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What’s the #1 rule for a successful kid’s packed lunch?

The other day my daughter said, “Mom, I can make my own lunches from now on!” Umm, did I hear that right? Music to my ears! Oh the excitement of starting back to school. But I’m no overly optimistic fool, we will see just how long that lasts….

So this is what she packed for her first day of school….

buffalo wings

So, want to know one of the most important things I’ve learned about having a successful kids’ lunches, and in particular a healthy kid’s lunch? It’s that a lot of VARIETY can make all of the difference. It can actually make lunches fun!! Don’t give them a bag of carrots. Heck, I don’t want a bag of carrots. But if you give them three or four carrots, and a few olives, and some granola and some dark chocolate almonds…and well, lots of little surprises in their lunch, chances are greater they will eat it. Here are just a few examples of the lunches we make:

  • Cilantro Curry Apple Chicken salad (I would make it on Sunday for the week)
  • gluten-free granola
  • pickles
  • few dark chocolate covered almonds (or just dark chocolate)
  • pistachios (sunflower seeds if nut-free)


  • Grass-fed ground beef with kelp noodles stir fry
  • 3-4 small carrots
  • Suzie’s gluten free thin rice cakes with nut or seed butter
  • Apple slices (or berries)
  • Small cucumbers

The last couple of years, my son didn’t want a big main dish, so we included more little things. We’d include 5 to 6 of the following:

  • Suzie’s gluten free rice cakes with Justin’s Hazelnut Butter
  • Handful of cornichons
  • Granola
  • Pepperonis or gluten free beef jerky or turkey sticks
  • Grapes, berries, or any other fruit
  • Kefir yogurt
  • Quinoa (high protein) chips
  • Gluten free crackers
  • Gluten free brown rice krispy treats
  • Paleo muffins

And as for the treats, remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even perfectly healthy, it just has to be better than some of the other cookies and treats out there. 

For a more detailed list on some lunch/snack ideas, come to my office (Atlanta Center Holistic Integrative Medicine in Brookhaven on Dresden) this Thursday at 7:15pm. I will be hosting a FREE class about what our kids need to fuel (and develop) their brain, help them focus, and feel the best they can. Please RSVP to to make sure there is availability as space is limited.

Here are the containers we use for packed lunches. The glass ones come from Costco, and the stainless bowls I found online at Lunchbots and Amazon. 

Sorry for the big black stubborn blur in the background that wouldn’t budge…

Guess he just wanted to make sure I got the right angle. Thanks George….

Also thanks for the recommendation from my lovely sister-in-law, we now love these grass-fed beef sticks as a source of extra protein. Check them out from my favorite web site….


Hope to see y’all this Thursday at 7:15pm at 1401 Dresden Drive, Atlanta GA 30319!




  • Michelle - Love this post, thanks for the tips!ReplyCancel

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