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Lunch On-The-Go Survival Guide

Affiliate Disclosure | in Motherhood | by | with 8 Comments


Does The Lunch Hour Taunt You?

Does it stick out its tongue, cross its eyes and dare you to go beyond PB&J sandwiches? No fear, brave friend, this post is for you! Here’s a sneak peek into what I’ll be packing for the potami this year.

Lunch Meat & More


Everyday Lunch Meat

Organic lunch meats are expensive and often contain questionable ingredients, like carrageenan. Though this seaweed-derived additive sounds perfectly safe and natural, it is actually given to mice to mice to induce colitis for the purpose of studying anti-inflammatory medications. (source) The good news is, it’s easy to make delicious lunch meat at home!

This bacon and pork-based recipe from Nourished Kitchen is super easy. Roast beef deli meat is also easier than you’d think to make. I like to make large batches and then freeze them in small increments so I can pull out just what I need for a day.


Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad

Light, refreshing, and oh-so-easy to prepare, this quick chicken salad is a great way to use leftover roast chicken.

Quick tip: Add some crumbled bacon for extra yum factor.

Get the recipe from Food Renegade

salmon-jerkySalmon Jerky

Wild caught salmon offers brain building omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D and astaxanthin, a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Note: Depending on which dehydrator you have 24 hours may yield and overly dry end product, so check on it every once in awhile.

Find Gutsy’s recipe here.


Other Options

Bacon & Avocado Egg Salad from Food Renegade

Beef Jerky from Gnowfglins

Salmon Dip from Mommypotamus (The photo for this post is really bad, but I’m including it anyway because the actual recipe is one of our personal faves)

Summer Chicken Salad from Mommypotamus

Black Beans with Raw Cheese from Homemade Mommy

Chicken Salad with Sweet Relish from Mommypotamus

Raw Cheese

Boiled Eggs



I make a lazy version of this Cherry Pecan Terragon Chicken Salad Wrap from Urban Poser with dried cherries or cranberries, dried spices and mayo instead of coconut cream. It. is. awesome.

Get the recipe here.

salmon-avocado-rollsAvocado Salmon Wraps

This recipe from Health Home & Happiness combines brain building omega 3’s and healthy fats to keep kids (or their parents!) full all day long, all rolled up as a bite-sized morsel of creamy goodness.

Want to make your own tortillas? Here’s the recipe I use.

Recipe here: Avocado Salmon Wraps

cauli-wrapsCauliflower Wraps

Grain-free? These wraps from Empowered Sustenance are a great alternative to corn, flour and rice tortillas.

Recipe here: Cauliflower Wraps

(P.S. If you or your little one are avoiding grains, dairy, nuts and/or refined sugar, I highly recommend Lauren’s ebook, Indulge & Heal. It contains recipes for treats like soft fudge cookies, vanilla meringue buttercream, pina colada sorbet and more)

Other Ideas

Asian Lettuce Wraps from Home Grown and Healthy

Nori Wraps from Rubies and Radishes

Herbed Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps from Our Nourishing Roots

 Nuts & Seeds


Sweet and tart, these homemade Cherry Pie “Larabars” are a favorite with the potami. I love forming them into little heart shapes before packing them into lunch boxes. Get the recipe here.

grain-free-granola-barsSweet Coconut Curry Granola Bars

If your little ones are sensitive to strong flavors you might use a bit less curry, but this is definitely a must try if you love chewy granola goodness!

Check out The Urban Poser’s recipe here.

sesame-honey-candySesame-Honey Candy

“A traditional Greek confection, sesame honey candy combines the simplest of ingredients – gently toasted sesame seeds, unrefined sea salt and honey – for natural treat.”

And ohhh, it’s so easy to make! Mix, heat, mold in to shape and voila!

Find the recipe here

Other Ideas

Soaked and Dehydrated Mixed Nuts from Mommypotamus



My good friend Whittney made this Broccoli Grape Slaw for me right after Micah was born – it is positively addictive! Get the recipe here.

lactofermented-carrot-sticksFermented Dilly Sticks

Quick and inexpensive to make, these fermented carrot sticks have a crunchy texture and a slight dill flavor. The potami love them.

Recipe at The Nourishing Gourmet


spicy-carrot-saladSpicy Carrot Salad

Another longtime favorite of ours, this carrot salad takes just a few minutes to put together. I dial down the spice a bit for the kids.

Recipe here: Spicy Carrot Salad


It’s a sea vegetable, so it counts! Seaweed is a great alternative to chips, and it’s rich in minerals such as iodine, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium.

Unfortunately most seaweed snacks are made with canola or safflower oil. Safflower I don’t have a big problem with, but companies often switch between the two depending on what’s cheapest so you never know what you’re going to get. Fortunately, I recently discovered these mineral rich from Sea Snax that use olive oil instead.

Buy them here

Other Ideas

Homemade pickles (or Bubbies)




A little fat, a little protein, some quality carbs and beneficial bactera all rolled up into an easily portable yummy package. Get the recipe from Thank Your Body.

Other Ideas

Pineapple chips from Gutsy

Banana chips from The Polivka Family

Fermented apple sauce from The Coconut Mama


Apple slices with nut or seed butter

Chips, Crackers, Breads & MuffinsSprouted Flour Cheddar Crackers

Sprouted Flour Cheddar Crackers

These crackers are a tasty alternative to fish-shaped crackers.

Recipe here: Sprouted Flour Cheddar Crackers

Grain-Free-Crackers-healthhomehappySunflower Seed & Pumpkin Crackers

This recipe works well for grain-free families, especially in schools that don’t allow nuts.

Recipe here: Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Crackers

spiced-banana-nut-muffinsGrain-Free Banana Walnut Muffins

Though I’ve made double and triple batches in an effort to freeze the extras, somehow these always disappear off my countertops! I’ve been assured, though, that they freeze very well, so feel free to grab one as you and the kids head out the door. It’ll thaw just in time for your mid-morning snack!

P.S. They only take 5 minutes to prep.

Recipe here

Other Ideas

Coconut chips from Gutsy

Sprouted Whole Wheat Crackers from Cheeseslave

Pizza Poppers from Nourishing Charlotte

Paleo Mini Muffins from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition

Soups for Thermoses


Chicken & Gluten-Free Dumplings With Fresh Herbs

A creamy stew featuring fresh herbs, pastured chicken and gluten-free dumplings from Nourished Kitchen.

Recipe here: Chicken & Dumplings

egg-drop-soupEgg Drop Soup

A protein-packed, mineral-rich meal that’s ready in 15 minutes flat.

Recipe here: Egg Drop Soup

Other Ideas

Tomato Soup from The Nourishing Cook

Cream of Chicken from Nourished Kitchen

Sweets & Treats

vanilla-bean-coconut-macaroonsVanilla Bean Coconut Macaroons

Light and sweet, these macaroons are delightfully packable and fun to share.

Recipe here: Vanilla Bean Coconut Macaroons

Other Ideas

Pecan Sandies from Mommypotamus

Homemade Marshmallows from The Urban Poser

Coconut Macaroons from Good Girl Gone Green

Energy Balls from Primally Inspired  (I omit the chocolate because of the caffeine – my kids have enough energy already!)

Banana Ginger Bars from Empowered Sustenance

Need More Ideas?

The-Healthy-Lunch-Box-FinalSmallThe Healthy Lunch Box: Sandwich-free Secrets to Packing a Real Food Lunch is loaded with strategies to streamline your packing process, stock your pantry with emergency backups for your backups, and send healthy, delicious food in the lunch box, no matter how old your eater is, and there’s not a sandwich in sight.

Whether you need to pack a healthy lunch for work, school, or lunch on the go anywhere, the portable ideas in The Healthy Lunch Box will inspire you to avoid packaged and processed foods and go with the real thing every day.

 Click here to learn more

Grain-Free-Lunch-Box-CoverThe Grain-Free Lunch Box is a wonderful resource for families avoiding:

  •  Grains/gluten
  • Nuts
  • Dairy
  • Refined Sugar

It also includes tips and strategies to help you plan your lunch box schedule and keep organized.

Click here to learn more

 Do you have a fave packable snack/lunch item? Please share it below!


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8 Responses to Lunch On-The-Go Survival Guide

  1. Whittney says:

    YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just got one Lunchbot in the mail {you know, in case I don’t win} and I’m stoked!

  2. Mother B says:

    What a wonderful post. So very thorough!! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Dinah Sutton says:

    Love your blog and FB page…

  4. Annette says:

    It’s never too late to learn a better way of getting and/or maintaining good health! At age 66, my husband and are rearing & home schooling our 13yo granddaughter and my Mother has come to live with us. We take her 7 days a week to see my precious Daddy in the nursing center just around the corner from us. We prepare her a meal to eat with him 7 days a week. I’m excited about this innovative but simple way to promote healthy choices and be low maintenance. We need all the encouragement we can get….thank you!!

  5. Ashley says:

    Great lunch ideas! I have a low carb lifestyle, so most of this is perfect. The containers look great, but I’m super busy and always end up forgetting to wash them. I don’t know how many times I’ve found unwelcome food surprises in a container I’ve forgotten about! For the past year, I’ve package my lunch foods in individual plastic baggies…then you can eat and toss the bag away – no clean-up.

  6. Rommel says:

    My mouth waters on your deliciously looking lunch pictures. This is my first time but you already have my hearth on your love. I would love to visiting your blog every now and then.

  7. Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) says:

    These are brilliant ideas! I am so inspired to delve into some delicious lunches!!!

  8. Eva says:

    What a great collection of lunch ideas, I’m bookmarking this :-) Thank you!

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