Stuck on what to give your kids in their packed lunch for school or for days out? Here are some tried and tested vegan packed lunch options for everyone, from the picky to the adventurous!
As a vegan parent, I know only too well how frustrating it can be to feed my kids whilst on the hoof or when giving them packed lunches.
My 4-year-old will eat anything and lots of it whilst my 8-year-old boy is a lot pickier and finicky so making a packed lunch for him is coupled with the trepidation of opening it at the end of the day and seeing it barely touched.
It is fair to say that my daughter is a proper foodie. Olives, avocados and other sophisticated tastes are all on her menu but here are some tips to cater for the choosier amongst us.
It is a tough ask to ask a child to eat a healthy non branded lunch when their friends are opening their packed lunch boxes to find fruit shoots and chocolate bars and the cafeteria is a dumping ground for low-grade meat and dairy, so we need to try and make this fun whilst also empowering kids with why in a way that they will understand.
I’ve discovered that one of the solutions to getting my kids to eat their lunch is to empower them with choice (within reason!) Other things that help are knowing what choices are available and making lunches that taste good when cold. It’s also useful to remind myself that my boy is not alone.
In general, children tend to be quite fussy about what they eat and taste buds develop with age. So it’s good to keep it simple. There are lots of delicious options that are not only perfect for kids but parents as well, in case there are any left overs!
Animal-free meal ideas to keep kids happy
Meat-free sandwich slices You can also use tempeh, seitan and you can couple up with vegan cheese.
Peanut Butter, marmite or jam sandwich
Simple pizza With or without melted vegan cheese. Get them to choose their toppings but keep it simple.
Vegan hot dog in a roll. Linda McCartney or Fry’s offer great choices.
Kid-style salads. Tricolor pasta spirals with diced veggies, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, and vegan mayo or dressing.
Sliced Carrot, Cucumber, pepper with hummus.
Pasta with vegan pesto goes down well with my kids.
Pita bread triangles with hummus to dip into or fill with their choice of filling.
Fruit Try simple tricks such slices or chunks of fruit served on a skewer or with a dip.
Other packed lunch ideas that are available in most high street shops
• Natural fruit leathers • Cereal bars and flapjacks, dairy and honey-free • Dried fruit, such as apple rings or apricots • Trail mix • Rice cakes or mini-rice cakes • Crackers • Breadsticks • Crisps, low-salt and only occasionally, as their fat and salt content not healthy OR healthier crisp alternatives such as vegetable crisps or raw crackers. • Corn on the cob • Sugar snap peas
I hope that sharing these ideas help you. These kid-friendly vegan lunches should keep your kids satisfied whether they are picky eaters or the next gourmet vegan foodie and at the same time help them to become happy, healthy vegan kids!
For more recipe ideas go to www.veganrecipeclub.org.uk