It’s time to go back to school and I’m sharing what I put in my little one’s lunchbox for a nutritious snack and healthy lunch!
AHHHH I am kind of (definitely) freaking out that my little Emma is starting pre-school in a few days! Okay, so she’s only going 3 days per week for 3 hours per day, but I could still cry! I know it sounds SOO cliche, but time really does fly! Everyone always told me to enjoy every little moment of her being a baby and I certainly did. Now I know why – it feels like I literally blinked and she’s a toddler. I had so many hesitations in signing her up for preschool since she’s only 20 months old; it seemed a little young for her to be without me. I’ve had her by my side since the day she was born and she is my shadow and fifth limb! She comes everywhere with me and I love it. I love planning each and every day for her and get excited about the new places I’ll take her to, fun playdates, music class, Little Gym class and our mommy & me classes. I’ve been fortunate enough to turn this blog into my full-time career and do my work from home so I can be with Emma.
Now it’s time for some honesty: As I mentioned above, she comes everywhere with me. Usually I love having her with me, but it’s definitely more difficult to get everyday errands done. Sometimes she tries to jump out of the shopping cart at Whole Foods or just decides midway through food shopping that she’s had enough here. When I do get to food shop alone (usually on the weekend when Josh can stay home with her) it’s definitely much easier. Also, since this blog has turned into a full-time career and is constantly growing (which is amazing) it’s requiring more and more of my time. I currently have to get all my work done while Emma is napping, before she wakes up in the morning and after she goes to bed at night and it’s getting exhausting. Also, if I want to get a workout in I have to go at 6am (before Josh leaves for work while he is home to watch Emma). What I’m trying to say is having just those 3 mornings per week to have a little more time to get my work done and maybe even sneak in a workout or errand will be nice.
I definitely have so many mixed emotions about sending Emma to preschool, but keep reminding myself that she’s going to LOVE it. She’s a very social person and loves being around other kids. I know she’ll learn so much more in school than she can ever learn with me. It’s tough trying to keep a toddler busy all day and find different activities to do every 30 minutes. I also know that when I pick her up from school I’ll feel refreshed and ready to give her my 100% attention. I also keep reminding myself that I still have two weekdays plus the weekends and every single afternoon with her so I’ll still get lots of ‘Emma time’ and I’m so happy about that!
Okay, that was so much more rambling than I expected to do about a post titled ‘Emma’s Healthy Lunchbox’, so let’s get to it! I’ve been thinking about what I’ll pack in Emma’s lunchbox for her snack and lunch and making sure it’s healthy, full of nutrient-rich foods and of course free of tree nuts and peanuts since most schools don’t allow them (thankfully because Emma is allergic to both).
I wanted to share what I’m putting in my daughter’s lunchbox to hopefully give you inspiration for healthy lunchbox ideas for your little one:
Sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwich: Most schools (or maybe all schools) don’t allow peanuts or any nuts due to allergies. I’m sooo beyond thankful for this rule because Emma is allergic to all tree nuts and peanuts. I make this sandwich on an organic 100% whole wheat bread with 1 tbsp of sunflower seed butter and 2 tsp of jelly. I look for jelly that is organic and naturally sweetened and NO corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup! For the sunflower seed butter I try to make sure the only ingredient is sunflower seeds. Sometimes I also use a sunflower seed butter that is naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey, but no other sugar, oils and absolutely no artificial ingredients.
Turkey & Cheese roll-up: This is high in protein and a nice addition to the sandwich (or a good alternative in case Emma isn’t into her sandwich). Emma loves dipping the turkey roll-up in hummus, so I’ll always include a dollop of hummus too.
Veggies & Hummus: I try to offer Emma veggies at all meals, so will always try to include some veggies in her lunchbox. She loves steamed broccoli and steamed carrots and has so much fun dipping them in hummus!
Fresh Fruit: Emma loves a good berry medley so that’s what I’ll pack most days, but will also switch it up with apple slices, peach slices, grapes (cut in half – otherwise it’s a choking hazard), mango, kiwi and watermelon. Fruit is the best dessert I can give her since she definitely has a sweet tooth!
A nutritious allergy-free bar: The bars that I’ll be packing for Emma’s snack time (or she may even like it for dessert after her lunch) are the new Enjoy Life Food’s baked chewy bars. They are free from the 8 common allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish) which is so important for a school-friendly snack since so many children (including mine) have food allergies these days. These chewy bars come in an assortment of delicious flavors and each flavor is equally delicious. Not only is Emma obsessed with these bars, but so am I. These bars have become a staple in my purse for when one of us gets hungry.
The flour in these bars is made from Enjoy Life Food’s new Pure Life Balanced Dry blend which is made from sunflower kernels, cassava, sorghum and quinoa. This proprietary allergy-friendly flour blend uses pure and simple ingredients that I approve of for both myself and my little one. These bars are packed with essential vitamins and minerals too. The bars are certified gluten-free, verified Non-GMO, certified Kosher and made with no artificial ingredients, which gives us permission to eat freely anytime and anywhere!
GOOD NEWS! I was able to get you a code for 20% off single boxes of Enjoy Life Food’s 3 new Chewy Bar Flavors using code CHEWYBLOG
I’d love to hear what you pack your little one for snacks and lunches! I am always looking for more healthy ideas!Check out what I put in my little one's lunch box for a nutritious snack and healthy lunch! #backtoschoolClick To Tweet
This post is in partnership with Enjoy Life Foods. Thank you for supporting Leah’s Plate and the brands that help make this site possible!