School lunches. There are four ways parents generally approach the irksome task: 1) prepare carefully sliced and arranged food figurines into pristine Bento boxes, 2) toss a Lunchable at the kid on his way out the door, 3) opt for cafeteria fare, 4) stick to the same worn-out lunch options out of ease and self-preservation. None are wrong, right, better, or worse. All get the kid fed.
My approach lies somewhere in the middle. I aim for easy-to-make, relatively healthy, filling, fast-to-eat, and kid-approved.
As noted School Daze: Morning Prep post, I pack the week’s lunches on Sunday. I have more delicate lunches lined up to go first with sturdier fare waiting in the back for Thursday and Friday packing. I don’t like to invest a lot of time into the prepping, so I opt for quick to make dishes that use ingredients I already have on hand.
This is an example of a week’s worth of pre-packed vegan school lunches my first grader polishes off.
LUNCH #1; “Just Ranch” Salad with Pita Add handful of chopped salad greens, 1/3 of the cucumber (chopped), 1/3 of the carrot (chopped), 1/3 of the bell pepper (diced), a sprinkle of Follow Your Heart Shredded Cheese Alternative, and 2 mini pita pockets to a lunch container. Poor 2 Tbl of Just Ranch into a small container for dressing.
LUNCH #2: “Just Caesar” Salad with Pita Add 2 handfuls of salad greens, 2 mini pita pockets, and a liberal sprinkle of Follow Your Heart Shredded Cheese Alternative to a lunch container. Pour 2 Tbl of Just Caesar into a small container for dressing.
LUNCH #3: Veggies & Pita with Hummus Add 1/3 of the bell pepper (sliced), 1/3 of the cucumber (sliced into sticks or discs, whichever is preferred), 1/3 of the carrot (cut into sticks), and 2 mini pitas to a lunch container. Scoop a few Tbl of hummus into a small container for dipping.
LUNCH #4: Hummus Pasta Salad Add a cup of cooked pasta to a lunch container. Add 1/3 of the cucumber (diced), 1/3 of the bell pepper (diced), and 1/3 of the carrot (diced), then stir in a couple scoops of hummus.
LUNCH #5: Lentil Marinara Pasta Add 1/4 cup of prepared lentils and 1 cup of prepared pasta to a lunch container. Stir in the desired amount of spaghetti sauce. Optional: top with Follow Your Heart Shredded Cheese Alternative.
1 package of salad greens (or 1 head of lettuce)
1 large carrot
1 English cucumber
1 large bell pepper (whichever color is preferred)
1 package of mini whole grain pitas (you’ll need 6 mini pitas)
1 container of hummus (or homemade; you’ll need just a few tablespoons)
1 package of dried pasta (I used Banza for extra protein)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (you’ll need just a serving’s worth)
1 bag of lentils (or prepared lentils if preferred, you’ll need just 1/4 cup)
1 container of Follow Your Heart Shredded Cheese Alternative
1 container of Just Ranch (you’ll need roughly 2 Tbl)
1 container of Just Caesar (you’ll need roughly 2 Tbl)
Comment here or tag me on Instagram (@thedairydiaries) if you make any of these lunches. I’d love to see your creations and variations.