Sunday, March 10, 2013

80 easy, frugal, healthy packed lunch ideas

Due to his egg allergy, I pack Brady's lunch every day. I love doing this for his day :) One of my fave things to put in is to the left - a clear container with a trail mix layer of pretzels, peanuts, raisins and a few M&Ms.

I try to pack a variety of things in a week, stuff I know he'll eat. If he's reluctant to eat it, he won't, regardless of if he's starved, and I'm not there to encourage him so I have to make CERTAIN he's likely to eat it.

I try to make it balanced and healthy - protein, carb, dairy, fruit or veggie. I've spent a lot of time thinking about healthy alternatives for him.

Not only that, I work full time so it has to be quick and easy to pack. And not only that, I try to live very frugally, so it can't be hugely expensive. Here's what I've come up with.

Most of these I have packed at one time or another to keep up with Brady's changing preferences as it relates to food, and honestly changing it up doesn't bother me because it keeps him eating a variety of things and keep his taste buds open. Others on here I think to myself would be great if he embraces them someday (except the crab meat sticks as all but one brand have egg in them).

A few of these things my mom makes ahead of time without egg and I keep them in the freezer, that's the meatballs and the pancakes. I just get out a few at a time.


Peanut butter
Seasoned beans like white beans or chickpeas
Peanuts, almonds, cashews etc.
Pop-top tuna or tear-open pouch
Pop-top chicken breast can (Dillons has a 3-pack of small ones for $2.99)
Turkey dogs
Pop-top chicken Vienna sausages
Thawed meatballs (with cold pack)
Turkey or ham lunch meat (with cold pack)
Crab meat sticks (with cold pack)
Yogurt cup
Cheese stick
Cottage cheese
Diced chicken breast (with cold pack)
Diced pork chop (with cold pack)


Cup of mashed potatoes
Cup of mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar & cinnamon
Baked potato, halved, in skin and seasoned
Baked sweet potato, halved, in skin with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon
Canned new potatoes cut up with butter and seasoning
Chips (I like baked ones)
Rice cakes (some of these have egg powder in the seasoning, can you believe that??)
Half bagel
Granola bar
Cereal bar
Whole wheat bread
A square of baked oatmeal. There are probably a variety of recipes online, I substitute applesauce for egg
A bowl of oatmeal with milk, sugar and cinnamon (still tastes good even if not heated)
Cup of dry cereal
Corn - on the cob or in individual cups


Individual white or chocolate milk (they have these for $3.50 for 6-pack at Walmart)
Individual containers of soy milk
100% juice box or pouch
Decaf tea with honey made at home
Water flavored with juice


Soup-at-Hand tomato or other soups. Not bad even at room temp.
Carrot sticks or baby carrots
Sliced peppers
Sliced cucumbers
Grape tomatoes or sliced tomatoes
Cut, cooked and seasoned asparagus
Cut, cooked and seasoned broccoli
Cut, cooked and seasoned cauliflower
Cut, cooked and seasoned Brussels sprouts
Sliced squash
Individual cups of peas, green beans or carrots
Water chestnuts
Baby corn


Individual packaged apples are $1 per pack at Walmart.
Individual applesauce cups
Individual cups of mandarins, pears or pineapple
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries (picked your own is best!)
Dried cranberries
Half an avocado with salt sprinkled on top


I  keep these few and far between, and low-cal, or - like all of us - he'd eat only that :)

Jello cup
Honey or jelly on toast
Pudding cup
Rice Krispie Treat
Few M&Ms


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