Nourishing School Lunches, On A Budget

by lydia on April 7, 2014

Creating nourishing lunches is probably one of my biggest struggles. In part due to the challenge of making them healthy while also on a budget. I suspect I am not alone in this challenge. If you are also struggling to get your kids out the door in the morning with a nourishing lunch in hand that doesn’t break the bank -this post is for you.

The lunch box challenge has been a real tough one for me this year. I have 3 boys that I send lunch to school with and it’s not an easy feat whatsoever. For one thing, there is the budget factor. I could easily spend $50-60 a week alone on just their lunches. Then there is the issue of making sure it’s super healthy and not fall into the temptation of buying processed pre-packaged foods that are not very nourishing. Add to that the issue of time and the whole lunch packing scenario is a royal pain-in-the-you-know-what. Oh, and I forgot to mention the whole issue of packing foods they will actually EAT and not waste. Another problem I face is that they all seem to have different preferences and if I don’t want them to waste what I do pack, I really have to pack what they do want. Oy vey!


So, in order to not lose my mind over this whole packing lunches conundrum, I decided to get some help. Thankfully, a fellow blogger friend of mine shared her new eBook with me; ‘The Grain Free Lunch Box‘. I knew I needed to read this eBook and get a serious game plan going to make my life easier. Let me tell you – it helped immensely.

After reading through the entire eBook (about 86 pages of information, tips, charts and recipes) I Grain-Free-Lunch-Box-Cover-194x300 was better equipped to make a game plan. I printed out the two charts included in the eBook -one is a weekly menu planning chart and the other is a favorite foods checklist. I used one the favorite foods checklists for each child. I then sat down with each kid and got a nice long list of items that they would like to eat, as well as encouraged them to try new things too. I made sure they were excited about anything that actually went on the list. I then chose the commonly selected foods from each kid’s list and filled in from there. I then used the weekly planning template (one for each kid) to fill out what they’d be having for their lunches for the week. I added all the ingredients to my shopping list. I also made sure I included any leftovers from dinners that they may like to take. It took me about 45 minutes to get all 3 boys meal plans worked up (I suspect this will get easier over time).

Each morning I simply set out their meal plan sheets and the older two were able to pack their own lunches, while I helped my 6 year old pack his. The results of all of this planning played out were nothing short of miraculous. I save myself so much stress and the mornings went so much more smoothly thanks to just a little extra planning ahead on the weekend. I also showed the boys the eBook and the pictures as well as the recipes. This gave them ideas they hadn’t thought of before and also got them excited about helping pack their own lunches. We also started making it a bit more fun for too. Including little note cards and a fun treat a couple times per week made it all that much better!

Sometimes it’s hard to keep everything running smoothly without a plan, some direction and much needed encouragement. I’m so grateful for this resource and how it is helping us make lunch packing more doable, even while on a budget! Here’s the cool thing, Jolene has graciously agreed to offer my readers a 40% discount on her eBook; ‘The Grain Free Lunch Box‘ as well as her other eBook; ‘Budget Meals Planning Guide‘. This discount is good for the entire month of April. Be sure to use code: 40OFF when checking out! At around $5 a pop you can easily afford to snag these books, get inspired and make packing lunches a much easier task! Be sure to involve your kiddos too!

Frustrated by daily lunch boxes coming home uneaten? Stressed about finding time to prepare lunch boxes? Find Lunch Box Preparation a dreaded hassle?

Packing Allergy Friendly lunch boxes for your kids can be a real nightmare – I know how you feel! Being faced with the prospect of packing allergy friendly lunch boxes for my kids which resembled “normal” lunch boxes just like their friends was an immense challenge. That’s where The Grain Free Lunch Box eBook comes in…

Imagine what it would be like to look forward to lunch box preparation. To be organized. To pack a nutritional lunch box, which meets your child’s allergy needs, and most importantly – which gets eaten and enjoyed by your child.

– See more at:



*Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of both ‘The Grain Free Lunch Box’ and ‘Budget Meals Planning Guide’ to review. I was under no obligation to further promote these books, I am promoting them because they are products I found helpful for my own family and believed them to be a good value. I do earn an affiliate commission for each sale, which is like a small tip to help with the upkeep of running this site. Thank you!


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Kristin April 11, 2014 at 10:37 am

I find lunches can be a pricy part of my budget. Thank you for posting this, nourishing lunches on a budget, looking forward to the book!

lydia April 11, 2014 at 10:51 am

It’s so nice to have a resource to help better plan lunches – I’m struggling over here! Hope you enjoy it Kristin!

Emily @ Recipes to Nourish April 11, 2014 at 11:19 am

This is great. I think lunches can be a struggle for many parents and this is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

Renee Kohley April 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm

My first born will be in kindergarten next year – my first year with a lunch to pack everyday! I’m nervous! I think I will get her involved though – great ideas!

Jessica @ConveyAwareness April 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I love the color and variety you added to your children’s lunch boxes. So important and as they age their tastes will vary but being consistent in our offerings will be beneficial in the long run, too.

Amanda Klenner April 24, 2014 at 12:20 am

Thanks for sharing this! Ill have to get it when the kids go to school. I have such an unimaginative mind when it comes to lunches.

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