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PLANT BASED MEAL PLANNER

Healthy School Lunch Ideas


healthy school lunches

We know all about the “packing school lunch” freakout moments. We want our kids to eat well at school, but packing lunches every day gets exhausting and stressful. How many carrot sticks and apple slices can I pack before they stop eating them? Well, it turns out to be a lot less than I wish. So, how do we make healthy school lunches for our kids without going crazy… or turning into the Pinterest queen (I don’t have time for that, even as fun as it looks!).

Well don’t worry, mamas (and rawkstar dads). We’ve got your back with tips for healthy school lunches.

Healthy School Lunch Recipe

Packing the “right” healthy stuff for your kid can be a crazy guessing game.

Should you include the sandwich? Will they want a smoothie for the third day in a row? How about crackers? Whole wheat or white bread? Will your kid even eat the grapes or carrot sticks?

It’s a daily struggle I have in my own kitchen, and I know  I am not alone. Which is why I love “Lunches, Real Easy 6-Week School Lunch Meal Plan” from Lisa + Kiran over at 100 Days of Real Food. They get the struggle too and have some great lunch ideas to keep me going. Below is a sample lunch that we put together from their lunch guide:

homemade school lunch

Healthy Lunch Idea for your kids

Ingredients
• Strawberry, banana, blueberry smoothie (recipe below)
• Protein/granola bar (Clif Kids are favs in my house)
• Cheese cubes or string cheese (organic, if possible)
• Banana

Directions
• Make smoothie and add to container (we like Contigo).
• Add granola bar and cheese cubes to divided container.

 

solution for healthy school lunches: green smoothies

STRAWBERRY BANANA BLUEBERRY GREEN SMOOTHIE

Wondering which smoothie to pack in with your kiddo’s wholesome lunch? The Strawberry, Banana, Blueberry Green Smoothie is a lunchtime fave for my kids. // serves 2

INGREDIENTS


2 cups spinach, fresh
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup orange juice
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
2 bananas

 

DIRECTIONS


1. Blend spinach, orange juice, and water until smooth.

2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

*Use frozen fruit to make smoothie cold.

 

Green Smoothie for Lunch Tips

The easiest way to get my kids to consume plant-powered goodness for lunch is pack a green smoothie in their lunch. I have to do it a certain way to make sure they don’t get embarrassed— and I’ve learned over time how this works best for my kids. Here’s smoothie lunch tips to help you successfully pack the greens:

100DaysSmoothie_Small

BERRIES: I blend berries to cover up the “green” color.  Sipping the greens is a quick way to get an “ewwww” in the cafeteria, and it’s easily avoidable.
FROZEN FRUIT: I use tons of frozen fruit to make sure it stays cold for lunch time. I’ll even drop a few ice cubes in the blended smoothie if I didn’t have enough frozen fruit.
CONTAINER: I store the smoothies in these 20-ounce Contigo bottles— they are easy to open AND are easy to clean.
STRAW: fun-colored straws are like icing on a cake— my kids love picking out which one they want to use that day.

 

What’s your fav lunch to pack for your kids?

Share it with all the fellow rawkstar parents by commenting below to help us get more ideas on how to make healthy school lunches that our kids will actually eat.

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  1. Sarah C.

    August 20th, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I would recommend investing in vacuum insulated bottles, such as from Klean Kanteen or Hydro Flask. They last forever and keep smoothies chilled ALL DAY :).

  2. Julie

    August 20th, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Do you have a link or recommended store to buy the Klean Kanteen or Hydro Flask?

  3. SGS Rawkstar

    August 20th, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Hi Julie,

    Here’s the links for Klean Kanteen + Hydro Flask…

    http://www.kleankanteen.com/

    http://www.hydroflask.com/?gclid=CIvn8K6luMcCFY-HaQodtiYEKQ

  4. SGS Rawkstar

    August 20th, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Hi Sarah,

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. April

    August 20th, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Thanks for the tip on using berries to cover up the green part in the smoothie. I second the Hydro Flask idea. It’s stainless, drinks stay super cold and it doesn’t “sweat” like plastic tends to do.
    Love mine!!

  6. SGS Rawkstar

    August 20th, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Hi April,

    Thanks for reaching out, we’ll have to test out Hydro Flask!

    Cheers 🙂

  7. Kayla

    August 20th, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I get harassed at work for green smoothies, I can only imagine what the kids would endure. Could we just say it’s new Ninja Turtle juice?!

  8. SGS Rawkstar

    August 20th, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Hi Kayla,

    Love that idea! Kids have the best names for green smoothies – Hulk Smoothie, Swamp Juice…I’m adding Ninja Turtle Juice to my list of favorite names!

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Joan

    August 20th, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I just wanted to respond to your comment about being harassed at work. I was also. I used to leave the break room or wrap a kleenex around the bottle so no one could see it. Using a straw helps also. I refused to stop treating my body right must because some people were bothered. Also, the person who have me the hardest time is now sipping Green smoothies too! You are doing this for yourself. If people care about you, they will support you. If they don’t support you they don’t care, so you shouldn’t care about them either! You GO, girl!

  10. Kristina

    August 21st, 2015 at 5:31 am

    I got harrassed at work…so the next day I brought smoothies for my 2 closest co-workers. Now if I want a green smoothie, I have to have it at home because they harrass me for not bringing them some everyday! Share the love and they’ll understand!!

  11. SGS Rawkstar

    August 21st, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Hi Joan + Kristina,

    You’re totally right! The best way to combat any negative comments is to share green smoothies with others. They’ll be surprised how delicious being healthy can be. And really? Who harasses someone for being healthy? And never forget, you have us, and thousands others behind you!

    Cheers to health, happiness, + leafy greens!

  12. Polly

    August 20th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I drink my green and odd grey smoothies with no apologies peeps. Go for with confidence, you’ll pave the way for others and inspire curiosity in something healthy. For my kid’s lunch: bell pepper, or baby sweet bells, apple and peanut butter, low fat yogurt, and all organic because it matters. Ya it costs more so we don’t buy cable…. Life is all about choices. I want them to offer organics so I buy them. Happy school days everyone!

  13. SGS Rawkstar

    August 21st, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Hi Polly,

    Drink your green smoothies proudly! Way to go, rawkstar! And way to provide your children with healthy + nutritious lunch options!

    Peace, love, + leafy greens!

  14. Carla and Emma: The Merrymaker Sisters

    August 20th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Super cute ideas for the lunch box! Thanks for sharing RAWKstar team 😉 e + c

  15. SGS Rawkstar

    August 21st, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Hi Carla + Emma,

    Hope we provided you with some lunch inspiration!

    Cheers 🙂

  16. Dana

    August 20th, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Greetings,

    I pack lunches daily. The school lunch menu at my child’s school does not appeal to either one of us. I pack apples w/peanutbutter or Nutella, grapes & a sandwich at times using Applegate lunch meat. She also prefers fresh shredded carrots & broccoli w/ranch dip. I use a Yumbox or a Rubbermaid lunchblox to pack her food. It’s become an addiction now trying to find cute ways to pack her lunch!

  17. SGS Rawkstar

    August 21st, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Hi Dana,

    Those lunches sound amazing! I want to pack a few of your ideas for myself. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Cheers 🙂

  18. Donna

    August 21st, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    With regards to being harassed at work. My coworkers laugh at me and scowl at my smoothies. One of them even went as far as to say, those smoothies aren’t doing anything for you, you are still heavy, you are not losing weight. Those comments stung. It hurt me badly, to the point that I was embarrassed to drink my smoothies in the office. However, although I haven’t lost any weight, my skin is beautiful, I have more energy, and I am not as depressed as I used to be. So I will continue to drink my green smoothies daily!! Now, If I could just lose some weight to shut my coworkers up, dat will be nice!!!!!!

  19. Fabienne

    August 22nd, 2015 at 3:57 am

    Sorry, but your coworkers are idiots!!! Can’t say differently, who do they think they are!?? Don’t listen to them. And NEVER NEVER be ashamed of anything you do, to make your life better and to feel better! Find the best version of yourself and your life where you are at the moment. It’s all about creating a happy life and not your ideal weight. If you are happy with your life you will loose weight too. Make yourself pretty, search for your female happiness, put on a dress, life is to short to wait for the “right weight”, it will never be right for everyone!
    But I have one hint, try to not put that much fruits in your smoothies as they contain sugar too.

  20. SGS Rawkstar

    August 24th, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Hi Fabienne,

    Thank you so much for your support! You’re part of the reason we love our SGS tribe!

    Cheers to health, happiness, + leafy greens!

  21. Maureen

    August 23rd, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Donna, your co-worker is mean and I suspect about more than your weight. My co-workers mock my smoothies too. I hear everything from ‘ewww’ to they ‘look like sludge’ or ‘weird me out’. Note, this is coming from grown people who drink diet Pepsi all day long and down processed protein/meal substitute blender drinks for energy and weight loss. The most I do to defend my smoothie is to say you have no idea how delicious this tastes. I too want to lost weight but that hasn’t come yet. I can say that my skin is gorgeous, my energy is up and my mind is more clear. Because my mind is more clear and less frantic I don’t feel bent about not losing weight yet, I trust that’ll come with time. I bring my smoothies every day … whoever doesn’t like it, don’t look!

  22. SGS Rawkstar

    August 24th, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Hi Maureen,

    You couldn’t be more right! You’re fueling your body with simple, healthy, natural choices + treating your body right! We love hearing how you’re seeing changes in your energy, skin, + mind. And love seeing how your supporting your fellow SGS rawkstars!

    Cheers 🙂

  23. SGS Rawkstar

    August 24th, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Hi Donna,

    You’re beautiful inside + out! We’re so sorry to hear about the comments you’ve received from your co-workers. You’re fueling your body with delicious and healthy fruits, vegetables + leafy greens – that’s something to be proud of and we’re proud of you!

    Looking to use green smoothies to help you along your weight loss journey? We’re here every step of the way with you! Did you know Jadah lost 25lbs by replacing one meal with a Simple Green Smoothies?

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/meet-jadah

    We’re making healthy lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime! Our goal for your is to drink at least one 2-cup serving green smoothie a day in addition to your regular diet. If you would like, you can replace 1 or 2 meals with green smoothies. If you drink green smoothies as meal replacements, make sure to add a protein boost (plant-based protein powder, nut milk, nut butter), or snack on some nuts or a hard-boiled egg 30-60 minutes after you drink your green smoothie.

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/protein

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

    If you want to burn fat, you want to include plant-based smoothie ingredients that have the following weight loss effects:

    -Jump start your digestion
    -Burn excess fat
    -Reduce and expel bad cholesterol
    -Provide energy for your cardiovascular system
    -Detox and hydrate your body
    -Promote healthy bowel movement
    -Decrease your appetite for processed foods and sugars

    The Kiwi Berry Punch is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense smoothie recipe that combine the best fruits and veggies for an optimal approach to healthy weight loss.

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/Recipes/kiwi-berry-punch

    Reach out with any questions! We’re here for you!

  24. AnnMarie

    August 26th, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Donna,
    I agree with Fabienne, fruit adds sugar! And if you have not add some exercise, at least 20 minutes of cardio to your day. 20 minutes is the minimum to burn fat! If you are like me, and have a desk job, then that is not helping! I have been mostly a stay home mom up until 3 years ago. I say mostly because I am also a massage therapist and that is not a full time job. 😉 Last November, I took a desk job then in December fell on ice in my driveway and broke my wrist. Thankfully I had that desk job, but being in active for 6 weeks I put on some (20 pounds) weight. I didn’t realize how active I had been before this job. I wish all the best and keep your chin up. I have also found out that working in an office can get pretty negative. Good for you for moving past that and keeping the finish line in view.

  25. Sue

    August 30th, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Unbelievable that your coworkers said that to you!!! I just can’t believe how low life and scummy they are. Sorry, just speaking the truth. I’ll bet you that they are jealous of you in the workplace anyway….

  26. SGS Rawkstar

    August 31st, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Hi Sue,

    Sometimes people can be mean when they don’t understand. That’s why its so important to share the green smoothie love with others! Inform others of their health benefits, delicious taste, + how they’ve improved your life!

    Cheers to health, happiness, + leafy greens!

  27. Marie

    August 21st, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    A Thermos Funtainer bottle would keep the smoothie cold and mostly hidden (just the bit of straw sticking out).

    http://www.thermos.com/SearchResults.aspx?q=funtainer

    You can pick them up at Target, Walmart, Toys R Us…

  28. SGS Rawkstar

    August 24th, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Hi Marie,

    Thanks for sharing! We love that they’ll keep smoothies cold until lunch, and we know kids will love the themes + prints!

    Cheers 🙂

  29. Jess

    August 22nd, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Has anyone tried sending the smoothies in a re-usable squeeze-y pouch? If so, do you have to freeze it overnight so it will be cold for lunchtime?

  30. SGS Rawkstar

    August 24th, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Hi Jess,

    Great idea! We’d love hear if you try this out!

    Cheers 🙂

  31. Shoshanna

    August 22nd, 2015 at 10:38 am

    What brand is that smoothie container in the last picture? It looks like a small insulated bottle that is perfect for a kids lunchbox! Definitely not the contigo bottle mentioned in the post. Thanks!

  32. SGS Rawkstar

    August 24th, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Hi Shoshanna,

    Thanks for reaching out! While it may appear smaller, the Contigo Traquil 20oz bottle is pictured above. Check out Contigo’s kid’s section, they have great smaller options!

    http://www.gocontigo.com/contigo-kids/

  33. Shoshanna

    August 30th, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for the response! I orders one for myself, but it’s too bad they don’t make the same model in a 10oz size!

  34. Donna

    August 29th, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Hey guys,
    Thank you all for your supportive comments, I truly appreciate them. I am thinking of replacing 2 meals with green smoothies. Any thoughts?? I don’t know how long I can do this gor, but I really do need to lose 40lbs for my health.

  35. SGS Rawkstar

    August 31st, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Hi Donna,

    We’re so excited to have you as part of our amazing SGS tribe! Using green smoothies as a meal replacements is a great way to fuel your body with healthy + nutritious ingredients like fresh fruits, leafy greens, + veggies! This is not a fast or restrictive diet, we’re making lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime, so you should never feel deprived. A hard boiled egg, handful of nuts, or apples + almond butter are all great snack options in addition to your green smoothies.

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/green-smoothie-meal-replacement

    Looking to lose weight, + refocus your eating habits? Check out our FreshStart21 cleanse! I personally just finished the cleanse, reached my goal weight, and have a totally new understanding on how to fuel my body!

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/cleanse

    Reach out with any questions, Donna! We want to hear about + help you along your journey to health, happiness, + weight loss!

    Cheers 🙂

  36. Andrea

    September 9th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I would love to get my hands on a copy of this cookbook but it’s no longer being sold. So, how can I get one?

  37. SGS Rawkstar

    September 10th, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Hi Andrea,

    Oh no! “Lunches, Real Easy 6-Week School Lunch Meal Plan” by 100 Days of Real Food is only offered from August 17th – 31st. Sign up for their newsletter here to be the first to know when it is available again…

    http://100daysofrealfood.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=a5a04474db37bf26be3cebfba&id=c681c47f24

  38. kerry

    September 9th, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Hi I am struggling with the packed smoothie for kid’s lunch boxes… wouldn’t it go yuk by the time lunch rolled around.?

    if you could help me understand this better I’d be most appreciative. thank you 🙂

  39. SGS Rawkstar

    September 10th, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Hi Kerry,

    Great question! A great thermos is key! We also suggest using tons of frozen fruit to make sure it stays cold for lunch time. Even dropping a few ice cubes in the blended smoothie will help if you don’t have enough frozen fruit. Also, separation is natural, so a quick shake before enjoying will ensure your smoothie is the perfect addition to any lunch!

    Cheers 🙂

  40. kerry

    September 17th, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    oh great tips.!!! thank you so very much 😀 my boy starts school next year and loves his smoothies.. I will be sure to pack one everyday for him. thanks again
    kerry

  41. SGS Rawkstar

    September 17th, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    You’re so welcome, Kerry! Thanks for blendin’ with us! 🙂

  42. Samantha Cupido

    September 17th, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Jen
    Can I give the lunchtime smoothie to my kids EVERYDAY or do you recommend changing it up?
    Kind Regards
    Sam

  43. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    September 18th, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Hi Samantha,

    You definitely can! I send my son along to pre-k with a smoothie each morning! Just make sure you’re rotating your leafy greens, as even little bodies can be effected by oxalate build-up. Learn more about the importance of rotating your leafy greens here…

    https://simplegreensmoothies.com/rotate-your-greens

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