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Packable Lunches for Kids and Adults

Lunch box with apple and banana

Marelize, a fan of Diabetic Foodie’s Facebook page, asked for ideas about what to pack in her son’s lunch box. She mentioned that he wasn’t a fan of mushrooms (a man after my own heart), tomatoes or any raw vegetables.

Here are a few things I’ve come up with, although they may not work for everyone. Make sure whatever you pack in your lunch fits into your own personal meal plan.

Main Items

  • Mini whole-grain bagel with peanut butter, almond butter or low-fat cream cheese; add some thinly sliced apples too
  • Low-carb tortilla with grilled chicken breast strips, some spinach or lettuce and ranch dressing
  • Vegetable soup (in a thermos) with whole-grain crackers and sliced cheese
  • Turkey breast on whole grain bread with mustard
  • Chicken or tuna salad (chicken/tuna mixed with plain Greek yogurt, sweet pickle relish and a little bit of minced celery) with whole-grain crackers
  • Whole-grain English muffin with peanut/almond butter and sliced bananas
  • Taco salad – lettuce, black or kidney beans, grilled chicken breast strips, cheddar cheese, salsa and baked tortilla chips or pita chips
  • Quesadilla – grill a whole-grain tortilla with cheese and whatever veggies you like; it won’t be hot at lunchtime, but it will still be good. Pack salsa on the side.
  • Pita chips with hummus
  • Chickpea and Raisin Salad
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Pasta salad with whole-wheat pasta and chicken – try Garden Pasta Salad with Chicken (you can leave out the veggies) or make your own combination


  • Grapes – try freezing them first, they will still be ice cold at lunch time
  • String cheese
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews or walnuts
  • Gorp – mix nuts, dried fruit (raisins, dried cherries, etc.), sunflower seeds and a few dark chocolate chips
  • Applesauce cups (no sugar added)
  • Popcorn (air-popped) – try seasoning it with Parmesan cheese and chili powder
  • Energy snack bars – Clif makes an organic product with no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats called ZBars, specifically for kids. Each is about 120 calories and 22g carb.
  • Plain yogurt mixed with fresh berries and a touch of honey
  • Cottage cheese mixed with pineapple chunks
  • Fresh fruit – banana, apple, orange

What packable lunch ideas do you have for Marelize?

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