Have you ever felt like packing lunch is a daunting job?

When Erich and I (Kalie) first got married, his lunches consisted mostly of roasted turkey and muenster cheese sandwiches (God love him, he never complained). I would try and switch it up by adding a different type of cheese, pickles or tomatoes, but after a while I felt bad sending him the same old thing.

When I realized I was spending too much time searching for simple ways to create new and exciting lunches for our growing family, I came up with this list. Now I use it as a great resource to pack healthy lunches made with real food ingredients.

Our weekly reference

Because it’s easy to forget about all the options, I keep a laminated copy of this list in our kitchen. I use it as a reference and let our family help decide which lunches they want packed for the week. We each have a different color dry erase marker so we can choose (and circle) our weekly favorites.

Why we now limit lunch meat

After watching Food Inc. and doing a little research, our family made a decision to focus on eating locally raised meats. Why? Because most grocery store deli meats are HIGHLY PROCESSED. I'm talking high in sodium and made with artificial ingredients, flavor additives, added coloring, added preservatives, sodium nitrites or sodium nitrates and who knows what else!

Needless to say, it's been challenging to find a butcher or farmer's market (here in Florida) that offers lunch meat from a LOCAL resource. We've asked the butcher or deli attendant at the grocery store about the quality of the meats, but got an array of answers, which is why we feel better about limiting them.

In this week's series, we'll share sandwich ideas, which were inspired by some of our very own favorites, as well as our wonderFULL readers and Facebook Community.

Sandwiches (served cold)

  • Nut butter and strawberry, banana OR apple sandwich
  • Nut butter and honey sandwich
  • Sprouts, provolone, Honey Mustard and avocado (served in a sandwich or a wrap)

Sandwiches (served hot or cold)

  • Lox bagel sandwich: 1/2 bagel topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber slices or capers
  • Leftover turkey burger, brie (or cheddar) and apple sandwich (or panini)
  • Grilled caprese paninis: mozzarella, tomato slices and fresh basil sandwiched between bread, toasted or grilled on a panini press
  • Grilled cheese with tomato slices (served with tomato soup, warm in a thermos)
  • Open-faced Apple Cinnamon Toast
  • Open-faced BLT sandwich: Bibb lettuce, bacon, tomato slices and a smear of Greek yogurt or avocado slices
  • Open-faced Tuna Salad sandwich: Tuna Salad, melted provolone and a slice of tomato
  • Pizza sandwich (or open-faced pizza toast): tomato sauce, leftover grilled veggies and cheese sandwiched between bread, toasted or grilled on a panini press

Want quick and easy snack ideas to go along with your lunch? Check out our 70+ Snack Ideas for Kids and Adults.

Let's make healthy lunches happen - together!

Pam & Kalie

P.S. If we missed any of your favorites, we'd love to hear them! Comment below.

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