Vegan School Lunches Your Kids Will Love
Try these back-to-school tips to make your kids lunch the envy of the cafeteria.
Chances are, children are moaning and groaning about the end of summer and the dreaded trek back to school. Give them a little incentive to get into the learning groove with tasty vegan lunches that are both wholesome and delicious.
With a little planning and some creativity, you can easily prepare fun lunches that you might even have a hard time parting with. While health-savvy parents want little ones to eat only the most nutritious foods, if you pack a bag of dulse, celery sticks, and Kombucha, chances are they’ll be a little reluctant to show off the contents of their BPA-free lunch boxes.
A good rule of thumb for lunches is including mostly vegetables, one or more pieces of fruit, some protein, healthy fats, and energizing carbohydrates. This formula can manifest in a dreary collection of plain ingredients, or it can be a tempting whole-grain tortilla stuffed with Almost-Cuban Black Beans, avocado, plantains, tomatoes, and a zippy Mango Salsa. Fruit becomes a decadent dessert when dipped in a Creamy Cashew Dip or in the form of Goji Fruit Leathers. Transform vegetables into Kale Chips, Potato Salad, or Caesar Salad With Blackened Tempeh. Get in some protein with Tofu Fingers, warming Chickpea and Lentil Soup, or Dreena Burton’s yummy Spicoli Burgers stuffed in a fluffy whole-wheat pita.
Let them eat cupcakes
Whether at the mall, a friend’s house, the movies or the corner store, children are exposed to plenty of junk food. Prohibiting kids from eating anything sweet or salty could make them crave it more, so tame your own nutritional militancy and let them indulge in the occasional vegan treat. Even if you’re the proud parent of a rare, chard-munching mini-hippie, chances are children are going to want something sugary when it comes to snacks. Easy Pleasin’ Oat Bars, Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes, and Berry Hand Pies are sure to be hits. Store-bought snacks such as Pirate Brands Veggie Booty and Annie’s Fruit Bunnies are healthier alternatives and great in a snack-attack pinch.
As more schools ban the old PB&J standby, it’s best to keep the peanut butter for after-school snacks. Never fear, children can still indulge on a version of the classic sandwich, thanks to products such as pea butter and soy butter standing in for peanut butter. Peanut Free Planet offers a vegan listing, featuring tons of great products free of common allergens.
There are a ton of kid-friendly recipes to peruse on VegWeb, so head there for ideas before you hit the grocery store. Look no further than the mother of all vegan mothers, Jennifer McCann, for adorable creative ideas in her books Vegan Lunchbox and Vegan Lunchbox Around the World.
The Top 15 Vegan Recipes of 2014
From mac 'n' cheese to veganized Girl Scout cookies, we unveil the year's most popular (and downright delicious) vegan recipes.
Read More »
Earth Balance Named "Company of the Year"
From mac & cheese, cheddar puffs, and vegan Cheez-Its, Earth Balance does vegan right.
Read More »
DIY Vegan Holiday Gifts
Spending mucho moola not your idea of a happy holiday? These DIY gifts are green and affordable.
Read More »
The 2014 Veggie Awards
Our 13th annual list of the very best of all things vegan is finally here! Read on for this years reader picks for todays hottest vegan people, places, and products.
Read More »
4 Easy Vegan Sides Your Entire Family Will Love
Hosting a family dinner this holiday season? These side dishes are sure-fire winners for every guest at your table.
Read More »
- Thanksgiving Salad with Cranberries, Apples, & Caramelized Pecans
- Robin Robertson: My Top 10 Vegan Dishes Around the World
- 3 Vegan Thanksgiving Sides from the Experts
- 10 Downright Delicious Dessert Thanksgiving Recipes
- 3 Simple Timelines for a Stress-Free Vegan Thanksgiving
- The Ultimate Vegan Halloween Party Tips & Menu
- 5 Mouthwatering Vegan Pumpkin Recipes
- The 2014 VegNews Guide to Vegan Halloween Candy
- How to Make Tofu: A Step-by-Step Photo Guide
- How to Date a Meat-Eater
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Laura Robeson & Danielle Davis
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Alison Longley & Theodore Ross Butler
- Everything You Need to Know About Juicing
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Ashley Moore & Jordan Coates
- Guide to Vegan Baking
- How to Make Great Vegan Mexican Food at Home
- Vegan Weddings 2014: Aliya & Michael Weber
- 10 Creative Ways to Use Nut Butters
- VegNews Exclusive: An Interview with John Joseph
- 10 Foods to Help Get Rid of Stress