I have a little lady staring Kindergarten in a few weeks, and she is very interested in packing her own lunch. Does anyone have any good resources for kid friendly Paleo lunches? She really likes to do things herself, so simple would be amazing. That, and I work 40 hours a week and come home exhausted. Packing a lunch isn't exactly on the top of my list. Thanks for the suggestions! :)
Check out some ideas from everyday paleo.
I'm finding lots of good ideas with a google search for "paleo kids lunch". It looks like cut fruits and veggies, bacon, avocado, leftover meat, and nuts are simple yet enjoyable. If you make egg muffins on the weekend when you have more time, then she can grab one from the fridge to throw in her lunch box. I find that they refrigerate and keep really well.
So, I know you asked about food, but I find that the right container does half my work for me. I'm a big believer in good lunch containers, and I subscribe to the pseudo-bento approach.
We used a PlanetBox for my daughter last year, but before that used these double-sided containers from Sassy. (Warning: the Planetbox is expensive, but I expect it to last through elementary school!) Eventually, I plan to invest in a couple of LunchBots to replace the plastic Sassy ones. We had Laptop lunchboxes at one point, too, but I wasn't a fan. They were hard to clean, and hard for my daughter to get the lids off of. Evidently, they have done a second generation, though, so if you don't mind plastic, they're something else to check out.
Once you have a great container to fill, it's easier to talk about representing different kinds of food to take, and your daughter will like having mixed colors, textures, etc. when she opens her lunch. I agree with the recommendation on Primal Kitchen's blog, and actually if you "like" Lunchbots on Facebook, they're always posting great lunches in their feed.
Planet Box: http://planetbox.com/ Sassy containers: http://www.amazon.com/Sassy-On-Go-Feeding-Set/dp/B003JHREL4 Lunchbots: http://www.lunchbots.com/ Laptop Lunchbox: http://www.laptoplunches.com/
There's a lot of great blogs that other people probably know more about, yanno, people with kids. I'm sure you've thought of the usual hard boiled eggs, a few nuts, etc. But here's a few kid friendly things I do, and most of them would be pretty easy for her to do herself or at least help with if you just prep a few extra veggies/fruits the night before when you're making dinner or something, and using left-over cooked meats.
Paleo chicken salad - leftover chicken, avocado, squirt lime juice, dash of salt, mush together with fork. Serve as little "sandwiches" between slices of cucumber that you sliced, stuffed in a tomato, or lettuce rolls. Could do similar things with tuna.
Cobb Salad Deviled Eggs - hardboiled eggs (can be premade by you and stored in fridge for a few days) mush yolk with avocado (and some Greek yogurt or bleu cheese if you do dairy, but it's totally good without) and put back in egg, top with crumbled bacon and serve with cherry tomatoes and/or baby spinach leaves.
Apple sandwiches - sliced apples (you can pre-slice and put in fridge in baggie with a little lemon/lime juice to keep from going brown, also gives the slices a nice tang) with almond butter or nut butter of your choice, and cheese if you eat it.
Ham/turkey/whatever rolls - thinly slice your own meat or use nitrate free etc deli meat, wrap around whatever kind of veggies she likes (a lot of people love ham and asparagus, but asparagus isn't for all kids) turkey and carrot, etc.
Real pickles! Kids like pickles, right? The lacto-fermented kind, and you don't have to stop at cucumber. I love green tomato pickles, cauliflower pickles, all sorts of pickles. She could just pull a few out of the big jar and put it in a little container.
Don't forget dressings and dips! Kids love dipping stuff and there are a ton of paleo spreads and dips you can do at home and she can put in a small container. Also, after you cut some fruits and veggies for her, she (or you) could use little cookie cutters to make them into fun flower, star, or heart shapes, things like that.
Have you thought about doing bento boxes?
There are a lot of ideas on there, not all of them are paleo, but you can adapt your own ideas
In terms of containers, we tried the metal ones, and they're too hard for little hands to open, and despite the fact that there's a divider, anything with a liquid in it will go from one compartment to the next, and sometimes leak out of the lid. So no salad with dressing.
Instead, we now use the smaller 1cup pyrex containers. For extra security, if there's liquid inside, place some cling wrap around the lid, with a rubber band right under the lid, but over the plastic wrap.
We use regular metal lunchboxes, which sometimes get dented, or softer plastic ones. Long as they're big enough to hold a container of food, a piece of fruit, and some snacks, it's good.
Snacks have included macadamias/pistachios (not peanuts so the school doesn't mind), beef jerky, raw carrots, etc., sometimes a small baby bell cheese (they come wrapped in wax), or a bit of dark chocolate.
We also provide a contigo stainless steel water bottle. It's got a sippy cup style lid where you have to push a button in the back to open it. The lids can be hard to clean if you fill them with milk or juice, but water's just fine.
They also bring metal forks/spoons and some napkins with them as well.
Works pretty well.
Should we "pre-chew" our children's food? 13 Answers