Healthy, Easy, & Thrifty School Lunch Options

January 22, 2017

My oldest will be six next month….dear lord. He’s been in kindergarten for the past five months and has an amazing dad who packs his lunch everyday! Packing can be a big pain, so I wanted to share some of our healthy, easy, and thrifty school lunch options.

As a kid, I always bought my school lunch (packing was really unheard of in my house) but my husband packed his (himself). We did not have to worry about peanut allergies back then and I think I had a brownie (or two) everyday. 

Obviously that was years ago and things are a bit different. We now understand that much of the crap put into our foods are filled with sugar, GMOs, pesticides, etc. 

So, we have chosen to pack our kiddo’s lunch to make sure it is healthy and we know exactly what he is eating and no complaints thus far (one small win)!

Packing everyday can be a big pain and I am very thankful my husband does it. I do the grocery shopping, so my contribution is to try to come up with different ideas each week that are simple, inexpensive, and still edible. 🙂

Here are a few healthy and thrifty lunch options:

  • Fruit – apples, bananas, clementines
  • Sandwiches 
    • honey, bananas, sunflower seed butter
    • jelly and sunflower seed butter
    • ham, chicken, beef with cheese and mustard
    • I use either bread, bagels, or pitas and try to mix it up each week
  • Leftovers (loves leftover homemade cold pizza)
  • Hard Boiled Eggs (cage free and free range)
  • Pickles (low sodium and organic)
  • Raisins 
  • Cheese Sticks (local and no hormones)
  • Rice Cakes
  • Tortilla Chips
  • I try to make a snack once a week (I love this GF blog)
  • Homemade Popcorn 
  • Water Bottle


  • I buy organic fruit and raisins, but try to watch for them on sale and in-season
  • I buy local honey 
  • For the jelly, I make sure there is no sugar and/or local
  • I buy local bread/bagels/pita with no added sugar
  • We buy a cow and hog once a year. We will make the roast every couple of weeks for sandwiches. 
  • I buy local, non-GMO and/or organic tortilla chips
  • For the popcorn I use organic popcorn with butter and a little salt. We pop this at home.
  • Where to Buy: for the popcorn, sunflower seed butter and rice cakes I typically find the best prices at here. This is typically less expensive than the bulk isles or sale prices at whole foods/grocery stores.

Enjoy and please share any ideas or suggestions that you have!!

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