5 Simple School Lunches (Grain Free, Nut Free)


Oh boy…school is back already?

This means that school lunches are back too and I am about to help simplify that for you.

You can download all of the recipes from this blog in this handy little recipe package I put together for you (yes it is free!). You can get that HERE

The Perfect Lunch

A perfect lunch is one that satisfies you and fills you up without leaving you feeling like you need a nap. So that means that it cannot be full of processed, sugary snacks.

So what it should be made up of is some meat, lots of veggies, fruit and some healthy fat.

And bonus points if you get that from leftovers from dinner the night before! Save yourself some time and make extra at suppertime. Then all you need to think about are snacks.


You have options here.

Stainless steel containers like Planet Box and Lunchbots are lightweight, eco-friendly, durable and healthy for storing food. They are great and will likely last forever but not surprisingly, they are at higher price point.

school lunches

I am using Sistema, a BPA free plastic product that I love because the price is reasonable (although, I would not say cheap). The containers have a lot of cool dividers so that you can fit more food into each container without having them mix together (think veggies and dip).


A thermos is also a necessary part of a healthy lunchbox. I used our Thermos (it comes with a folding stainless steel spoon) almost every single day last year. I add boiling water to the insulated thermos for about five minutes, then I dump out the water and add our heated up food and it keeps warm until lunchtime. 


Most schools are going nut-free now so for those of us who eat a lot of nuts that can feel like a bit of a challenge since a lot of our favourite go-to snacks contain nuts.

So now I would like to introduce you to Nut Free Trail Mix.

I will give the full recipe in the free By Design School Lunches Recipe Pack that I made up for you but the idea is that if you choose a random mix of coconut, seeds and dried fruit (and occasionally dark chocolate chips), you can create an awesome little nibbly snack that is full of healthy fat.

As you are about to see, nut free trail mix is a staple in our lunches.

So without further ado…

Here are five By Design school lunch ideas to help simplify your life.

Healthy School Lunches

Lunch Box 1

Main: Chicken & Veggie Soup


Carrots and Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing


Avocado with Sea Salt


Nut Free Trail Mix


Lunch Box 2

Main: Hamburgers with Organic Ketchup


Berries with Yogurt and a dribble of Maple Syrup

Cucumbers and Dip (Homemade Mayo or Tzatziki)


Nut Free Trail Mix 

Lunch 3

Lunch Box 3

Main: Grilled Chicken Thighs (Wrap optional)


Zucchini and Celery Sticks


Cherry Tomatoes

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Nut Free Trail Mix

Lunch 4

Lunch Box 4

Main: Turkey Apple Mini-Meatloaves


Red and Green Peppers



Apple Sauce

Nut Free Trail Mix


Lunch Box 5

Main: B’Eggs


Broccoli Salad





Nut Free Trail Mix

We have a whole whack of more great recipes in the Eat By Design Cookbook that would make perfect school lunches (and weekday dinners)! The cookbook is also a 28-day By Design meal plan with grocery lists.

Here are a few more of our school lunch favorites from the cookbook:

Cabbage and Sausage

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie


Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Tuna Fish Mix

By Design Waldorf Salad

If you have peeps (aka friends and family) who are in charge of making lunches, share this little bit of inspiration with them so that they too can see how easy lunches can be.

Get your free By Design School Lunches Recipes HERE

***A huge thank you goes out to Grace In The Kitchen, a specialty kitchen store (with an amazing cheese selection and coffee bar) in Kanata, Ontario for supporting us to put this blog out to you. You can get the Sistema product line there.





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