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The Best Homemade Kids’ Lunches on the Planet

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The new book by Laura Fuentes of, The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet:  Make Lunches Your Kids Will Love with More Than 200 Deliciously Nutritious Meal Ideas is a great way to take charge of one of toughest food challenges faced by parents – packing nutritious foods your kids will eat and enjoy. Laura is the cool mom who acts like a trusted friend, sharing her secrets and taking you through everything step by step. One lucky reader will win a copy of her book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. What does this have to do with homesteading? I'll get to that in a bit.

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet is divided into seven chapters, along with a feedback chart to record your family's likes and dislikes as you work your way through the recipes. The chapters are as follows:

  1. Pack Like a Pro:  Nourishing Foods on the Go – Tips for keeping food fresh and in great condition until mealtime, budget friendly shopping, stocking up
  2. Get Out the Door:  Breakfast to Go – 11 Awesome Portable Morning Meals from Perfect Pancakes to Breakfast Burritos
  3. Fill the Box:  Sandwiches and More – Not the boring sandwiches from ghosts of lunch boxes past, Laura puts her creativity to work to create fun meal options. From The Skinny Elvis, to Cheddar and Pear Quesadillas, and Baked Ravioli, you can get through the school year without have to pack the same meal twice – unless of course you find a family favorite and want to have it again and again.
  4. Add Some Fun:  Interactive Lunches for Picky Eaters – This has never been a problem with my two, but I know some families struggle to get their kids to eat. With options for dipping, skewering, stacking and building and plenty of variety in textures and flavors, you're sure to find something that will tempt even the fussiest eaters.
  5. Fill the Thermos:  Portable Hot Lunches – In our area, most of the school year is pretty chilly, so hot midday meals are a real plus. These recipes make enough for a small family, and leftovers reheat well for the next day. Includes tips for keeping your meals safe and hot until lunchtime.
  6. Extra Credit:  Staples, Drinks, Treats, and More – From sweet treats like a homemade version of a well-known chocolate nut spread (without the main ingredient being sugar) and cookie dough dip (yum!), to savory staples like hummus and protein bars, you can save a lot of money and skip a lot of garbage by making your own. Prep ahead smoothies can be packed frozen for refreshing drink at meal time.
  7. Putting it All Together:  Meal Planning and More – The book wraps up with two weeks of suggested meal plans, along with a quick check list of tips and techniques to simplify meal planning.

More Ideas for Easy to Prep Lunches

As many of you know, I homeschool my kids, so we don't normally have to worry about packing lunch. Even though we don't pack meals, it's way too easy for me to get in a rut for lunchtime and end up eating the same thing again and again.

These recipes are easy enough that my teenage boys could make them without much fuss, giving them more variety in their diets and an opportunity to practice their kitchen skills. There are allergy friendly options, too, for those who need them.

About the Author

Over the past few months, I've been fortunate to become friends with Laura via our online real food community. This book does a great job of capturing her enthusiasm for cooking and her upbeat personality.

If you'd like to see her in action, you can watch her in this episode of Rewrapped on Vimeo, her first appearance on Food Network (but I'm betting it's not her last).

In some ways I can't picture someone more different from me – she LOVES the big city, and big cities scare the bejeezus out of me – and I bet she'd never consider herself a homesteader. That said, making the decision to take control of your family's food and saying “no” to all the processed garbage is one of the first steps you can take to becoming more self-reliant.

Just wait – maybe by next year I can talk her into planting a small garden. 😉  If you need ideas for healthy, kid-friendly foods that are easy to pack for school or other outings, this book is a great reference.

The Best Homemade Kids' Lunches on the Planet by Laura Fuentes Review and Giveaway

Post originally included a giveaway. Giveaway is now closed.

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  1. My biggest mealtime struggle is fearing my youngest isn’t getting the nutrients he needs. He is healthy and active, but tends to eat only the starchy portion of any meal. I really wish it wasn’t such a struggle to get him to eat!

  2. While I don’t have a child in school yet, I do end up making a lunch for my husband for those days he needs one at work. What I usually do is make sure to pack the night before leftovers in a container for him, but would like some more ideas to keep it healthier. Plus extra ideas for lunches are always great when you have a 3-year-old!

  3. My boys will be home schooled but I’m already out of ideas of what to make them for 3 meals a day. I could use the help.

  4. We’re homeschooling so I don’t need to pack one daily but it would be fun for us to pick them out and make together or pack for field trips!

  5. I need this book for me! I’m a teacher, and I am always needing something to pack for myself. I’m usually very good the first week of school, but after that, my lunches are not the most nutritious.

  6. The kids pack their own lunches most days but like to get creative, so this would be a tremendous help in changing things up a bit from the sandwich, yogurt and fruit routine!

  7. I may homeschool, but I still have to make lunches frequently for picnics, field trips, husband’s work (no fridge or microwave), etc. I would love to expand our repertoire for more variety.

  8. We farm, and I often have to send brown bag lunches to the field. During harvest, I feed a huge hungry crew for several days. Sometimes they want meals they can eat on the go, and other times they take the time to stop and eat with a fork. I have some good standy meals, but would love some fresh ideas.

    I make up a quadruple recipe of chocolate chip cookies, drop them on a sprayed cookie sheet and freeze them individually. While we’re eating breakfast, I bake a few for my husband’s and son’s lunches.

    I also make homemade potato and tortilla chips. I slice the potatoes very thin, or cut tortillas into wedges, spray, season and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.

    I put wet washcloths in zipper bags in their coolers. It’s refreshing on a hot day to use those before eating their lunches.

  9. I am always concerned that my daughter’s lunch remains chilled until she is ready to eat it. I would love to learn about alternatives to ziploc baggies – how do the stainless steel and BPA free plastics stack up? Creative ways of serving fruit and vegetables are something I can’t get enough of.

  10. My g’daughter has 2 jobs and a toddler to feed. This book would help her know she is feeding him nutritious meals that he would love, and she could be less stressed in her day knowing she is taking care of him the best she can…
    Thank you, Pam Olin

  11. This sounds like a great little book! It would definitely get a lot of use at our house as we pack lunch every day. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  12. I think this is such a great idea. I love how the portions are so easy to figure out and that they use “normal” foods that kids would eat and not obscure foods that I’ve got to drive two hours to get and that the kids won’t eat.

  13. I would love to have new foods for my somewhat picky eater. I refuse to pay for a lunch that she won’t eat (school lunches) and contribute to the waste from the FDA “required” lunches. I usually make her a hazelnut chocolate sandwich on homemade bread and then whatever is fruit and left over from the night before. THis book would expand the possibilities. My husband needs good lunches, too. It nearly kills me when I have to hand over 15 dollars for him to go to a place that is “close” for his 30 minute lunch break. Thank you for the giveaway!

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