Try swapping store-bought Lunchables for these easy DIY versions. Not only are they healthier with no added sugars and minimal carbohydrates - but they can also be completely customized.
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If your childhood was anything like mine - then you lived for the days when your mom made ZERO effort on your lunch, and you were blessed with a Lunchable!
In fact, my mom was a pastry chef at an upscale restaurant, and I remember many occasions where she would have a hot lunch delivered to me from the restaurant. But even still - nothing compared to the Lunchable days.
I grew up in the '80s and '90s, before the days of the fancy Lunchables with pizza and nachos and drinks. For me it was just crackers, cheese, lunch meat, and a teeny candy bar - but it was spectacular.
Now many moons later, my kids feel exactly the same about Lunchables as I did, although they have far more options then I did! I can't pass the Lunchable section of the grocery store without the begging and pleading to buy one.
If you've never had the pleasure of eating a Lunchable, then let me spare you -- Not only are they are terrible, and WAY overpriced. They are pretty much every health-conscious parent's worst nightmare, full of overly processed junk.
I've been trying to figure out what the allure is, besides the super-easy factor. The only thing that I can figure is that kids really enjoy the assembly aspect. They can control how much of an easy ingredient they want and they can eat it however they want.
These Homemade Lunchables mimic that aspect and some of my kid's favorite varieties - without all the processed junk.
You can completely customize them to suit your family's preferences, which is another reason that I am all for making my own. If creativity ain't your thing, have no fear ... I've spelled out my families four favorite varieties to save you the brainpower 🙂
This is likely the Lunchable of your childhood. It's the classic cracker, cheese, and meat combination with a few additions - because let's face it those tiny Lunchables never filled anyone up.
My version includes a side of peanut butter and celery and a smart cake dessert - because trust me when I say that you are going to be able to sell your kids on these healthier lunches MUSH easier if they include dessert!
Smart cakes are my family's favorite prepackaged, low carb dessert.
The texture is seriously AMAZING - just like a real cake. They come in 5 flavors - Chocolate, Coconut, Lemon, Cinnamon, and Tangerine. Each Smart cake has only 38 calories, is gluten-free, sugar-free and contains ZERO net carbs!
I don't know how they do it, but I am SOOOO glad that they do!
As a special offer just for my readers, you can get 10% off of your order of Smart Cakes when you use the code "thismomsmenu" at check out!
To make The Classic Lunchable, I just used my recipe for Keto Butter Crackers, along with some sliced cheddar cheese. If you need a nut-free option, you could easily substitute the crackers for flax seed crackers or cheese crisps. (I have linked all my product recommendations at the bottom of this post)
I know, I know, you've never seen a Lunchable like this in the store. But there should be, right?!?
This is probably the easiest of my homemade Lunchables to make because the only cooking is boiling eggs. Along with the eggs, I added a cheese stick, jerky, and some veggies with ranch. I've linked below to some of my kid's favorite jerky brands. You simply toss everything into a container and you are ready to go!
Speaking of containers - in this post, I am using an off-brand of containers that I found at my local Old Time Pottery store for super cheap. I like them A) Because they are cheap so I don't have to fret when my kids inevitably lose or break them and B) They fit really nicely inside the kid's lunch boxes.
In the past I've also used 'easy lunchboxes', and really liked them as well. My only beef was that they were a little pricey for plastic storage containers and they required a pretty large lunchbox to fit. I also have a set of glass containers, which I love, but since they are pretty expensive, I don't send them to school with my kiddos 🙂
This one was a no brainer. There has to be a pizza Lunchable, right?!?
To make this I just used my go-to fathead dough recipe, to bake 2, 4-inch crusts. Then I added some shredded mozzarella and pepperoni into the compartments and a side cup of homemade marinara and voila - we have a pizza Lunchable!
For the marinara, I recommend using a small container with a twist on lid vs a snap-on lid. I've found that little hands don't often get the snap-on lids sealed properly and this can result in a pretty yucky lunch. I used THESE cups which are super affordable! (The link is to Amazon, but they can also be purchased at Target!)
This Lunchable can be eaten cold, or you can microwave the assembled pizzas for about 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
Breakfast for Lunch
I have to admit that this is my favorite. For the breakfast Lunchable, I made my Sausage Pancake Muffins into mini-sized muffins (just use a mini muffin pan and reduce the baking time by about 4-5 minutes). I paired that with some fresh blueberries and sugar-free syrup.
Not only are these great for lunch, but they can also be stored for grab and go breakfasts as well. The muffins can be eaten cold or microwaved for 30-45 seconds until warm.
Be sure to store the syrup in a separate container (like the one used for the marinara in the pizza Lunchable) if your container doesn't seal each compartment separately.
I hope that you will give some of these Lunch boxes a try! As I mentioned, feel free to customize them to suit your family's taste buds and budget.
These will all keep in the fridge for a week, so you can make them all on the weekend for a quick grab and go options.