Dinner, Food, Lunch, News, Recipes, Required Reading

School Lunch and a Trader Joe’s Find

I have had a couple requests for more school lunch ideas.  I posted one on my Facebook page a few weeks ago, which I have also added to this post, along with another picture of a common school lunch for my boys.

I also had a blog reader email me about a pre-seasoned salmon that he found at Trader Joe’s.  I usually steer away from the pre-packaged or pre-seasoned food but this one is GREAT!

Last but not least, we are planning on shooting another cooking demo this weekend so stay tuned!

School Lunch Ideas:

Day 1

Sliced left over grilled chicken

Carrot sticks

Apple slices


Mixed nuts and dried Fruit

Day 2

Nitrate free turkey deli meat with dill pickles

Apple slices

Carrot sticks


Day 3

Nitrate free pastrami rolls (pastrami wrapped around broccoli slaw)



Day 4

Chicken salad – chopped cooked chicken, chopped pickles, chopped celery,  a spoonful of paleo mayo

2 mandarins

Broccoli florets

Day 5

Repeat day 1 or day 2

I need to start taking daily pictures of the lunches that I pack so I can post these ideas more often, but hopefully this is helpful for the parents out there trying to make a paleo family lifestyle happen!  My 15 year old packs his own lunch everyday and it typically consists of nitrate free pastrami deli meat or a tupperware of whatever  left over meat he can find from the night before, celery sticks, an apple, a banana, and a bag of pistachios.

The salmon at Trader Joe’s is the Chimichurri Wild Pacific Salmon found in the freezer section.  It’s so easy to prepare, pretty darn tasty, and the ingredients are as followed: Wild caught salmon, olive oil, parsley, garlic, salt, and red chili flakes.

One last find, here’s a link to all things gluten free at Trader Joe’s!


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Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Kara H. says:

    I love your blog! It is so incredibly helpful. Where do you get your nitrate free pastrami? Thanks!

    1. Hey Kara! I buy the nitrate free pastrami from either Trader Joe’s or from our local health food store. The also have nitrate free and organic deli meats at Raley’s and Safeway.

  2. You’re lucky that your school lets you bring in nuts. My daughter’s school (in the UK) has a no-nut policy that drives me, er, nuts.

    1. Hey CC! A lot of schools have a no nut policy, but you can still pack paleo lunches – just minus the nuts… For some good fat try wrapping lunch meat around avocado slices or making a little tupperware of guacamole for carrot sticks, also homemade paleo mayo in chicken salad is another way to go. : )

  3. Our schools, here in Ontario, Canada have a strict no-nut policy as well. I’ve founded dehydrated coconut ribbons to be a good substitute for nuts. Wilderness Family Naturals makes a really good version. Coconut is fine because, as you likely know, it’s not really a nut.

  4. Shelley says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling with ideas for Paleo lunches for my 16 year old daughter. This is great! I really enjoy your blog and loved your cooking demo the other day.

  5. What a great idea 🙂

  6. hi! my five year old spent the summer gradually reducing the number of nuts she ‘likes right now’ to, well, zero. haha. the same goes for dry coconut, so i’m thinking it’s just a textural thing that she’ll get over. any ideas for other yummy lunchbox-friendly fats in the meantime?

    she will do guacamole maybe once a week, so that’s a great one for us.

    1. Hey Liz,
      Does she like almond or cashew butter? Dipping carrots or apple slices in nut butter is super tasty to a lot of little people… Also, making a homemade smoothie with coconut milk might do the trick too! : )

  7. I’d like to start by saying my family LOVES your blog. We are a family of 4 and all eat paleo and all do xfit. I pack paleo lunches for my 5 and 10 yr old and take pics nearly every day to keep track of what I’ve done and make sure I’m giving them enough variety, then I ask for feedback when I pick them up. This way I ensure almost every lunch is a complete success! What’s the best way to share some of these pictures with the great parents on here who also want to pack healthy lunches for their kids?

  8. Maybe on your fb page?

    1. Hi Ana,
      Yes, I think posting your pics on my fb page is perfect, thank you so so much! I can’t wait to check them out! : )

  9. I love your blog and have made many of your recipes since discovering it a few months back! Thank you! I love your lunch ideas as well, it’s always great to share ideas to keep things fresh and new for the kids’ lunch. Not sure if you are familiar with but I thought I would share something I love- Laptop Lunches. http://www.laptoplunches.com I noticed in your photo you guys use plastic baggies. Along with the Paleo life we also try and live as “green” as possible by reducing packaging and reusing. I think eating Paleo follows that concept easily since fruits and vegetables come in their own natural packaging or very little man-made packaging. For the kids lunches we use Laptop Lunches lunch boxes. They are wonderful and you can even become a fan on FB and get daily lunch ideas. They aren’t paleo but always fresh and healthy and you can make substitutions. The containers are great and present lunch beautifully! My kids love their laptop lunches. Just thought I’d share a great find!

    1. Hey Chris,
      Thanks for the link, I can’t wait to order our laptop lunch boxes – so cool!!

  10. Thought I’d add that my three year old and 5 year old love what we call “salmon rolls” which are pieces of baby spinach wrapped around a clump of low-salt Trader Joe’s canned salmon mixed with a little mayo. There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting back and watching them pop those little things in their messy, but lovely, mouths.

    1. Brandi, I’ll have to try that with my little guys, and for me too – those sound great!

  11. Those are a healthy lunch indeed but food stacking container should also be considered. Don’t just use plastic bags. Why not switch to stainless steel tiffin container? Stainless steel containers are safer, eco-friendly, more reusable and durable. Plus, you won’t have any difficulty on how to pack your lunch, you can also stack liquids in it, and carry it in one single carrier. Please visit the link and experience the benefits of the stainless steel tiffin carriers. I guarantee that you’ll love it for sure. 😉

  12. Further to the lunch container ideas, I just use canning jars. Cheap and very durable. I’ve also got some cloth bags that are velcroed across the top and are lined with something that provides some moisture protection.

    Keep the lunch ideas coming! We’re nut free in school so that cuts out lots of options!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      great ideas for the lunch containers, thank you!! : )

  13. Amelia says:

    Thanks for the ideas. Just to hop in on the container topic we use (and love) planet boxes http://www.planetbox.com/ very green and they do a great job! Just toss them in the dishwasher in the evening and they are ready to go the next day. 🙂 Love this blog!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Amelia,
      I just ordered our first planet box – thanks so much for the recommendation! I have been looking at a few lunch boxes on line that are more environmentally friendly then what we have been doing and I like these the best! My 6 year old is so excited! Thanks again!!

  14. How do you make your broccoli slaw that you wrap in pastrami?

    1. Hey Ang! I buy my broccoli slaw already in the bag from Trader Joe’s. It’s just organic shredded broccoli and carrots and a little bit of purple cabbage, no dressing on it, just the veggies. I have seen it also at Safeway and Raley’s.

  15. Lauren says:

    Hi Sarah!
    I just discovered your blog today and have found all the articles I’ve read so far very helpful. I have been doing CrossFit for a while now and am currently on the 30 day paleo challenge. I feel fantastic and want to keep it up! This article was especially helpful as I am a college student and cannot be at home during the day. Buying school lunches is expensive and unhealthy 90% of the time! However, I do have a question about cashews (which I love!)… there seems to be some debate about including them in a paleo diet because of their shells. Also, I love peanut butter and both of them are no-no’s. Do you think it would be a big deal to still eat natural peanut butter and unsalted cashews?


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