Packing the Lunches With Carrot Cake

A common task this time of year for many mothers is packing lunches for their school age children.

For me, this is one of those jobs that take constant creativity.

I’m not a fan of hot lunch for my kids due to that fact my kids aren’t HUGE eaters and the cost isn’t justifiable due to the amount they eat. Also, even though our school lunch system serves a variety of fruit and vegetables there are still plenty of non-healthy food items being served. When my kid’s small appetites are given the choice they will go for the non-healthy foods first and leave no room for the vegetables.

Therefore I pack my kid’s lunch every day and let them take hot lunch once a month on the day of their choice as a treat!

I really love my son…he LOVES peanut butter! My daughter HATES it! She has caused me to continuously scratch my head to come up with different meals for her that travel and keep well.

I will share some of the things I put in my kid’s lunches that they eat, love and travel well plus a recipe for a healthy treat!

  • Cheese Quesadillas (We have a quesadilla maker. The kids love these even at room temperature.)
  • Leftovers of chili, spaghetti and soup (I put these in their thermos and the kids say they are still warm by lunch time)
  • Oatmeal (I make this in the morning just using quick oats and microwaving for 1 minute. I then add a little brown sugar and craisins. This is a favorite!)
  • Crackers with cream cheese
  • Peanut butter  and Nutella (for my daughter) sandwiches. To switch this up a bit I put it on tortillas, buns and English muffins.
  • Plain yogurt mixed with the strawberry jam I made this spring (I only used apple juice for sweetener in making this jam)
  • Homemade granola…click here for my recipe
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables whenever on hand but I also keep frozen fruit and vegetables that are easily defrosted.
  • This last one might come as a surprise but…. my kid’s LOVE PRUNES so these are usually their dessert!

Last week, my mom brought me a recipe for a HEALTHY CARROT CAKE. The funny thing about this recipe is that it is on a recipe card in MY HANDWRITING! I’m guessing I was about 15 years old and went on a crusade to organize my mom’s recipes. She kept magazine cut-outs and slips of paper with recipes stuck in cookbooks so I went through and wrote them all on cards for her. Today, I still love organizing recipes and on the first day the kids went back to school this year I gathered all of my magazine cut-outs and slips of paper and wrote them all up in my recipe binder!

The great thing about this particular carrot cake is that it is so moist that it is actually like a bar so does not crumble and make a big mess plus it is so good that it does NOT need frosting! My kids will be getting this in their lunch this week as a special treat! Actually, I should say, I hope to put this in their lunch this week as my husband keeps getting little helpings! This is a true testament to this cake because I usually screw up homemade cakes and we end up serving them to the birds (who refuse to eat them as well!)

Healthy Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees


  • ¾ C. sugar
  • 1 C. grated carrot (I think we actually used closer to 2 cups because the kids got a little carried away…I think it might be better with the 2 cups!)
  • 1 C. raisins
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cardamom (optional)
  • 1 ½ C. water
  • 3 Tbsp. butter

In small saucepan, combine the above to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into mixing bowl and cool to lukewarm.

Next ingredients:

  • 2 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 C. nuts (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp flax seed (optional)

Add the above ingredients to lukewarm mixture. Mix well.

Add mixture to 13×9 greased pan.

Bake for 25 minutes.

The kids busy peeling the carrots for their carrot cake

Bency busy grating the carrots!

Iris taking her turn at grating (I don’t own a food processor….we do everything the old-fashioned way…the kids love it!!!)

Carrot cake fresh out of the oven!

31 responses

  1. You are a very Good Mommy you get that what you put inside their tummys will make them work harder and learn more my Great Niece was having trouble in 1 st grade I asked what she had for a normal breakfast she said “Well Mommy goes through DD and gets me MUNCHKINS” 😦 I told her she needed oatmeal and fruit and eggs like Auntie makes her she said her Mother is always TOO BUSY 😦 sadly she is not the only child who would benefit from a hot meal at school before classes begin

    • That is sad that’s the case! Mornings are busy trying to get everyone ready and out the door but things like fruit are so easy and simple to provide! I’m glad she has you to teach her and provide these things if only it’s occasionally!

      • I babysat her for about one year and taught her many things too many now she has signs of being a little me at 5 I gave her a really nice camera 🙂 She loves being with us because not only do we have fun but we cook together and even clean up I just wish her Mom had not missed all the good times I got to have with her. I had her dipping fruit into yogurt and Apple Sauce once she had teeth 🙂

      • She could barely LIFT IT TO HER EYE lol and her Mother thought I was nuts and this little one Mia turns to them and says I am going to learn how to do EVERYTHING Auntie does lol Lord I pray she goes to college and doesn’t drive a truck lol Airplane Pilot would be nice 🙂

  2. Mmmm, I love carrot cake!! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 Sophie will love helping me make this & it will be a great way to use up some of my carrots from the garden. Great timing on this post!!!

  3. I really want to try to make this carrot cake! I think my whole family just might like it…and I like that it’s homemade, but not too complicated. I tried making a completely homemade, baby-friendly cake when L. was turning 1, and let’s just say I could write a pretty funny blog post about that day, trying to nurse him, play with him, be with the family members visiting, and make that darn cake with all of its somewhat complicated ingredients. I did not attempt it again for A.’s first b-day. 🙂

  4. Little kids always like to help and peeling and grating carrots are a fun activity! You want them to always enjoy and help with food prep. With my older grand kids 9-14 yrs. old I show them how to use a knife to safely cut fruit, or even an onion. Something that rolls must be cut with flat side down after the first cut. If only my husband would learn to use a knife and cut his own fruit! Anyway, I LOVE carrot cake and will try your recipe, too! Thanks so much!

    • That’s great that you let the grand kids help!! Your husband sounds like my dad!!! The cake is really good and my mom made it today using sweet potatoes and I happened to stop by and get a piece and it was delicious too!

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