Woo hoo! I’ve been so excited to share this series with you. It’s been such fun coming up with lunch box ideas, and I’ve been enjoying putting all of these to good use myself, so hopefully you do too!
Before we dig in, let’s take care of some business, shall we? First off, you guys have some fantastic lunch box tips! I loved hearing what everyone had to share on last weeks Lunch Box Extravaganza. Even if you didn’t enter the giveaway last week it’s worth heading back to post for a read. There are lot’s of handy tips. So many smarties out there! If you did enter, I know you’re waiting to hear who the won, so I won’t delay it any further. The winner of the Weelicious Lunches cookbook is…
Congratulations Andrea! I’m so excited to share this awesome book with you!
Now for the rest of us, onto the lunch box!
I packed this lunch box along for a picnic when we went raspberry picking at local u-pick. The kids gobbled it all up happily so I would definitely say it’s kid approved. I have to admit that I really enjoyed it myself. There’s a couple of reasons why I love this lunch box. Besides the deliciousness, of course.. 1) Everything can be made ahead, and the whole lunch can be packed up the night before with no ill effects. 2) The whole lunch box just happens to be gluten free and processed-sugar free. Perfect for sensitive little tummies!
What to Pack
The amounts you choose will be based on your child’s appetite and age. But, there should be enough here for a good lunch and snack.
Tuna Cucumber Bites with Cheese
Use cucumbers as crackers and top them with a slice of cheese and a scoop of tuna mix. Max could not get enough of these. They’re a fun way for kids to get their veggies.
Leftover-Rice Pudding with Chia Seeds
Make a little extra rice with dinner, or use some that’s naturally left over, to make this nutritious rice pudding. It’s quick to make and the chia seeds add a boost of fibre, omega 3′s and protein.
Now, I wouldn’t go packing this into a lunch for a child who’s unfamiliar with chia seeds. It might scare them off at first glance. I think it’s a good idea to make a batch with them at home so they can see how the seeds start out and how they expand in the liquid. Then, let them give it a taste test. It’s amazing what kids will eat when they can see the process and help along the way. And, when they taste how delicious it is, they won’t have any reason to fear when they find it tucked away in their lunch.
Round out this meal with a handful or two of grapes. I don’t know any child who would pass up grapes. (But if your child does, or you want to change things up, you can, of course, swap it with another favourite fruit or vegetable.)
Healthy Almond Eatmore Bars
These homemade Eatmore bars are so delicious your kids won’t be tempted to trade them for someone else’s candy bar. They are chewy with just the right amount of sweet. They make a large batch so they can be frozen and kept on hand for multiple lunches. And, they have the added benefit of being peanut free and processed-sugar free.
Tuna Cucumber Bites
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- cheese, sliced into squares (one square per cucumber slice)
- 1 (170g) can tuna
- 3 tablespoons mayo
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
- salt and pepper, to taste
Place cucumbers and cheese in separate bags or containers (I know they are pictured together but, as I discovered, the cucumbers make the cheese soggy). Mix together tuna, mayo, onion powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper. Place tuna into tupperware or jars.
Serves (approximately): 2
Leftover Rice Pudding with Chia
- 1 cup milk (or almond milk)
- 1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1.5 cup cold cooked rice (brown or white)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
Whisk together milk, vanilla, honey and cinnamon until honey is dissolved. Stir in rice and chia seeds. Cover and refridgerate for 4 hours, stirring once after 1-2 hours to keep it from clumping. Sprinkle individual servings with additional cinnamon if desired.
Makes (approximately): 2 cups (4 servings)
Healthy Eatmore Bars
If peanuts are allowed, feel free to substitute the almond butter for peanut butter and the almonds for peanuts for a more traditional Eatmore bar. Use gluten-free certified oats if making gluten free.
- 1 cup almond butter
- 3/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup almonds, chopped small
- 1 cup raisins
Place almond butter and honey in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips, until chocolate chips are melted. Stir in oats, almonds and raisins. Spread into a parchment lined 9×13 pan. Use the back of a flat bottom glass to press the mixture evenly into the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Slice into bars or squares. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat.
*Keep cool if possible. They get a little sticky if they are too warm.
Makes (approximately): 20
Eatmore bars adapted from Cooks.com