Monday, September 2, 2013

Craving Lunchboxes and Routine: Two Girls, Two Schools, Two Lunchbox Philosophies

School starts both for of my girls in our house this week. I am so (ahem) looking forward to getting into a routine again...summer's vacations and trips kept us on our toes! I eagerly anticipate the rhythm of dropoffs and pickups, running errands, grocery shopping, therapy sessions for my youngest, and soccer practice and games for my oldest.

As we get ready for school days, I will be resuming my old habit of photographing some of my girls' lunchboxes for a glimpse into our household's lunch-packing routines. For my 6 year old daughter, who is neurotypical, you'll see a lot of those very familiar classically "lacto-paleo" aka "primal" lunchboxes. Meats, eggs, veggies, fruit, and full fat dairy. Since her cafeteria is nut free, her lunchboxes won't have nuts involved, but there will probably be some seeds and sunflower seed butter instead.

[Grand Grocery Co.], Lincoln, Neb.  (LOC)
Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
For my 3 year old daughter, who has sensory processing disorder and a speech delay, you'll see our "work in progress" lunches. We suspect that she has a salicylate sensitivity, because of the way she reacts to high salicylate foods -- and ironically many paleo staples like coconut, almond, and avocado are very high in salicylates. (We have discussed this possibility with the board certified MDs who oversee her care, and are further exploring the possibilities tied to that. We have also not yet ruled out parallel/similar possibilities like FODMAPS intolerance.) So although she is gluten free and dairy free, she is not classically paleo, and her lunches will be a reflection of that. You'll see lunches that depend heavily on animal fats, protein, and offal for calories, alongside with low salicylate fruits, vegetables, and select gluten free grains that do not seem to negatively impact her development the same way that high salicylate foods do.

What we pack for our girls' lunches likely is not precisely what you need for your own household's lunch; every lunch eater's nutritional needs will differ! However, I hope that posting our lunch pictures may still give you some inspiration when pulling together lunches of your own as you pick and chose ideas that you enjoy.

What is on your shopping list this year for packing school lunchboxes as your routines gain momentum?



  1. Just found your website today, its wonderful. Love your lunch box ideas. My goal this year is to get away from processed foods in the kids lunch boxes!

  2. I am curious as to where you get your container(s)?

  3. We, too, have a little one with similar food issues. Our 5 year old son is gluten, casein, egg, corn, soy & salicylate free. His school is nut free. Meals are tricky, but packing a lunch for preschool is even more so. I look forward to checking back for more inspiration. Thanks!


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