This post opens a series of lunchbox roundups that will feature different types of lunchboxes I pack for my daughters and post almost daily on my  Pinterest and Facebook pages. My kids, like many others, love pasta and noodles, so they make a frequent appearance on our lunchbox menu. When packing lunchboxes, I always try to include three types of foods:
  1. Grow food (protein+starch)
  2. Vegetables
  3. Fruit and/or dairy

I also usually include a small serving of a sweet treat, to round out the meal. I am also a big proponent of packing a small serving of a less liked or new food into your child’s lunchbox from time to time. This way, they get one more opportunity to learn to like something new!

Here are some of the earlier lunchbox-themed posts that you may find useful:

The Art and Science of Packing a Lunchbox

Lunchbox safety

Involving kids in lunchbox preparation

Sample lunchbox menus

Grain and pasta salad recipes

In general, whole wheat pastas have a higher protein and fiber count than regular, white pasta.  Whole wheat pastas are also a better source of nutrients such as selenium, potassium, and magnesium.  Besides, there is a growing body of scientific evidence correlating whole grain consumption in children with chronic disease prevention later in life.  As with other nutritious foods, introducing whole grains when children are young can help build life long healthy eating behaviors.

I use buckwheat (soba) pasta a lot in my daughters’ lunchboxes.  It is a great way to introduce more variety and also boost nutrition. Buckwheat pasta is also a good source of nutrients like manganese, lean protein, carbohydrates, and thiamine.  Since buckwheat does not contain gluten, buckwheat noodles are a good choice for people following a gluten-free diet (such as those with celiac disease) or individuals with gluten allergies. If you can find 100% buckwheat noodles, definitely give them a try. Although it may be easier to make the transition to a rather strong nutty flavor of backwheat gradual by introducing your kids to mixed wheat-bauckwheat noodles first.

Here are 10 pasta and noodle lunchboxes (including pictures and ingredients) I have made for my daughters in the past.

September 11-1                      April 29th_annotated_small-1

* Buckwheat noodles w/ green beans                          * Buckwheat noodles w/ stir fried asparagus

and soy sauce                                                                      * Stir-fried carrots and tofu

* Fresh market tomatoes and organic grapes            * Strawberries, tomatoes, and mango

* Apple cider doughnut from the market                      * Waffles


December 16-1                       May 8th-1

* Pasta/tofu/carrot salad                                                       * Cauliflower mac & cheese

* Edamame                                                                                 * Cucumber slices

* Oranges, pomegranate and yogurt                                   * Cherries and chocolate mousse


June 1-1                      December 13-1

Meatball tomato sauce with whole grain pasta          * Noodle/tuna/green beans w/ soy sauce

* Tomatoes and raspberries                                                 * Boiled egg

* Homemade banana bread                                                 * Clementines/blueberries and a cookie


April 19-1                      January 9-1

* Stir-fried tofu with noodles                                                 * Pasta/tuna confetti salad

* Cherry tomatoes and clementines                                     * Carrots and celery

* Two girl-scout cookies                                                          * Clementines with blueberries and yogurt


May8_annotated-1                       January 17

* Buckwheat noodles                                                               * Buckwheat noodles w/ green beans,

* Stir fried tofu                                                                               broccoli, and soy sauce

* Carrots with ginger miso dressing (store bought)        * Carrots and quail eggs

* Strawberries and gummy bunnies                                     * Oranges, blueberries, and 1/2 cereal bar


October 2_small                      64552_541371585935494_463635209_n

*Brown rice pasta, broccoli, carrot and                     * Cauliflower mac&cheese

salmon salad                                                                           * Tomatoes

* Pomegranate seeds and kiwi                                           * Raspberries and chocolate cookies

* Chocolate cookies


1378765_547692698636716_2109802864_n                       1459898_562808467125139_46861036_n

*Whole wheat pasta w/ ground turkey,                        *Cold rice noodles with carrots and edamame

zucchini, and tomato sauce                                                  (dressing: olive oil+soy sauce)

*Apples and leftover broccoli                                           *Cheddar cheese, carrots, grapes

*Crepes from breakfast                                                      * Store bought cookie


 Stay tuned for more lunchbox round-ups! 

Tell me what is your child’s favorite lunchbox item?