We all love eating homemade fermented goodies. Why not pack them in your child’s school lunchbox? Let’s face it; the school cafeteria doesn’t always serve the healthiest options and the routine cold lunch of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple gets boring. So, here is a list of fermented foods that are both kid-friendly and healthy to ensure your children consume highly beneficial probiotics to fuel them through their day.
Six Amazing Fermented Foods for the Lunchbox
Peanut Butter & Fermented Jelly Sandwich
I’ll start by being hypocritical. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are only boring if you don’t change up your jelly. Turn your child’s favorite fruit into fermented jams, jellies and butter to pair with the peanut butter for a new, awesome edition of PB&J! Try making fermented blueberries, apple butter, or pumpkin butter. Don’t be afraid to try new flavors like fig butter. You never know what your kids will eat until they explore their taste buds. My kids surprise me all the time.
Meat Sandwich with Fermented Condiments
Serve up your child’s favorite lunch meat sandwich and swap out all the regular homemade condiments for fermented versions like mayonnaise and herbal mustard, even probiotic, fermented ketchup! You can make all their favorite condiments into a slightly healthier version by fermenting and eliminating the high fructose syrup commonly found in store-bought versions.
Get real fancy and bake your own cheesy whole wheat sourdough bread!
Spaghetti with Lacto-Fermented Tomato Sauce
If you don’t have a little thermos yet, you need to invest in one! We didn’t have one last year, but this year we are advancing our lunch making skills by sending warm leftovers to school. Heat up some leftover noodles in the morning and pour room temperature tomato sauce into your child’s thermos. Mix it up by serving it over ravioli, tortellini, or any favorite shaped noodle. Gluten or grain-free? Try making your own zucchini noodles with a spiralizer.
Fermented Hummus with Veggies, Bread or Crackers
My children love hummus. Try making your own fermented hummus to send to school. I’ve done this many times in place of a sandwich and it’s just as filling for their tummies! You can send fresh celery, carrots, green beans, or asparagus spears for dipping; or even try fermented veggies if your kids like them. Crackers and pita bread taste great, too.
Healthy Sides and Treats
Make your own yogurt at home and send that as a healthy side dish. You can also make fun shaped water kefir gummies too. If you think you can keep it frozen in between ice packs, send fresh fruit kefir ice pops as a delicious dessert.
I like to pack water bottles in my child’s lunch, but it’s always fun to surprise them with special drinks, too. Try making a batch of fermented lemonade, bubbly water kefir, or homemade grape soda! These are all much healthier options compared to your typical store-bought juice boxes. These homemade options are a great way to avoid consuming artificial coloring, sweeteners and other unhealthy additives.
As always, make sure you send fermented foods that you know your children will actually eat. It will be difficult for them to learn if they are sitting in class with an empty stomach. If they are new to fermented foods, slowly introduce them to these new tastes at home. Then you can have them pick out their favorites to pack in their lunchbox!
New to the fermenting lifestyle? Get all you need at the Fermentools store. We have fermentation lids for Mason jars, glass weights, and more.
Monica lives in rural Michigan on a small hobby farm with her husband, two children, seven mixed breed chickens, three silkies, three cats, two shetland sheep, and one dog. Her family is constantly pursuing a path towards compassion and healthy living. She blogs at Mommyandlove.com on all things motherhood, nature and vegetarianism.