Alternative school lunch ideas

The key to successful school lunches is variety. Finding healthy school lunch recipes and ideas for vegan and vegetarian kids adds to the challenge. The recipes here will also be useful alternative school lunch ideas those following dairy-free diets due to allergy or intolerance.

In one cabinet, you can store the lunch boxes, sandwich bags, thermoses, plastic spoons and forks, toothpicks, and small plastic storage containers. Put flat dry ice containers in your child’s lunch box during warm weather, or any time you are sending perishable foods. These are available wherever lunch boxes or camping supplies are sold. Vary the types of bread used for sandwiches. If your child’s school has a microwave available, your thermos offerings can include macaroni and cheese, soups, and leftover casseroles.

Fruit packed into lunch boxes can come home uneaten unless you try some simple tricks. Raw vegetables become more of a draw when you supply a dip. Natural store-bought or homemade hummus is a great choice! Add wedges of pita bread, too. Cereal for breakfast is an unexpected treat when served for lunch. Teamed with a banana, this makes a filling meal. Make wholesome homemade muffins for a change of pace.

See recipes for Zucchini-Raisin Muffins and others in Muffin Mania. Bake them in the evening as a welcome alternative to sandwiches. Pack a wedge of vegan cheese or a container of coconut yogurt, plus fresh fruit to go along with them. Salads in pita bread or in wraps appeal to kids with more adventurous palates. Keep pita sandwiches fresh by wrapping first in foil, then in sandwich bags. Try cashew, almond, or sunflower butters, and no-sugar added fruit spreads or apple butter.

English muffin, with favorite condiments, makes an easy and hearty option. Faux meats can be a boon for expanding lunch box variety, but use brands like Tofurky, which don’t rely on soy protein isolate. Vegan deli slices might especially appeal to teens. Pasta salad is an appealing lunch option.