Healthy and Whole Creative Lunchbox Ideas for Back to School

Hello friends! My name is Shannon and I am the voice behind the instagram account @cleaneats_cleantreats! I am a wife and mother of three active healthy children, two teens and a toddler! Needless to say our life is busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I have been passionate about health and wellness for over a decade after suffering from a life changing illness. I’ve learned the hard way that we need to feed and care for our bodies properly in order for us to function at our very best. Throughout the last ten years I have healed myself from within with proper diet and nutrition, simply with food. I’ve learned what my body needs and requires in order for me to live a healthier life. Through my journey I have been passionate about sharing what I’ve learned with others, my family being number one. I love spending my free time teaching others the life changing benefits of a whole foods diet. I want those around me to avoid illness and feel their very best. It has become my life goal to share the knowledge I’ve gained through my journey with others and I am beyond grateful for each opportunity I get to do so!

My whole foods transition hasn’t always been an easy one. Especially when it involves my family. I basically decided overnight to clean up our kitchen. That meant eliminating anything majorly processed, food with added sugar, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or food dyes. White flour, rice and bread, and anything pre-packaged. I definitely wasn’t the favorite parent for a while. I only stocked fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, quality dairy, healthy fats, natural sweeteners and whole grains in the house with few exception. My husbands “hidden” candy stash being one. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks but it’s not impossible! I’m proud to say that we all, including my husband eat a very whole and healthy balanced diet now ten years later. Do we eat out? Of course! But we try to incorporate the same rules we have at home when we order. Do we splurge? Absolutely! We’re human, but we make sure when we do it’s a quality treat, one that is worth every bite! I don’t want to teach my family the feeling of deprivation, which only leads to binging. I do want to teach them why we eat clean and how good our bodies can feel doing so. So when they are free to make those choices on their own, they make smart ones.

I still to this day struggle with my teens incorporating a whole foods diet. It’s hard when they are with friends and hitting up 7 eleven for Slurpee’s or Taco Bell at midnight almost weekly. Once they have their license and their own debit cards, you pretty much hand over control. Teens will be teens and I get that. I am confident that what they eat at home is healthy and whole so when they make choices to eat out with friends, I don’t worry that much. I want them to have free agency. Home is really the only place I have 100% control. So it’s important to me that I stock a full fridge and pantry with their requested healthy snacks and whole food options!

As for my toddler, she has known no other way of eating other than whole foods. She was born five years after we incorporated a new lifestyle and has eaten what I've eaten since she could chew. I made homemade baby food for her and never added sugar to her diet. I strongly believe our children don't "dislike" anything until they have had the opportunity toy try it and decide for themselves. Just because most kids dislike spinach doesn't mean we shouldn't offer it ti our kids. So many foods that are labeled "kid friendly" are unhealthy and processed. Yes its easier if we start from day! But its not impossible to start now!

With school back in full swing I’m beyond ready to get us all back on track! After a summer full of snow cones and too much pizza I think we would all agree we’re ready! I’ve put together some fun new creative lunch ideas for you and your families. Hopefully they will help get you out of the pb&j rut! Trust me I’ve been there, lunches are hard. Here are a few of our family’s favorites! I hope you enjoy them!

Sandwich kabobs
For whatever reason heart and star shaped foods seem to be eaten without hesitation around here! Grab a kabob stick and pile on your favorite sandwich fixins! Slice your cheese and bread into your littles favorite shapes and watch lunch disappear! Add a side of fruit and organic milk to balance it out! I always like to pack an extra snack for after school too. An applesauce or fruit pouch, apple, string cheese and crackers. Anything to hold them over until they get home and avoid the HANGRY outburst through the door!


Sushi bento
This is one of my teens favorite lunches! Grab a veggie roll from your local grocer or make your own if you’re awesome like that! Then add some kimchi, Asian trail mix, fresh ginger, and edamame. A complete meal that doesn’t resemble your traditional brown bag lunch!


Deconstructed taco bowls
Perfect to assemble with last nights leftovers! Or if you don’t have leftovers just grab a can of chicken or shred a rotisserie chicken, mix with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, homemade paleo mayo and clean taco seasoning to taste (recipes for both can be found on my blog serve with shredded lettuce, sliced olives, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and whole grain scoops chips. Serve with a side of fresh fruit and fruit infused water.


This is the perfect option when a sandwich just won’t cut it. Usually by the end of the week for us! A simple recipe of one can of tuna mixed with two cups cooked ditalini pasta, paleo mayo, celery salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste. Fresh veggies and a side of fruit. We love apple chips around here, the only ingredients: apples. Crunchy and delicious plus big and little kid approved!

If I could offer one bit of advice towards starting your family down a healthier road it would be: Stay consistent. Healthy choices eventually become habits. Keep adding new healthy foods to your weekly meal plans. If they turn their noses up try the same food cooked differently the following week. Don’t give up! Feeding and fueling our bodies and our families bodies is insurance for their future and ours. A healthy future! It’s never to late to start making changes. Good luck mammas! For more clean eats and whole food inspiration follow along over at @cleaneats_cleantreats! Xo

IG: cleaneats_cleantreats



(You can find the lunch box containers pictured above at @Replayrecycled and @Planetbox.)

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