't until September 22nd. The weather here is hotter than it's been all summer, and the produce is still in summer mode. Keep enjoying fresh berries, stone fruit, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber and summer squash this month, as it won't be around long.





Here's what I packed in my kids' lunchboxes last week using seasonal organic produce. Everything is quick and easy to make, plant based, and easy to make gluten free. I hope it will give you some ideas. Because personally, I can always use more lunch ideas. 

Be sure to pack an ice pack with these lunches to keep them fresh. 

1. Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps, Watermelon, and Rice Crackers
      *If the lettuce wrap is too "green" for your kids, you could try egg salad with crackers or half a croissant (for a much more decadent and non-gluten-free option). 

     Instructions: Boil eggs the night before. Make egg salad, wrap in one or two green lettuce leaves and close with a pick. 

2. Chopped Romaine Salad, Grilled Corn & Cherry Tomato Kabobs, Half Avocado, "Ants on a Log," and Grapes 
     Instructions: Peel corn and char in a frying pan or grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cool and cut into pieces, crosswise. Skewer with tomatoes or just lay over a bed of greens. Add a small container of favorite salad dressing on the side. Cut an avocado in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with a little salt and squeeze a drop or two of lime juice over the top to prevent browning. Some drained and rinsed black or kidney beans would be great in here too. 

3. PB&J or Sunbutter Roll-ups, Carrots and Celery, Watermelon, and Yogurt.
     Instructions: Makes two wraps. Please take nut allergies seriously and only use peanut butter if there are no nut-allergies in your child's class. Spread PB or Sunbutter and jam over lavash or a gluten-free tortilla. Place banana over, and roll up. Pack whole, or cut into pieces. Younger kids usually have an easier time holding and eating these in one long piece. Pack the fruit and veggies in separate compartments. I pack a frozen yogurt, such as Chobani Champions (check the ingredients don't include carrageenan).  {UPDATE: Chobani has issued a voluntary recall on some of it's yogurts. Please check their site and your labels.}

4. Wraps with Hummus, Cucumber and Carrot Ribbons, and Hemp Seeds, Cherry Tomatoes, Strawberries, and Raisins. 
     Instructions: Makes wraps for 2 kids. Spread hummus over lavash or gluten-free tortilla. Use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons of cucumber and carrot. Lay cucumber and carrot ribbons over one side of the hummus and sprinkle with hemp seeds for extra protein, if using. Roll tightly starting on the short side over the veggies. Want more in there? Fresh mozzarella, avocado, lettuce, and tomato are all delicious additions. 


5. Minestrone Soup with Parmesan Cheese, Nectarines and Blueberries, and Crackers.
     Instructions: My girls love soup and it's a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. Usually when I make soup I will make a big batch and freeze extra for lunches. Since it's summer and I didn't have any frozen so I used a box (gasp!) of organic minestrone soup from Whole Foods. My kids especially love the pre-made Minestrone from Trader Joe's. When using store-bought, I like to "freshen it up" by throwing in some fresh chopped veggies, herbs, or spinach before heating. Heat the soup and then pour it into a hot food container and close tightly. Pack a small container of Parmesan, crackers, and fruit. 


Some of the lunch packing supplies I use can be found here: Amazon Lunchbox Store

If you would like a printable grocery list of the ingredients used in these lunches, I've made one for you here.



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