I don’t know when the hype started, but I suspect Pinterest has done the same thing for school lunches that it’s done for birthday parties. It seems everyone is posting Instagram pictures of intricate Bento boxes of panda-shaped cheese or radish flowers. Around our house, we keep things simple. I’ve been doing rainbow lunches for myself for months, but I also do the same thing for Milo and Sophie.
Going gluten and dairy free was the springboard for our rainbow lunches. Why? Well, GF bread just really isn’t great and it’s also very expensive (even to make your own), so despite my love for them, we rarely eat sandwiches these days. Take away bread (and tortillas, English muffins, wraps, etc.) and you instantly get creative!
Sophie and Milo have taken a surprising amount of interest in lunch in the last few months, so I’ve enlisted them in the process. I provide a few choices, and we always aim to include as many colors as we can. It’s an easy way to help them get involved–“Okay, we need something red. Would you like strawberries or baby tomatoes?” or “what’s something orange we could put in our lunch?”
Whether you’re packing a school lunch or a picnic for the park, here are a few of our favorite bread-free lunch ideas to get your wheels turning…
This approach is sometimes called salad on a stick. Layer a few things on toothpicks–salami, pepperoni, or some cheese cubes with greens (like spinach or romaine lettuce). Add some olives, pickles, and small veggies. Include a bit of homemade ranch for motivation if you need to, then finish things up with some fruit for good measure.
Why not take a breakfast approach? Pack a little yogurt (dairy or nondairy), some mini muffins (like these or these), a little granola and fruit. Not a muffin fan? My kids also love silver dollar-sized pancakes or waffles. One tip: I’ve found a screw-on lid container works better for us for yogurt, since Sophie can’t open a yogurt container on her own.
This is as cutesy as I get, but these apple sandwiches really are great. Spread a little nut or seed butter over apple slices and done! If this seems like too much effort, just pack apple slices with a little dollop of nut/seed butter on the side for dipping. Some veggies and plantains on the side, and a fruit leather for a treat. YUM!
I will also say that Sophie and Milo (and Michael!) HATE having sticky hands, so we need to eat with wipes for this one. We picked up a little box of Wet Ones singles last week and they’ve been AWESOME for lunches and our park bag.
These are so great and have so many variations. Wrap a little slice of ham or turkey in a roll (or around a wedge of cheese or a little pickle) and secure it with a toothpick. For a grown up version, I love wrapping my turkey around sun-dried tomatoes or artichoke hearts.
What are your favorite bread-free lunches?
p.s. The Wet Ones Singles are on sale right now at Target AND there’s a digital coupon. Gentle on hands (thank you aloe!), hypoallergenic, and they kill 99.9% of germs. Plus the singles are so great for packing with you! And feel free to follow along with their #WishIHadAWetOnes for more lunch inspiration!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones®. The opinions and text are all mine.