Before I delve into this post about easy plant-based lunches… let me tell you a little about myself since I’m a new contributor to the Central Eats blog. I have been completely vegan for two years now and my only regret so far is that I didn’t do it sooner! I feel really great and I haven’t had to worry about my weight at all which I always did in the past! My husband, on the other hand, is very much a meat eater, so you can imagine that when we had a baby together there was a bit of a discussion around her diet. Luckily, we were able to compromise and she is being raised as a vegetarian! (I’m going to consider it a win for me!) She does not drink dairy milk, however, but she is a cheese lover and I will just have to deal with that for now.
Now, let’s get going on planning some easy lunches! We have the PlanetBox Rover and overall I am really pleased with it. It’s a little expensive but ours has lasted a full year now… and still going! However, we did just get a new carrier. I had been hand washing the old one and after a while I just couldn’t really get it that clean.
After some successes and some failures with the lunchbox… here’s my general approach:
- Have at least two items that you know they like (even if it feels like a broken record)
- Have at least two items that they have are OK with (i.e. my daughter is OK with some veggies- they are not cookies but they are OK)
- Have one item that is something new (knowing that they may not touch it the 1st, 2nd or even 3rd time). I have had lots of success with this. I actually find that it is better to send something new to school rather than give it to her at home. At home, she has the chance to complain to me (which normally involves tossing it on the floor or screaming in protest… you know “drama for your mama”!)
Here are three lunch box ideas that I hope give you some inspiration! I don’t always make things from scratch but I am trying to be better in 2019!
Lunchbox idea #1
Main Course: Pad See Ew with Tofu: It doesn’t really taste like Pad See Ew but it is tasty and not spicy. I think it’s a good way to introduce Asian flavors to your little one if they are not used to it already.
Side dishes: Blueberries (organic whenever possible) They weren’t on the dirty dozen this year but they are not on the clean list either so who knows. My yoga teacher always said not to worry too much about about organic because veggies are always better than eating junk food. I’m always torn but if I can afford it and the price is not too outrageous I go for organic.
Avocado slices, Apple slices, nuts (no special treatments)
Sweet potatoes with Almond milk yogurt mixed in (I bake some sweet potatoes on Sunday night and I just mash with cinnamon and mix with some KiteHill brand Almond Greekstyle plain yogurt. http://www.kite-hill.com/our-food/yogurts-greek/#plain
Lunchbox idea #2
Main Course: Almond butter and fig spread sandwich. I love this one from TJ’s: https://traderjoesrants.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/trader-joes-fig-butter/
Side dishes: Avocado slices, grapes, mangoes, edamame, whole banana
Sweet potatoes with Almond milk yogurt mixed in. Only cinnamon to enhance flavor.
Lunchbox idea #3
Main Course: Jasmine rice with mashed in avocado and black beans. I just add a little salt to taste. (this is mostly inspired by my daughter’s obsession with Chipotle, which is her fave place to eat out… lucky me!)
Side dishes: Strawberries, grapes, pineapple, edamame, and the famous sweet potatoes and yogurt mix!
My goal for 2019 is more veggies in the lunch box. So far we are off to a good start. I’ll have some posts soon about that…. wish me luck!
Leah Ridge (Hazel, Toddler room)