Help: Brown Bag Lunch Ideas Needed

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My high school girls pack a lunch. This is the first year they have done that. Previously they ate school lunches. They now pack lunches because the price of school lunches continues to rise and the quality continues to go down. I was somewhat okay with school lunches before since both girls preferred the salad option over the hot food option but really, the salads aren’t a very good option. So now they are brown bagging it.


And I really mean brown bagging. Because of the way their schedules work they both need lunches that can be taken in a bag that can be tossed in the garbage can on the way to the next class. They don’t have time to return bags to the locker and they can’t carry back packs around with them to put the lunch bag in.


This extremely limits lunch options. The food in the brown bag must be ‘shelf stable’ since a freezer pack is too expensive to be disposable and the food needs to fit in baggies since reusable containers would also be thrown away.


So what do they eat?


More often than not here is what their lunches look like;


Homemade Jerky






Granola bar


I imagine they are getting quite tired of this lunch. Sometimes I do other things for them such as;


Peanut butter, almond butter or chocolate hazelnut butter on bread (coconut flour or sourdough)


Crackers (sourdough or sunflower seed) with cheese dip (cream cheese with veggies that I put in a little wax paper ‘pocket’)


Sourdough tortilla roll ups with cheese dip or peanut butter/yogurt dip


Carrot sticks


Apple slices (sometimes, if I’ve made them, dried apples)


Orange segments


As you can see, I could use some additional inspiration. What do you pack in a brown bag lunch? Remember, the whole thing is going to be tossed in the garbage can right after so we’re doing nothing ‘green’ here. Just trying to provide nourishing foods for two growing girls 🙂


Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at

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