Sunday, August 4, 2013

Healthy Budget Friendly School Lunch Ideas: Make Your Own Trail Mix

I started packing lunches and snacks for Ava's preschool when we discovered her egg allergy earlier this year. I also bring her a lunch on the days that she won't eat the hot lunch. I'd rather pack her a lunch than her just eating only the fruit. Healthy and budget friendly really do go together! When you cook your own meals you're saving money and you can focus on healthy ingredients for your family. I always prepare a packed lunch for our entire family. I spent about 30 minutes in the morning packing lunches for our family.

Kroger grocery stores have a fun healthy, budget friendly school lunch campaign right now. So I thought I'd join the fun. We have a Kroger just a few minutes from our house and I've been impressed with the store brand products such as cereal, peanut butter, and milk. We read the labels closely to buy healthier food options. For example, the Kroger natural creamy peanut butter is just peanuts and salt. I focus my shopping in the organic produce and natural food sections. I like the Key Ring app to store my store cards and you can access coupons in your mobile app. It's a great way to get the deals in the store without clipping the coupons.
Pretty and healthy lunch!

One of my favorite packable snacks is make-your-own trail mix. It makes a great addition to a lunch too! Depending on your mood or seasons, you can customize it with anything. I like sesame sticks because they add a salty, but healthy flair along with nuts. Yesterday, I couldn't resist these organic grapes at our local Kroger. They are delicious. I added nitrate-free ham roll-ups. Ava likes it when I roll up her ham or turkey lunch meat. And she especially loves when I cut her cheese slices into shapes.

 Healthy Lunch 1:  
  • Organic grapes 
  • Make your own Trail Mix (Kroger honey nut blitz cereal, roasted almonds, and cheddar sesame sticks)
  • Nitrate free ham lunch meat roll-up
  • Cheese stars
  • Wheat crackers in the Wexy bag
Diggin in!
I made this lunch with smaller portions because I was making it as Ava's afternoon snack. I like the concept of a "nibble tray" so this works well as a snack for young ones too.  Here's a picture after she discovered her snack when she woke from her nap. She was excited and named all of the items. Fun shapes, colors and textures are great for kids lunches to keep the interested in the food.

Watch the blog for some other healthy and budget friendly school lunch ideas.

Giveaway! I'm going to give away a $25 Kroger gift card to one of my lucky readers this week after the posts. To win you can comment on the blog or Facebook, share, or repin to enter the drawing. Add your own healthy lunch ideas to the comments! I'll do a random drawing for the winner after all the posts are up. Keep reading...


  1. Thanks for posting this, Amanda! I find trying to come up with creative lunches for my son a challenge. It doesn't help that he's a pretty picky eater, but I still try to keep his lunches different each day so he doesn't get bored. He doesn't like cheese, so I usually do a plain meat sandwich (no condiments as he doesn't like) or meat with crackers. He will eat a nutella and pb sandwich here and there...but that's mostly his rotation when it comes to the "main" part of his lunch. He loves fruit, so that's typically easy..but it's the other snacks I have a hard time with as he doesn't like much. :( Interested to see what else you post on this!

    1. I can relate on picky eating! I just posted another idea today and I mentioned that I feel like packed lunches away from home isn't the best time to try "new" foods. I like to use the tried and true foods that I know my daughter will eat and then do more experimentation at home. Does your son like hummus and pita chips? That's another go-to for us.