The key to successful school lunches is variety. Finding healthy school lunch recipes and ideas for vegan and vegetarian kids adds kids lunch box ideas vegetarian the challenge.
The recipes here will also be useful for 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. Use small shapes such as elbows, wagon wheels, shells, or tiny tubes, which pack well into containers.
Add your child’s favorite veggies—steamed broccoli, peas, corn and carrots, plus olives and their favorite dressing can add up to nice lunch box fare. Snacks packed for school, whether for snack time or as an extra treat for the lunch box, should be simple and neat. Explore natural foods stores for other simple snack ideas. Similarly, natural chips, rice puffs or crisps, and other crunchy snacks have less salt and fat than their supermarket counterparts. I’d have to cook for myself. Soon everyone wanted what I was having, and I had the last laugh. I’m about to go out for the evening, so I’ll answer at greater length tomorrow!