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Extending Natural Living to the Classroom

Welcome to the September 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Extending Natural Living to the Classroom.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month, our members are talking about how they extend their family’s natural lifestyle to their child’s school. Hop around to each post to get some tips and share your own!


In an attempt to keep our family values intact despite sending my daughter off to public school, I pack her a lunch each day. I’m grateful to have an awesome lunch kit from Mighty Nest to help make things easier. What I didn’t expect was the competition between what I send her to eat for lunch and what the cafeteria has for all of the other kids. If my child could live off of pizza and chicken nuggets she would. I’ve been trying to extend my lunchbox-making skills to include lots of different things, but my 5-year-old is proving to be quite difficult.

I made pink pasta once. She didn’t dig it because it wasn’t a natural color.

So I made a turkey wrap. She ate one half on Friday, but got bored of it by Monday. I tried pinwheels. She ate them, but said she didn’t like them. Today I went back to normal sandwiches cut into adorable shapes. Today I gave her the letter G for Gaia and assumed she’d be super excited. She comes home and as I’m emptying her lunchbox I realize she ate raisins and pepperonis and that’s it.


I am determined to make this work for us though. I go shopping weekly to try new things. I have been trying to make everything adorable in hope it will sway her vision of what makes a good lunch. If you follow me on instagram you’ll get some lunchbox updates.

I just got some packages today full of bento accessories (the last photo pictured above). I’m excited to incorporate the new stuff into her school lunches. I’m so glad to have silicone cupcake cups to separate food items. I’ve nearly depleted my personal stash of cupcake liners doing lunches for the last few weeks.

Do you have any lunchbox friendly recipes? I’ve tried some, but I’m still stuck on exactly what my daughter will enjoy. I would love to explore options you have for school lunches!


Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!

Please take some time to enjoy the posts our other carnival participants have contributed:



  1. Wow, your lunch boxes look so inviting! My eldest had a hard time finishing lunch at first – but after a while I realised it was because they only get 25 minutes for lunch at school, while at home it takes us about an hour. (We got over that pretty quickly). I try to include conventional-looking and therefore “desirable” items, like Sunspire drops that look like M&Ms but without the nasty colourings. If my make zucchini bread I bake it muffin-shaped instead of in a loaf; apparently when it looks like a cupcake it tastes better 🙂

    • I have cupcake shaped breads on my list. I have yet to try it, but I do intend to. I just learned about the time limits recently as well. It sucks they don’t have time to enjoy their food.

      • I totally agree! I’m one of those people who like to take their time over any meal. When CelloDad takes me out for lunch we usually count on two hours. 25 minutes sounds measly. I suppose a lot of children are eager to go outside (recess is usually scheduled right after snack / lunch).

  2. Oh I hear you on trying to pack a lunch they will like! Lately my little girl likes a ‘yogurt parfait’ – I use a Barbie lunch thermos that she picked out. I put frozen blueberries and mangoes (and sometimes fresh sliced banana) in the bottom, and then I put a few big scoops of whole milk organic vanilla yogurt on top. Then I send her a container of organic granola, which she puts on top of the yogurt. This was her idea, so that’s why she eats it everyday!! I usually also pack some crackers or something else as well so she has enough to eat. I love hearing new lunch ideas, it’s only a matter of time before this one stops working! 🙂

  3. Your lunches look yummy! I haven’t tried sending a hard boiled egg yet. I am mostly doing PB&J because my kids want it. I too am searching for some lunch ideas.

  4. We’re not quite at this stage yet. My daughter does half days at preschool so all I’m responsible for is snack. My only suggestion would be to try to enlist your daughter in helping to plan or make her lunches. If she has some personal responsibility, perhaps she’d be more likely to eat it? Good luck!

  5. Wow. What a nice mom you are. My kids get what they get…but then they don’t have to deal with cafeteria temptations or what other kids are eating (homeschooled and when we do bring a lunch somewhere, there’s no competition). You could maybe make natural versions of school stuff…so like healthy pizza, real chicken nuggets…that sort of thing

  6. My kids went on a lunch revolt this summer and I worked tirelessly to get them out of it. I am convinced they just got hungry enough to start eating again. Packing a lunch is one of the most important things we do for our kids when we send them to school yet it is so hard to figure out what they want to eat. Sometimes when I look at the lunch I packed and want to go out and grab something different I think of them… their only option is to just not eat. Sometimes I think they just change their mind or are just not in the mood no matter how much time we put into planning it and making it! Hang in there!

  7. We are so lucky that there is no cafeteria and the kids aren’t allowed to share food. So, if she’s hungry, she eats what I pack. I love your idea of the silicone cupcake holders and dividers though – genius!

  8. My daughter is always enticed by dips/icings. I usually give her hummus, bean dip, or cream cheese, depending on the food. Letting her choose what she wants, encouraging her to help make it, and seeing it being made also helps. We can usually get her to eat a sandwich is we let her choose the shape she wants it cut in. If she wants to eat the same exact thing every day, that’s what I give her. If she wants something I think is weird/gross, that’s what I give her. I try not to stress about it. If she doesn’t eat at lunch, she’ll make up for it in her afternoon snack. 🙂

  9. I to struggle to pack a lunch for my first grader. I will also open his lunch box and find he didn’t eat much, and that makes me feel awful! I am on Pinterest all the time pinning ideas for his healthy and gluten free lunch! Wish me luck and good luck to you Mama! Also, your bento skills are looking great!

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