Wednesday, September 22, 2010


the back story:

i ate "school-lunch style" breakfast, lunch and dinner with my daughter for 3 days when i went to the 5th grade camp with her school.

i got really sick. way too much sugar, preservatives and absolutely nothing healthy (unless you count the mushy, red-delicious apple, which i do not.).

i began packing my kids lunches.

i found this blog.

i obsess.

i blog.

my hope is that this post will open up someone else's eyes to the possibilities. i honestly enjoy my time spent in the morning packing their lunches. it reminds me that mothers who know are nurturers.

and if you don't have kids yet, please remember to nurture yourself. all these lunches came together really fast and a lot of them are just leftovers. it's not as hard as you think it might be.

lunch #1: leftover vegetable soup reheated in a thermos container. slice of homemade bread.

lunch #2: chef salad with ranch dressing and boiled egg. croutons. sliced cheese and homemade granola bars. recipe from here, (click for valuable/hilarious tips) but i substitute 1/4 c. maple syrup for the brown sugar and dried fruit and seeds for the chocolate chips. it's delicious both ways!

lunch #3: whole wheat bagel with cream cheese. orange slices. snap peas with ranch. annie's honey graham bunny crackers.

lunch #4: zucchini bread with cream cheese and cauliflower. pistachios. sliced apple.

lunch #5: grapes. peas (taken right from the freezer). carob raisins (no sweetener added). ham and cheese sandwich.

lunch #6: leftover lentil almond burger. edamame. sweet potato fries with ketchup in the sauce bottle.

lunch #7: blue and white corn tortilla chips and peaches. beans+salsa mix topped with cheese. green salad.

lunch #8: carrot sticks, olives, and boiled egg in a car shape. granola. honey yogurt topped with frozen mixed berries.

lunch #9: leftover southwest quinoa salad. (let me know if you're interested in my recipe.) raspberries and banana.

to reduce waste, we started using containers instead of plastic baggies. i love the new ziploc containers with the 3 divided sections. if you have anything juicy, they do a great job of keeping the rest of your food dry. they are dishwasher safe. there are similar boxes here for a little bit more that are BPA-free here. i'm planning on working them into the budget next.

i also love the sassy on-the-go feeding set. we use the containers that come with it almost every day. (perhaps you noticed the blue or pink containers in the pictures). and they're BPA-free.

both containers are available at target.

for lunch bags, i like the kind that doesn't tip the lunch up on the side. we found both of these at target:

so i hope that gets you started.

what do you do for lunch for yourself or your kids? share your ideas!

sources for things that i have and that i'd still like:
sassy on the go feeding set | target | $6.19
ziploc lunch containers | target | $2.39 for 2
lunch bags | target | $8 to $9
silicone muffin cups | amazon | $9.99 for 12
sauce containers | | $2.99 for 4
food picks | | $2.99 for 10
egg molds | amazon | $1.55 for 2
sauce container | the container store | $1.99
stainless steel lunch box | | $34.95 (maybe for christmas. kind of pricey for our budget)


  1. Did you take all those pictures? The presentation of the food is gorgeous!

    I pack a lunch everyday for myself. Since I'm trying to be super healthy it's the only way. My containers aren't as cute, but they're functional.

    I also don't have the time to cook right now, so I'm eating a lot of salads. But, interestingly, I'm not getting bored with them.

    I had my first diet coke in over three months on Saturday and it made me so sick. I couldn't believe how sweet it tasted. I also went to Bajio that day, and it always made me sick. Everything is so sweet. I used to love sweet, but now I can only handle the sweetness in fresh fruit. It's a good place to be. :D

  2. I LOVE this. I would also love your recipe for the southwest quinoa (sp?) salad. That looks so good. I also love all your little containers. Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. I love this rachel. My kids take lunch ever day. I do it the night before and love new ideas. I think they are sick of my boring stuff.

  4. I luckily get to still make lunch for Zach at home. Next year we will start the taking lunch to school adventure. I just hope he will eat the healthy stuff I make him and not trade it with friends.

  5. Its fun to see how much you've done after you showed me that site the other day. What great ideas!
    What I'm most curious about is what did you put the lunches on to take the pictures. Those are adorable backgrounds. I'm trying to figure out if they are placemats or tableclothes or something.

  6. That looks delicious both gastrically and aesthetically! My kids love tortilla wraps in their lunches. I usually spread cream cheese, put on a slice of turkey, and either cucumber slices or some romaine lettuce.
    Raspberry yogurt is their favorite fruit dip. It's tasty on everything from apples blueberries.

  7. P.S. I'd love your quinoa salad recipe

  8. looks so yummy!! & i'm not even doing this "healthy kick" that all my friends seem to be gravitating towards! now...if i can get my family to eat this way. now....if i can get more organized and make my own lunches for work this great. hmmm...i think target is calling my name! thanks rachel. i was worried, i have to admit a slight panick attack was forming - not mentally stable enough right now to make a BIG change. this is a subtle fun change. yay!

  9. As you know I'm a total different breed and I cook lunch for my 4y/o and me everyday, but I like these ideas for when he goes to school and I have to pack a lunch bag :)

  10. this is (you are) so cool. i need to start packing myself cute little lunches like this.

  11. This is so awesome! Rachel, you are amazing! What a great idea! It seriously must feel so good to know your kids are getting healthy and nutritious food!

  12. Man oh man.... you sold me. I need to do this. I love, love, love it!

    And I love that you shared your obsession & the website just a few weeks ago and look at ya know!

    And I do want that southwest quinoa salad recipe.

  13. I can't wait to pack lunches like this. I do want your Southwest Quinoa salad recipe. The last few quinoa salad recipes I've tried haven't been anything to repeat. Oh, and how do you get your boiled eggs in fun shapes?

  14. awesome! thank you for reminding me that school lunch sucks - except on pizza day (th) I cannot suggest packing. =)

  15. Amazing! you have inspired me, as always.