School Lunch Gone Vegan

A friend texted a few weeks ago, wondering what in the world I was now feeding my children for school lunch, since Lunchables are officially out as vegans, and the standard PB&J gets a wee bit bland after fifty straight meals. I buzzed her along a list of supremely simple ideas that my kids will actually eat and thought I’d share them with you, because let’s be honest, vegan lunches for kids is a learned skill. And we all need all the ideas we can get.

There is, quite literally, no end fun veganny lunches for kids, but I’ll leave you with my quick-fix list. Six ideas that are always easy to have on hand, that every one of my kids will actually shake a stick at, and that aren’t weird or embarrassing to pull out in front of the peers at school. Come on. That is sooooo a deal.

Sorry for the snappy post! The “t” key on my laptop keeps getting stuck tonight so I’m becoming progressively more violent as I type and believe I might need a hot bath to unwind from the sheer terror of continually typing “-error.”

How was your Mother’s Day? Mine was full of four thoughtful children who brought be flowers glued into Dollar Store vases with multicolored pompoms (given with delicious sincerity and thought. My sweet babies. I love ‘em), and a (uber-fanciful) vegan meal and Girlfriend Chat with my Amy friend. Who I love. Who you would love. Who seriously rocked it out vegan style.

And yes. I just had to type “vegan s-yle” like five times to get that “t” button to work. Dammi-.

Hot ba-h. I need you now.

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6 Simple Vegan School Lunches

Ingredients:

1) Vegan Cream Cheese and Bagels with All-fruit raspberry jam
-Pack it up with and orange & banana, a handful of almonds, and a single Mamba candy for dessert

2) Hummus and Pita and Peas and Carrot sticks
-Serve it up with a full avocado (packed with salt & pepper and a spoon), and a Nature Valley Granola Bar

3) Celery & Crackers with Almond Butter
-Side dish suggestion: a crunchy apple, and a tiny pack of Mike & Ike's

4) Cold Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing and Cucumbers & Olives & Tomatoes
-Send it with a slice of Ezekiel bread spread with Earth Balance & strawberries

5) Cold Ramen noodles with Sesame Dressing, Peas, Shredded Carrots & Tofu
-Pack it with a fortune cookie & Botan rice candy

6) Vegan Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce & A Side Salad with Carrots, Tomatoes & Dressing
-Send it with soy or coconut-milk yogurt and a juice pack

Directions:

19 Responses to “School Lunch Gone Vegan”

  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing! I’m in a lunch rut with my children and I appreciate this post more than you know! I’ll be putting this to use this week. One of our fave go-to’s was crackers and cheese..and while we’re not vegan (I am vegetarian, though) I am cutting way back on how much dairy they eat and they don’t eat much to begin with!

    • Brooke replied: — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

      Ugh! I hear you! With only a few weeks left of the school year, it’s so easy to get in a lunch rut!

  2. Rana says:

    SPanks woman! Always on the lookout for lunch ideas!

    • Brooke replied: — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

      LMAO! LOVE YOUR COMMENT! And no “t” in sight!

  3. saniel says:

    great ideas but some of the side items are not vegan friendly mamba candy, nature valley granola bars, ike&mikes,Botan rice candy( contains red#40) are not by any means good for you.

  4. Robin says:

    OK, you are now officially my superhero. Not only do you swing this terrific blog during a move, but somehow you pack all those kids with those most delicious lunches? Super. Hero.

    • Brooke replied: — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

      Awww. Can I keep you in my pocket all day long?! Nicey.

  5. anna says:

    love how easy this is! this is what I’M going to eat around the house! also hummus? total vegan lifesaver.

    • Brooke replied: — May 14th, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

      It realllllly is, isn’t it?!!

  6. Skye says:

    Thanks- these are good ideas for adults packing lunches, too! What is your favorite brand of vegan bagels? Or do you make your own?

  7. Thanks for the great list! I’m definitely in a school lunch rut. My daughter gets a lot of nutbutter sammies and bean & rice burritos these days. Looking forward to trying some new ideas!

  8. Kim Gowanloch says:

    Hi! Great ideas! We are just newly adopting a vegan lifestyle and I don ‘t really want to do the “fake” meat or cheese processed stuff. I have 4 kids and my youngest is 5 and not adventurous. So far I have nut butter sandwiches and some different pasta options. Do you have any ideas on how to get them started?

  9. Olivia says:

    Hi ,I’m olivia. Im 11 years old and am a vegan. I just started school and don’t know what to pack! THX for giving me some ideas!

  10. natalie says:

    these are all great ideas, I do wish our local markets carried more vegan condiments, like cream cheese and veganaise. It would make things a little easier

  11. Kristine says:

    I would add marinated tofu kebabs on toothpicks to the rotation too. My 7 & 9 year old love them. Some pineapple, tofu, steamed carrots, & tomatoes. Add a lightly dressed brown rice salad w/ peas & your choice of nuts & your done.

  12. Sammy Tee says:

    Saniel is actually correct in some respects. Peta has been wrong in the past. Mike & Ikes have confectioners glaze on their candies, which uses shellac for that ‘shine’. Most granola bars contain honey, which is not vegan, so as goes for Nature Valley, I would take a look at the ingredients before handing them over to your kids. I don’t know about the rice candy. Mambas are completely vegan, however. If you disagree, keep buying them. I like how you only give a few, and not a whole package like most parents would.
    That aside, I really love these ideas. I actually plan on making these for my boyfriend to send him to work with so he doesn’t have to keep buying food. Thanks!

  13. [...] If you don’t live in one of these districts, don’t be afraid to find out what your child is eating outside of your home—you may be surprised by what you find. If you’d like to see more plant-based options on your child’s school lunch line, write a letter to the nutritional director or to talk to the Meatless Mondays campaign about how to make it happen. And in the meantime, if you need inspiration for plant-based meals for your own child, check out these cool vegan lunchbox ideas [...]

  14. Kristin says:

    Fortune cookies here have egg and dyes, I don’t recommend those.

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