Top 6 Raw Lunch Box Ideas
School lunches are so much harder than they used to be! Many schools won’t allow lunches to be wrapped in plastic, and these days certain foods like nuts are banned because food allergies are widespread. Add to that the challenge of changing your family’s diet to one that’s more raw-friendly, and it can seem overwhelming just to figure out how to fuel your little ones for their day at school.
A good, durable lunch box with compartments will go a long way to make food neat and accessible for your kiddies without the need for plastic wraps or packaging. But what do you fill it with?! I’ve compiled a list of 6 school lunch box ideas that are raw, easy and yummy enough that most kids won’t return home with their food uneaten at the end of the day.
My nut-free bliss balls fit the “no nuts” brief, which can really limit raw food lunches. Although they are sweet enough to seem like a treat, they are so nutritious and filling that they can also be a meal in themselves.
This recipe makes about 20 but if your kids love them, you can easily double or triple the quantities and have a nice big bounty ready in the freezer. These are also fabulous for after-school treats and weekend snacks when you’re on the go.
This is another nutrient-dense, nut-free snack that is a favourite among families with a dehydrator. The coconut oil and dessicated coconut provide those all-important fatty acids and they mean that these are filling little bars, unlike the sugary processed snacks you get in supermarkets. If you don’t have a dehydrator, use your oven on its very lowest setting – just prop the oven door open a crack with the handle of a wooden spoon so that the moisture can escape.
A small container of zucchini noodles with this flavoursome pesto makes a fun raw lunch for school days. Some kids find it extra exciting to stir the pesto through themselves, so you can just pile in the noodles and dollop the pesto on top if they prefer.
Since pine nuts are actually seeds and not nuts, you should be fine to include them in your pesto. If you’re in doubt, replace the pine nuts with sunflower seeds or pepitas.
The pesto in this recipe also makes a great dip for vegetable crudites – instead of the zucchini noodles, include sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber and capsicum, with a neat little container of dipping pesto to go with it. Most kids are happy to eat raw veggies if they can dunk them in something tasty.
Simple, crunchy and tasty. Enough said!
These raw crackers are a kiddy favourite. Note that this recipe contains almond pulp – to make these crackers friendly for school lunches, they should be nut-free. Sunflower seeds make a fantastic substitute for nuts in many recipes, and this is one where they will work a treat. Simply grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or small food processor until they have a texture like coarse sand – a few pulses should do it. Don’t over-process or you’ll end up with a paste.
Once you’ve made a bunch of these crackers, they are so versatile for lunch boxes. Include a small container of raw hummus for dipping, or whiz up a fresh carrot and ginger puree. Or pop in some sandwich fillers and let your little one create their own sandwich with avocado slices, chopped tomato and some fresh parsley or basil.
Last but not least, a good quality thermos or drink bottle filled with homemade green smoothie is a fantastic idea for school days. A drink bottle with a cap that can be used as a lid is best for easy sipping. Just show your little one how to shake the bottle like crazy before they drink it up. And if they are inclined to drink it in small goes throughout the day rather than in one big gulp, show them how to make sure the lid is on tight. That way you minimise the chances of green school books, green homework and a soggy green school bag!
These green smoothie recipes for babies and toddlers are also great for school-age kids. They’re good for you too!
With a bit of preparation and thought, you’ll soon get into the swing of sending your kids to school with nourishing, tasty raw lunches. Raw food is so fast and easy to prepare (even when you’re dehydrating overnight, the prep time is still pretty quick!) that you will probably find you’re getting school lunches together even faster than before.
I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration. What are your favourite raw school lunch box ideas?