Lunchbox Challenge and T-Shirt Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED, BUT WE ENCOURAGE TO CONTINUE TO SHARE YOUR LUNCH BOX IDEAS! Congratulations CeciMami! Your Salmon Cakes, apples, carrots and Sunbutter lunch was randomly chosen as our winning lunch!


We really enjoyed writing the healthy lunch box post for Sunny at AndLoveItToo – it was an inspirational idea that helped give us the drive for what we hope will be a series.  We thought that since tomorrow is the first school day for our county, it’d be a good idea to post another in our lunchbox series. We assume quite a few families are looking for ideas on what to pack in their child’s lunch box, hopefully this is helpful!

Here’s where we got a little more creative than usual: What we’d love is for you to provide a picture of your healthy lunchboxes. It’ll help and inspire us, but it’ll also reach thousands of people to inspire them as well.  It’ll provide more ideas from a broad range of households.  We all eat different foods, different ways and what better way to share than a collage in comments?  So, here’s what we’ll do… if you follow the following rules, you will be entered to win a t-shirt of your choice from our shop.

The winner of this giveaway will be randomly chosen from the comments on this post. Those people who have previously commented on the post announcing our t-shirts have already been entered once (thank you!).  You can enter the giveaway by doing the following:

  1. Comment to this post with a photo of your own healthy lunch box (one comment for each photo, post as many as you can come up with!)
  2. Comment to this post with a link to a blog post or other online media where you own rights to a photo with a healthy lunchbox (that is, it’s your created lunchbox and not someone else’s idea)

Now, for some ground rules on what we consider to be a healthy lunch box.  Ideally it’s a Paleo lunch box, but if there’s dairy (Primal) or legumes (gluten-free casein-free) there’s still plenty of inspiration in what you’re offering for readers of this site as well as the gluten-free community.

  1. The lunchbox must be grain-free
  2. The lunchbox must include a vegetable
  3. The lunchbox should be relatively low sugar (shouldn’t be 90% fruit)

That’s it.  Only two ways to enter and only 3 rules apply.  We really want the comment string to be inspiring and full of awesome visual appeal for children and parents to discuss what they want to try out in their own home.

That said – we do show favoritism.  If I see that you’ve gone above and beyond to spread the word on this idea, to get the community excited about feeding our children well while their brains are supposed to be functioning at their best – well, I just might enter you a time or two as a thanks.  If you cross-post those photos or links to Twitter and Facebook, that’s spreading the good food word and we like that.  More importantly, if our boys say that they love your idea so much that they want to try it themselves, maybe I’ll give you an extra entry as well.  I’ll do my best to keep it fair, but I also like to give extra credit.

Lunchbox Challenge giveaway entries end on September 18th at 11:59 EST. The winner will be announced on September 19th.

Alright, to the food – here’s what we packed Cole for his lunches this week!  Cole is so excited to be starting first grade, we spend much of the day making a lot of homemade goodies to have on hand for him to take to school and have when he gets home, exhausted.  It was a wonderful day, spent in our PJs while giggling and licking spoons in the kitchen.  A highly underrated stress-reducing activity!

As you make your lunchboxes this week, snap a quick photo and post them in the comments.  I guarantee you it’ll help someone else who is reading.  Plus, it’ll enter you for a free t-shirt of your choice!  How exciting for your child to win a giveaway with their lunchbox and then get to choose a t-shirt (or, you can take credit and get one for yourself!).

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  • Alex
    September 5, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    It was definitely difficult to come up with healthy lunches at first! I was a sandwich addict for as long as I could remember…

    These days, coming up with creative lunches is one of the highlights of my day, haha. 

    • Alex
      September 5, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      Giant salads are definitely a good staple for me–though I don’t know how kid friendly they would be! 

      • Alex
        September 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM

        Having fresh basil in our garden has been a delight all summer! And I don’t think I need to mention how awesome and versatile zucchini ‘noodles’ are!

  • Angie Hancock
    September 5, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    I’ve been working on a list of real food to send to school with my kids. Here’s what I have so far:

  • SunnyB @ Andloveittoo
    September 6, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    🙂 what a great idea! I look forward to seeing what unfolds from this contest/giveaway. xoxo

  • Stacy & Matt
    September 6, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    For Felonee63

    • Katie
      September 6, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      Thank you so much for the additional ideas. So far, so good with the other kids at school and their responses to Austin’s lunches.

  • Kerry
    September 7, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Ok! Here’s Amelia’s lunch for tomorrow. From the bottom right, going clockwise: Leftover grilled chicken breast and a few slices of chorizo, plus 1 rolled piece of Applegate Farms ham. Next, some asian pear and smoked gouda. The apple slices and a container of sunbutter to dip everything in. Then some cherry tomatoes, and finally, in the middle, a few pistachios.

  • Epic Paleo Labor Day weekend: Polyface and Primal Palate! | Paleo Parents
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  • Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    My typical approach is combining leftovers with fresh items to mix it up. Today’s lunch packed for my daughter is a classic example: leftover slow cooked pork and leftover asparagus, tossed with a bit of mustard. Some guacamole, cheese cut into a moon and star shapes, and some fresh fruit round out the rest of the meal.

    • Dana Post
      September 12, 2011 at 3:42 AM

      LOVE the cookie cutter idea!  Makes it special

  • Dean
    September 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Lunch for 4… Muffins made with almond meal/carrots/walnuts/bananas, chicken breast and cheese, tuna with olive oil based mayo, eggs, cucumbers, fruit and 100% apple juice

  • Dana Post
    September 8, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    Hope you can see this Big enough for an Entry 🙂   Deli meat rollups (ham, chicken, pepperoni… complete with fancy toothpicks:  cut up carrot and bell peppers, strawberries, and roasted sliced almonds with some dried unsweetened cherries. YUMMO 🙂  Oh, and a note from Mom thrown in (not pictured)

    • Katie
      September 9, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      I love your meat roll-ups. I never thought of combining different meats into one roll-up. I’ll be trying this for Austin tomorrow!

      • Dana Post
        September 12, 2011 at 3:40 AM

        Oh Good! Im so glad I helped someone 🙂  My boys especially love pepperoni and salami… I try not to overload them with these because of fillers, etc. but even just putting two inside the leaner meat, and one on the outside, Thrills Them!  All joined together with the fancy toothpick (which they think is so “neat”)  Best to you! We Paleo Parents gotta stick together!

  • Katie
    September 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Here is Austin’s lunch for 09/08/11. You can view the larger image at  It’s a ham sandwich on grain free roll, a cheese stick, blueberries, cocoa almonds, and yellow pepper strips.

  • Amanda Barkey
    September 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Im a stay at home mom so my lunch doesnt come in a box but it could! I had a steak that hubby grilled up for me while he was home on his lunch break with left over tomato, basil, balsamic salad and a paleo muffin (almond meal, carrot, banana, coconut)… essentially the Morning Glory Muffins from Paleo Comfort Foods that I baked as a special treat from earlier this morning.yum yum! I would love to win a lunch box to send with my boys to the baby sitter or day care!

  • Anonymous
    September 9, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Here’s a pic of Big-O’s lunchbox and a link to my post: 

    I’m getting so many great ideas from you guys!

    • Dana Post
      September 12, 2011 at 3:38 AM

      I know! Dont you love all the ideas being shared?!?!  I Do!  It’s making this so much easier and yummier, giving my boys more variety 🙂

    • Patti Simmons
      September 12, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      oooo – what kind of lunchbox is that???

      • Anonymous
        September 12, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        PlanetBox! I love them!

      • Dana Post
        September 18, 2011 at 12:30 AM

        Can also get GREAT ones at  (NOT dot com)

  • Jess L
    September 10, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    Our Lunchbox Challenged Homeschoolers attempts. Full story at

    1. Carrot sandwich on coconut bread (mostly eaten), green beans, hard boiled egg, baked pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds.

    • Jess L
      September 10, 2011 at 1:00 AM

      2. Coconut bread sandwich with steak strips, deviled eggs, baked pumpkin, carrot sticks and green beans, roasted pumpkin seeds.

  • Jess L
    September 10, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    3.  My actual work “lunch” – Leftover Mock Split Pea Soup with a sliced hard boiled egg, some pumpkin chunks, and (not visible) chunks of sausage. Also not pictured – a jar of coffee with coconut milk.

    • Jess L
      September 10, 2011 at 1:05 AM

      Oops, picture didn’t post…

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  • Dana Post
    September 12, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    Yummy home cooked burger (good beef, egg, finely diced onions and spices, fried in coconut oil), baby dill pickles, celery sticks, froz strawberries and blueberries (unsweetened) and homemade fruit and nut bars (from Everyday Paleo recipe – made with dried unswtned cherries)    Mmmmmmm

  • Patti Simmons
    September 12, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Boar’s Head Italian Roast Beef, Organic baby carrots, farmer’s market nectarine, local organic, grass-fed cheddar.  

  • Patti Simmons
    September 12, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    More roast beef (it’s his fave!), string cheese, local grapes, baby cucumber, coconut cream pie larabar. A bit high on the sugar, but he begged me to add the lara bar since the order had just arrived. 🙂

  • Danielle Dostal
    September 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Here is what I packed for my kids today:

    I LOVE what you guys are doing! Keep it coming please! 🙂

  • Danielle Dostal
    September 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    I LOVE what you guys are doing! Keep it coming please! 🙂

    Here is what I packed for my kids today:

  • Courtney
    September 13, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    Type your comment here.file://localhost/Users/guest1/Pictures/iPhoto%20Library/Originals/2011/Sep%2011,%202011/IMG_9647.JPG

    WF smoked chicken on bed of shredded carrots, primal ranch dressing, white peaches/grapes, cucumber stars/cherry tomatoes, dark chocolate covered goji berries/unsweetened coconut flakes, & water.

  • Courtney
    September 13, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    Here are a couple of my kids lunches.

  • Smithvroman
    September 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    QUESTION: all these cool snap top lunch boxes, do they leak? Many of our items are fresh and juicey, I am always curious on the leak factor of these containers. THANKS.

    • MyPaleoLunchBoxes
      September 15, 2011 at 8:29 PM

      My Planet Box has been great. It comes with two independent containers for fresh and juicy items that fit into the box perfectly. So far no spillage here! 

    • Stacy & Matt
      September 16, 2011 at 1:33 AM

      I’ve used our Bento and Goodbyn lunch boxes about 100x and I’ve only ever had a leak one time, and that was because the lid wasn’t closed properly.  The great think about Bento is that the version we buy comes in a sleeve so even though it leaked it was contained in the sleeve.  I’ve been super impressed with how well they work.  Now I just need to figure out a way to decorate them that doesn’t come off in the dishwasher so the kids can have Spiderman lunchboxes!

    • Dana Post
      September 18, 2011 at 12:32 AM

      super impressed with  (not dot com)

  • Stacy Newvine
    September 15, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Paleo Bread (courtesy of Elana’s Pantry) Applesauce Meatballs Carrots Grapes & Trail Mix (dark chocolate, almonds, cranberries) Chocolate Coconut Milk 

    ~Paleo Momma

  • MyPaleoLunchBoxes
    September 15, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    This is a great thread! I’ve just started blogging my Paleo lunch boxes daily in order to keep motivated to create interesting, delicious on-the-go meals as I’ve just returned to academia myself and I’m the mom of a Paleo toddler! I’m still getting the hang of finding the perfect amount of fat to keep me full all day long, but I’m off to a pretty good start, I think. This lunch box contains: hard-boiled eggs, sliced summer sausage and prosciutto, red pepper slices, small handful of blueberries, almonds and 2 squares of Lindt 85% dark chocolate. Yummy! And filling too :). I’ll try to post others later on.  

  • Joanna
    September 15, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    I have so many more pics on my phone but I can’t figure out how to post them!

    • Joanna
      September 15, 2011 at 9:06 PM

      Found one more on the computer. This was last spring – the mango obviously wasn’t local, but the veggies were. Buffalo summer sausage.

    • Joanna
      September 15, 2011 at 9:08 PM

      Oh, and this is all local, farmers market-bought food. Even the kiwis! We live in Northern California.

  • Dawn
    September 15, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    I blog about my Primal/Paleo/GF bento lunches here-
    Here is one I made yesterday for my 7yo daughter.

    Pepperoni and cheese on sticks. A “monster” babybel cheese (teeth and eyes cut from a piece of Nori), tomatoes and
    black olives on sticks, apple bunnies!, raisins and craisins,
    carrot flowers. And a mini banana.

  • Dawn
    September 16, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Lunch for two teenagers! Roasted chicken breast, cucumber slices, white cheddar squares, carrot,
    tomato, celery, hummus to dip veggies, tucked down by cheese is a small
    locally grown (as in my neighbor!) golden plum. Piece of a Lara bar.
    Also in lunch boxes was a Ghirardelli chocolate square and some GF

    • Dawn
      September 16, 2011 at 12:01 AM

      sorry, here is the pic 🙂

  • Kendra
    September 16, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    I love this idea! My girls have been helping make their lunch each day and having a choice about what goes in there (within certain limits, of course) makes it exciting for them. Here’s a couple lunchbox blog posts from this week: and

  • Dana Post
    September 18, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    My 3rd entry!  So NOMMY 🙂  leftover slow cooker chicken, raspberries, roasted sunflower seeds, celery sticks and 2 Paleo nutty cookies from Everyday Paleo (Sarah’s book)   Mmmmmmmm

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    I’m new to this so I hope I do it right! LOL! Turkey rolled up inside Chard, Raspberries, Carrots and Red Pepper sticks with Almond butter in the little container, and fried plantains. 🙂

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Tuna salad (using homemade macadamia nut oil mayo), Figs, Pluot, Carrots with Almond butter.

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Leftover Rogon Josh (Lamb stew), Cauliflower pilaf, Grapes, Carrots w/sunbutter, Macadamia Nuts.

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Tuna Salad, Carrots and Almond butter, Green beans, Plum

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Tuna Salad, Carrots and Almond butter, Green beans, Plum

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Pluot, Leftover Tri-tip, Cauliflower with Chimichurri, Figs, Carrots w/Almond butter.

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Pluot, Leftover Tri-tip, Cauliflower with Chimichurri, Figs, Carrots w/Almond butter.

  • CeciMami
    September 18, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Salmon cakes, Apple, Figs, Carrots and Sunbutter. (Ok, so seriously, my kid loves carrots…;)

  • Nissa Madrigal
    September 18, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    Organic carrots, strawberries and a few grapes.  Organic broccoli slaw, roast beef with muenster cheese wrapped up in romaine lettuce. A few dark chocolates and cashews.  

  • Kerry
    September 18, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Lunches for tomorrow. Everyone got leftover grilled chicken, baby carrots, apples, and whole-milk greek yogurt drizzled with honey for a dip. Also added a strawberry banana mash-up for some kids, salami for others. 

    I am also a huge PlanetBox fan, with the caveat that my kids are pretty good about not losing lunchboxes. 

  • MyPaleoLunchBoxes
    September 18, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    This lunchbox has:
    Mini peppers stuffed with sheep’s milk cream cheese and baked until soft (tasted just as good cold in the lunch box the next day!) 
    Sliced all-pork summer sausage
    tuna salad made with homemade olive oil mayo & celery, topped with 1/4 of an avocado
    sliced cucumber
    This was a really yummy one :).

  • Kickingcarbs
    September 26, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Lunches are a challenge between kids being picky and avoiding the commercialization of food. Today we had spinach salad, organic yogurt, nitrite free hot dog, organic ketchup, hummus and a low glycemic Wasa cracker.


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    Stacy, can you pls tell me what brand (or give a link to) the pink luch kit you show with the hotdogs and egg salad?

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