30 Sandwich-Free Mix & Match Lunch Box Ideas
Disclaimer: Thank you to Rock The Lunch Box for sponsoring this post and providing me with product coupons for your wonderful brands! My promise to you, my readers, is to only promote content and products that I truly believe in and buy myself. All opinions stated in this post are my own.
I'm not a fancy kind of mom when it comes to food. I don't cut cheese into stars or carve love notes into the peel of my daughter's banana (but more power to those parents that do, thought. I'm just not that cool). However, I do know a thing or two about making lunch boxes fun, vibrant, healthy, and intriguing to those little taste testers. And interesting. Interesting is key in getting your kiddos excited about healthy food and I try to keep lunch boxes as interesting as possible.
Sandwiches are many mama's and papa's easy go-to lunch box food. They are simple, filling and relatively cheap to make. However, day after day of sandwiches in their bags and boxes might leave your kiddos less than excited for lunch time. Mamas and Papas....its time to make lunch box time exciting again!
You just need a little inspiration.
Lunch boxes won't be boring or redundant with these delicious and healthy 30 mix and match lunch box ideas! And there isn't a sandwich in sight!
If these ideas don't get your creative juices flowing, than maybe Rock The Lunch Box (RTLB) can! RTLB is an amazing online resource for healthy, lunch box-friendly inspiration that was created by Applegate, Honest Kids, Annie's and Rudi's Organic Bakery. Their goal is to provide parents with creative ideas to keep their kiddos eating healthy nourishing foods even when mama and papa can't be there at the lunch table with them.
RLTB also contributes to the community by supporting FoodCorps, an organization that provides nutritional education to schools nationwide and helps to educate over 165,000 children every year! One thing that FoodCorps does that especially makes my heart happy is by going into the schools and working hands-on with the students! They help schools get kiddos excited about healthy food with hands-on activities, gardening, and even food sampling in school cafeterias. FoodCorps is helping our children's generation understand how to better nourish themselves! Check them out and see what RocktheLunchBox is serving up for yourself.
Now for a little TNN lunch box inspiration......
Roll-It UP!: Flourless Peanut Butter Muffin (with a 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder added to the recipe), sliced purple carrots, Applegate Natural Black Forest Ham roll-up with fresh baby spinach, salted pepitas, and organic black berries.
Who needs bread to make a good roll-up? Not me! Using Applegate's Natural Back Forest Ham as the wrap in these roll-ups made for a fun, sandwich-free, protein-rich addition to my daughter's lunch box. The filling for these roll-ups is also endless: cheese sticks, sliced veggies, hummus. Get creative!
Treat yo' self: Savory plantain chips, sugar snap peas, raspberries & mango slices, hard boiled pastured egg, and a small piece of good quality chocolate.
There is a time and a place for a little treat! And a lunch box can absolutely be one of them. I like to surprise my daughter with a little treat once or twice a week in her lunch box! I always make sure its small enough that it won't fill her up if she opts to eat it first (which she will). A little fun to get her excited about lunch time and then she dives into the rest of her healthy lunch.
Last Night's Leftovers with a surprise on the side: Chicken sausage, peaches & blueberries, raw cashews, red quinoa with shredded grass-fed cheese, leftover roasted broccoli, and an Honest Kids Super Fruit Punch.
Leftovers are my absolute favorite lunch box filler. No extra cooking or prep! Just put the leftovers from dinner right in the lunch box and your work is done! I also added some raw cashews for an extra kick of protein and an Honest Kids Super Fruit Punch for a juice treat!
Hint: FREEZE your Honest Kids juice pouches the night before and they will double as an ice pack for your child's lunch box! Nope, it doesn't burst (this one pictured here is frozen) and the Honest Kids pouch thaws out by lunch time for your kiddo to enjoy!
Budget-Friendly Bites: organic blue corn tortilla chips, dried cranberries, green beans, slow cooker pinto beans, chunked organic cheese, and an apple.
Beans can be an incredibly budget-friendly protein when you need to make your grocery budget stretch! Be sure to soak your dry pinto beans for at least 24 hours prior to throwing them into your slow cooker to help breakdown gut-irritating phytic acid.
Naturally Colorful Noms: Seaweed snacks, fresh pineapple chunks, baked chicken, 1/2 an avocado, bell pepper slices, and a pitted date.
We all eat with our eyes first....including kids! Nothing draws a child into a meal quite like rich, vibrant colors that only nature can provide! Plus, the more colors represented in a meal, the more vitamins and nutrients being served up. See how many colors you can fit into your child's lunch box!
Finger Foods: grapes, dried fruit & nut bar, cucumber slices & grape tomatoes, salami slices, and shredded coconut.
We all love a good snacky meal made up of lots of fun finger foods! Finger foods also add another fun factor to a meal, allowing children to explore foods with their sense of touch in addition to smell, taste, and sight! The more senses that are engaged in a meal, the more likely they are to enjoy it!