Confession time: I am woefully uninspired in the lunch department. My kids usually eat leftovers or basic sandwiches for lunch. But when I recently opened up The Healthy Lunchbox by Katie Kimball, I got revved up by the pages and pages of easy, portable lunch ideas.
(Note: affiliate links are present. See my full disclosure)
Katie is known for her simple, healthy approach to real food.
I’ve followed Katie’s blog for years. I love Katie’s systematic approach life. She is unbelievably thorough! (Example: she’s reviewed 7 lunchboxes, 7 reusable snack bags, and 43 different natural sunscreens!)
I got a chance to ask Katie a few questions about her book.
Q&A with author Katie Kimball
Sarah: What’s your favorite recipe from The Healthy Lunchbox book?
Katie: I had to open the book myself just to see what was in there! Many of the recipes are, for me, just standbys that I make all the time without even looking at the recipe, but a couple jumped out at me as recipes we make every two weeks, at least, all year round. (I can never choose just one!)
- The slow cooker BBQ chicken is one of the easiest bulk meals I make for dinner and leftovers for lunch (or another easy dinner) are perfect, so that is a constant in our rotation.
- Homemade potato salad is just a favorite from childhood. It’s a lot of up-front work but once it’s made, I’m always grateful it’s in the fridge for a quick side dish.
- Our freezer is never without the grain-free coconut muffins (unless another muffin has snuck onto the to-do list).
- The pumpkin pancakes (can be sourdough, gluten-free OR grain-free) are my favorite way to get veggies into breakfast, and then the leftovers are the most moist PB/pancake sandwiches I can offer.
Sarah: I see this book includes a printable called “Teach Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches.” Your kids are still in elementary school – do they already pack their own lunches?
Katie: That printable was a gift from Sandra Harris, founder of ECOlunchboxes, whose kids are older than mine. It’s full of great tips…which I’m now looking up to make sure we set some new routines for my 4th grader this year!
I know he’s old enough to pack his own lunch, and sometimes I can make it happen, but the time between getting off the bus and bedtime seems SO short that it’s hard for me to squeeze it in. Excuses, excuses… 🙁
The short answer to your very good question is “sort of, sometimes, but not often enough!” I will say that I’m much better at orchestrating the kids UNpacking their lunches, so at least there’s some responsibility there and a break for me. [Note from Sarah: The Healthy Lunchbox details Katie’s unpacking system and I have to say it’s brilliant.]
When baby no. 4 is born in October, though, I sure would like to have some packing routines in place…time to start those Tuesday!!
Sarah: What is your best tip for keeping lunches fun for kids?
Katie: Variety and surprise. I should start by saying that I don’t think lunches always need to be fun, just well-received enough to be eaten. I’m not always a “fun” mom. 🙂 BUT adding a little note or a little food pick with a pink elephant on it, or including some popcorn or anything that feels out of the ordinary or like a “treat” goes a long way toward keeping the eaters happy.
Homemade pizza or crackers usually bring out the, “Yay, lunch!” cheers, so those are good items to keep in a regular rotation in our house.
Thanks so much to Katie for taking the time to answer my questions.
Special Offer for The Healthy Lunchbox
Update: This offer has expired but the book is still a great deal!
From now until 9/7/14, the first day of school in Katie’s home state of Michigan, The Healthy Lunch Box will be 35% off.
Use coupon code
NOSTRESSLUNCH (coupon is expired) to get this special price.
Plus, when you buy The Healthy Lunchbox, you’ll also get a 50% off code for The Healthy Breakfast Book to help redeem those morning meals and kick the cereal boxes to the curb. You know how I feel about a healthy breakfast, right?
The Healthy Lunchbox has helpful topics like:
- Waste-free lunches
- The art of sending hot and cold foods to school and the disposable lunch
- The allergy-friendly lunch
- Free printable lunch notes
- Printable “Teach Kids to Pack Their Own Lunches” (this is brilliant!)
- Main Dish Salads” eBooklet: 10 meal-worthy salads courtesy of GNOWFGLINS
- Meal Planning Resources from The Nourishing Home
- … plus 45 easy, perfectly portable recipes
Here is a peek at the Table of Contents.
Don’t forget, this coupon is only good until 9/7 and then the price for The Healthy Lunchbox goes back up.
Use coupon code NOSTRESSLUNCH to get this special price.
Don’t you wish you were Katie’s neighbor and could have her walk you through her lunch-packing system?
I sure do. But since we only go to Michigan on vacation every couple years, I’ll have to settle for the second best option which is enjoying all the goodness she’s put into this book.
What are your secrets for a healthy lunchbox?
P.S. Some amazing Ecolunchboxes are on sale right now at Amazon. It makes me want to plan a field trip just so I can have a reason to get one 🙂