Top 10 Recipes for Back-To-School and Tips for Packing School Lunches

Top 10 recipes for back-to-school and tips for packing healthy lunches!

We are full swing with back-to-school now, and many of us moms and dads are scrambling to get organized with activities, schedules, and – lunches. DUN-DUN-DUUN!

Does the thought of packing lunches again make you cringe? It can be frustrating to plan and pack school lunches, and that can feel even more overwhelming when eating vegan or plant-strong. I’m here to take some of that stress away today. I’ve been packing lunches for our girls (and my hubby) for about ten years now, so I’ve learned some tricks and definitely have a school-year system.

One of my tricks is to rely on some key recipes. Ones that are easy, quick, that my kids love, and that pack well for school lunches. I’m sharing them with you today, along with some other tips for school-lunch success. Ready to take notes? Class begins, now:

1. Tamari Roasted Chickpeas

So, I only make a quadruple batch of these now. Seriously, my kiddos eat one batch in one sitting – easily. So, at least once a week, these get tripled or quadrupled! What to do with them? Add them as a side snack in lunches, or mix into pasta, or rice/quinoa. Mash into a sandwich with your kiddos’ fave condiments. FYI, the school kids may also want them. I’ve had requests.

Tamari Roasted Chickpeas - Plant-Powered Kitchen

photo credit: lilveggiepatch

2. Creamy Hummus

It’s official, #hummusisafoodgroup.

Hummus is a Food Group - with Simple Reminders

Now that the hummus food group movement has officially begun (thank you Simple Reminders), get started with my Creamy Hummus! But don’t stop there. Try these other varieties. And, you know you can FREEZE hummus, right? Yes, double or triple batch, then freeze in about 2-cup portions. It thaws beautifully, take it out the night before and pop in the fridge. How to use? In sandwiches, slathered in wraps, as a dip for veg and rice crackers or pitas, on pizzas, as a spread for bagels or on pizzas, thinned out and mixed into pasta!

3. Easy, nut-free Baked Goods

It’s just impossible for me to narrow this down to one recipe. But, I can narrow it down to 5 or so recipes that I make every week through the school year. These recipes are staples to pack in lunches for recess, and also for hubby’s lunch: (1) Maple Banana Bread, (2) Pumpkin Seed and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars (now 25% off my ebook with code PP15school), (3) Banana Oat Bundles, (4) Snackles (original and pumpkin!), (5) Apple-Hemp Muffins. Put those 5-6 baked goods in rotation, double-batch and freeze some if needed. Your kids will thank you. Then you can thank me. ;)

Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars - Plant-Powered Kitchen

4. Lemon-Herb Tofu

Or, Balsamic-Tamari Tofu (read on). This recipe originates from Vive le Vegan, and has been a staple recipe for me – and many of my readers – for years. I used to make it with the herbs all the time, but noticed once we had the girls, they were a little fussy about all that herb-age! So, now, I do a most simplified marinade of tamari and either lemon juice or balsamic (usually balsamic because it is quicker) and a touch of maple syrup. Those modifications are in the recipe, which I’ve just posted. How to use it in lunches? Keep sliced for sandwiches, crumble and use in wraps, cut in squares and mix into quinoa or leftover pasta, add to soup, or let them eat it on the side with a sandwich. Many possibilities with this recipe, and lunch prep will be easy-breezy!

Lemon-Herb Tofu - Plant-Powered Kitchen

Lemon Herb Tofu; photo credit: veganprairiefood.wordpress.com

5. Smoothies

Either before school or after school, they are a brilliant way to nourish and sustain your kiddos in a nutrient-dense drink. Don’t just fill them up with fruit, balance with some greens and veggies if you can, and also add nutrient-rich hemp seeds, chia seeds, goji berries, or nut butters. Our eldest now loves green smoothies, and the trick for me was adding frozen pineapple. I’d used it before in green smoothies, but didn’t always want it myself. Yet, it is one of the best tricks for balancing any ‘green’ flavor tones. You can get the full green smoothie tutorial here. Also try the Acai Antioxidant Smoothie and Strawberry Goji Smoothies (in first smoothie link).

Strawberry-Goji Smoothie - Plant-Powered Kitchen

Strawberry Goji Smoothie Photo credit: tahinitoo.wordpress.com

6. Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls

Make ‘em soon, and make ‘em often! There is a nut-free option in the recipe, so you can make these for school lunches. If you don’t want to roll into balls, you can also press into a small pan and cut into squares. I often double the batch (you need a larger processor to do so), and freeze half. They pack perfectly for lunches, and school parties (being nut-free, dairy-free, and also gluten-free) and also terrific when running out to activities.

Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls - Plant-Powered Kitchen

7. Mellow Lentil Sniffle Soup

This is one of our girls’ favorite soups. The recipe is in eat, drink & be vegan, but I have just posted it for you. Make it for dinner one evening, and send it to school in a thermos for the kiddos another day. Or, just keep the leftovers for a quick dinner another night. Some other soups my girls love include this White Bean Soup and Sweet Potato Lentil Chili.

Mellow Lentil "Sniffle" Soup - Plant-Powered Kitchen

8. Cheesy Sprinkle

This unassuming little recipe with nutritional yeast transforms many of our school lunches from drab to fab. I add it to pasta, and “ta-dah!”, kiddos love it. Sometimes I’ll use a basic marinara sauce, but more often I’ll do a simple slurry of apple cider vinegar, tamari, and maple syrup (just a touch) – mix it up to taste, toss into pasta, then mix in the cheesy sprinkle. Kids LOVE this for lunch. Add in some veg or beans (there’s those tamari roasted chickpeas again!), cubed tofu or tempeh, and it’s a very satisfying lunch. I also sprinkle it into wraps for the girls, with things like cubed potatoes and hummus, and into quinoa bowls. Many possibilities! Note that the original version is nut-based, but I offer a nut-free alternative in the recipe. This is the one I use for school lunches, and the girls really haven’t noticed the difference.

Cheesy Sprinkle - Plant-Powered Kitchen

9. Chia Puddings

This may not be something you pack into lunches – though you certainly could, they are both nut-free – but your kiddos will love coming home to it! I have Chocolate and Pumpkin Chia Puddings posted, and in my upcoming cookbook (details soon), I have an Apple Pie Chia Pudding (plus a Bananascotch Pudding and  PB Pudding with Fresh Berry Swirl, it’s going to be a fun book)!

Chocolate Chia Pudding - Plant-Powered Kitchen

 

10. Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies

With the school year comes school parties. Halloween, Christmas, birthdays… someone lost a tooth, someone has a new baby sister, it’s “party day”! Yeah, I’m exaggerating. But not much, us parents know the school party scene. Always a reason for a party – and junky treats. Most of the treats we see going in and out of schools are pretty crummy. So, get a healthier – but DELICIOUS – dairy-free, egg-free chocolate chip cookie recipe in your arsenal! My Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies are a classic, and have almost 250K YouTube views. These are your go-to vegan cookie.

Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies - Plant-Powered Kitchen

photo credit: veganeatsandtreats.blogspot.ca

 

Other Tips for Smart and Plant-Powered Lunches

Pack lunches the day before. There is already enough chaos in the morning, so pack the lunches during lunch the day before, or the evening before.

Also fill water bottles! Have them ready in the fridge ready to tote.

- Cook things in batches through the week and weekend. Hummus, tamari roasted chickpeas, muffins, as mentioned above. But also batch-cook potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, beans, etc. All those staples can be used in wraps, sandwiches, added to soups, pastas, and more.

Pack plenty of fresh fruit and make it EASY for them to eat. Yes, it feels a nuisance sometimes to peel those mandarins or cut oranges into bite-size pieces and pop into a container. Why not just pack the whole fruit? Because kids have very little time to eat in school, that’s why. So, make it easy for them to eat that fruit. Peel or slice or cut into small pieces and pack in a container along with a fork. They are far more likely to eat it.

Pack occasional treats seaweed snacks, baked chips, cookies, a few vegan gummy worms. They have very healthy lunches, let them find a treat once in a while!

Have stock of different size containers. I have an entire cupboard with different sizes of containers. Some are ziploc, others are reused containers from nondairy yogurt or store-bought dips, etc. The smaller ones are great for fruit and snacky items, the larger ones for pasta, sandwiches, etc. One day I may reveal my crazy cupboard of containers and lids!

We all need shortcuts. You may not always get to making marinated tofu, making soup, or baking muffins. Get some Amy’s burgers or other veg burgers that you can easily heat and put in a sandwich, and pick up healthier granola bars or snack cookies. Try Amy’s baked beans in a wrap with rice (I always add about 1 cup or more of black or kidney beans to stretch it out) or Amy’s alphabet soup - amp up the nutritional profile by adding beans, cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes, or cubed tofu. Try a pre-marinated tofu which simply needs to be sliced or lightly heated. Keep some quick fixes on hand to avoid mama (or papa) food-prep burnout!

Next, here are some examples of lunches I’ve packed for our girls (photo quality not stellar, but sure to give you the idea):

packing school lunches - plant-powered kitchen

Hummus sandwiches with carrot sticks, fruit cut in containers, maple banana bread (not yet sliced, pack in a little plastic wrap).

Quinoa mixed with tamari roasted chickpeas, tamari/vinegar slurry and cheesy sprinkle, and peas, pineapple-carrot cake (new recipe, not posted yet, sorry!), and fruit.

Leftover pizza + tamari roasted chickpeas + carrot sticks, oranges and grapes, "Banana Oat Bundles".

Leftover pizza + tamari roasted chickpeas + carrot sticks, oranges and grapes, “Banana Oat Bundles”.

Pasta with cubed tofu, Maple Banana Muffins, fresh fruit

Pasta with cubed tofu, Maple Banana Muffins, fresh fruit

Couple of news-y bits before I sign off:

First, PCRM has launched their September kickstart. I’ve been following PCRM from their early days, and am extremely proud to be partnered with them for this month’s kickstart. Not only are quite a few of my recipes in their 21-day plan, I am their “featured partner” for September. If you sign up and mention my name as the referral, you have the chance to win one of my books at the end of the programplus you will be eligible to purchase the PP15 at a discounted rate. I don’t discount the Plant-Powered 15 ebook anywhere else, this is a special PCRM initiative. If you are new to the kickstart program, it is completely free to register. Every day you receive emails with recipe highlights, tips from celebrities, and more. There is also a community forum. In fact, I have met some very special readers here from the kickstart program! So, it’s a very cool way to network and also, obviously, get immersed in a healthy plant-strong dietary plan.

Second, I have just launched my Plant-Powered 15 on amazon. You can still order through my site, but now you have the option to order via amazon on your kindle. Since many of you already have the PP15, I am asking a wee favor: If you have and love this ebook, can you leave a short review on amazon? Would really help establish its presence. On the topic of reviews, I would also deeply appreciate extra reviews of LTEV. As I work to finish this next cookbook, it is helpful to build the reviews and profile on amazon. I sure appreciate any help. Thank you.

With that, I hope you enjoy these school lunch tips. PLEASE share some of your own! What recipes do you rely on regularly? And, what are your go-to snacks and meals to pack into lunches. Any terrific quick-fixes to share? 

 

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43 Responses to Top 10 Recipes for Back-To-School and Tips for Packing School Lunches

  1. Genevieve says:

    Thank you for this post Dreena. I am on the other end of the school spectrum-teaching high school. We have just as short a time as the kiddos to eat, and ideas like these that are simple to prepare, delicious, and healthy are extremely helpful. I too would love to see future posts of what you and your family eat for lunches (or other meals) in a week just to see how a seasoned veteran of veganism eats.

    I have never made the tamari roasted chickpeas, but certainly intend to try them this weekend as my new afternoon (passing time between classes!) snack.

    I left a review for LETV because it is the only way that I can think of to repay the positive contributions you have made to me and many others through your encouraging postings, essential cookbooks, and amazing ideas. Thank you for all you do.

  2. Chloe says:

    This is great! Thank you for all your wonderful ideas. One thing my 5 year old daughter requests every day – cinnamon apples. I just peel the apple and chop into bite-sized pieces, then sprinkle with cinnamon and shake them up to get all the pieces coated. Kind of like an apple pie without the crust. And the cinnamon keeps them from getting brown (or maybe it just hides it!)

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks Chloe! So funny you mentioned this idea (and thanks for doing so)! My girlfriend suggested the same to me a few weeks ago. I’ve been making the cinnamon apples for the girls and they LOVE them (and I do too). Thanks for the note. :)

  3. Sasha says:

    Thank you for your creative yet simple lunchbox ideas Dreena! They are just in time. Your post was sent to me by Choosing Raw’s Gena Hamshaw and I’m so glad it reached me!

    We have 9 and 10-year-old and I dread packing their lunch. At their elementary school, they are only given 15 minutes to eat lunch, which I find completely ridiculous. I’ve gotten into the rut of giving them a pb&j sandwich, grapes, mini-carrots, water, and a cookie almost everyday.

    I am so excited to try your recipes. A couple quick questions:

    -Which chopped fruits to you back that don’t go brown?
    -What kid friendly veggies to you pack other than carrots and cumcumbers?
    -What to you pack to drink?
    -Is the rice/tofu/lentil soup ect eaten cold if you’ve backed it the night before?

    One recipe I can pass along is Nava Atlas’ zucchini chocolate chip muffins with flax seed (vegan). They are nutrient packed and we never have a crumb left.

    Muchisimas gracias!
    Sasha

    I

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Sasha! Thanks for connecting, Gena is a dear and I appreciate her sending you in my direction. I completely understand where you are coming from, we have 3 girls, and some days it feels a chore to pull that lunch together. But, with some of these ideas you may find it easier (hopefully!), and develop a bit of a system that works for you. Also, couldn’t agree more about how little time they have to eat. I noticed how much faster our girls starting eating after they started public school… because they had to start scarfing down lunches in 10-15 minutes. As for your Qs, fruits like apples and pears oxidize, but you can toss in a little lemon or orange juice to prevent browning. Grapes, melons, kiwi, berries, oranges good choices for now browning. I mostly pack cukes and carrots b/c they are easy and the girls eat them readily, but if your kids will eat things like raw broccoli, raw cauli, bell pepper slices – go for it! I only pack water to drink. Our girls eat the tofu/rice chilled, but if you want to pack the soup warm you could use a thermos. Hope that helps!

  4. Zoe Emmerson says:

    I love your posts about what you feed the kids, it’s just so inspiring and gives me so much support with feeding my own – thanks. I cannot wait for the new book – although I’ve still plenty to try in the current one.
    I’ve done a review of both LTEV and PP15 on Amazon UK for you.

    • Dreena says:

      Zoe, really glad to know it helps your feeding your own kiddos! The biggest challenge for me is not vegan lunches, but nut-free in schools! I can do a lot of yummy stuff with nuts. :) But then, I’m able to swap out at times with nut-free alternatives. Thanks so much for the kind note and the reviews.

  5. Carrie says:

    I’m not sending children off to school, but I take my lunch with me to work every day. I refuse to pay high prices for garbage/crappy food, and trying to find something decent close by in the limited amount of time I have is pointless. I usually have leftovers, but sometimes want something different. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, so thanks for the great ideas Dreena!
    Carrie recently posted..Citrus Chili Panko Crusted TofuMy Profile

  6. Liz says:

    I use To-Go Ware Tiffins (http://www.luckyvitamin.com/m-2026-to-go-ware) and Lunchbots (http://www.luckyvitamin.com/m-1897-lunchbots) to send my “big one” (my SO) off with breakfast and lunch. I’m especially fond of the Tiffins; they’re super durable but really lightweight. (My “big one” managed to SOMEHOW break it on its first day of use!It was consequently fixed but I’m still spinning over that one. Living with him is like the equivalent of living with a bull — things get broken all the time and, thus, we can’t have anything “nice”. LOL)

  7. Suzanne Holt says:

    My kids love fruit smoothies but I’ve never considered adding greens to them because I’m not sure I could get them to drink it. I will try your pineapple suggestion. Thanks for the tip!
    Suzanne Holt recently posted..Norwex Timeless Relaxation Rescue GelMy Profile

  8. Sarah says:

    I love this post! My eldest is in Kindy two days a week and goes into prep next year and I love making up the Lunchboxes. We love your recipes and I can’t wait for the new book (or details)! Tamari roasted chickpeas are a family staple here :) Thank you for making notes of what freezes well, I am always after ideas for big batch cooking that freezes well. I always google but I am never sure what i can and can’t freeze. You are amazing! thank you
    Sarah recently posted..Crazy daysMy Profile

  9. It’s fun to see the photos of actual food you pack for your kids! My son is only 3 so I don’t have to worry about school lunches YET, but I always need new food ideas since he has multiple food allergies. I am definitely going to try some of your yummy baked good recipes!

  10. Lauren says:

    Love this. You make it look so easy!

  11. Laurie says:

    What a fabulous post, Dreena! Thank you for all of the time you take to put together such a helpful and beautiful post!! I don’t have school age kids any more but my 4 adult children and my husband have all joined me in eating a whole foods plant based diet and we all love your recipes! I just posted a review for LTEV and Plant Powered 15 on Amazon. Like I always say, you are a vegan genius and I just love all of your recipes. THANK YOU so very much!! :)

    • Dreena says:

      Alright!!! That’s awesome Laurie, kudos for getting the whole crew on board with your plant-powered lifestyle. Just fabulous. Thank you for your feedback, generous words, and the review. Really good of you. :)

  12. Lois says:

    Oh oh oh! This is fantastic! Off to make cookies RIGHT NOW!

  13. Alisa says:

    This all looks fabulous Dreena! Since I work at home, I have the luxury of making salads. But for my niece, I send her off with a whole wheat sandwich, strawberries, and homemade granola bars.
    Alisa recently posted..Favorite Chocolate Bar Giveaway (5 Winners!)My Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks Alisa! I love salads for lunch too – and green wraps. I’d have to find a way to pack them up if working outside the home. Sounds like you are a very special aunt. :)

  14. Emma says:

    There are some great tips and tricks here Dreena, as well as lots of your recipes I haven’t yet tried :) I don’t know what my schedule will be like this academic year but I may well find myself packing lunches to take to university with me. This advice is useful even for home lunches and snacks though.
    Emma recently posted..F is for…My Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Thanks Emma. I sometimes forget all the GROWN students packing lunches out there!! Yes, many of these ideas will work so well for you. Good luck with your studies!

  15. D'Ann Martin says:

    I absolutely loathe packing my kids lunches! They are continuously comparing their lunches to the other kids who pack SAD lunches. I know I’m doing the right thing, but it hurts when they feel left out or picked on for their healthy lunches. I really needed this post and the encouragement. Thanks Dreena!!!

    • Dreena says:

      Oh dear, that’s frustrating D’Ann. Our girls have grown with eating vegan, since birth. Have you been eating plant-based for very long? I’ll send a few words of encouragement that they truly do grow to become connected to their good food, not only enjoying it but also appreciating it. Understanding how it makes them feel good, and understanding how real food tastes much better! It’s not acceptable if children are taunting or excluding b/c of their lunches – and it’s bullying. Please hang in and give your kiddos a hug from me – they are plant-powered stars!! :D

  16. Kate says:

    Wow what a comprehensive and awesome post. Thank you so much. This is a smorgasbord of fabulous ideas not only for school kids but everyone who needs a packed lunch for work too! So tasty. So healthy. Yum!!!

  17. This post was AMAZING! You’re recipes are so inspiring. I can’t wait to try some of these on my daughter.
    Laura @ The Green Forks recently posted..My Daily Nutrient ChecklistMy Profile

  18. Jaime says:

    This post is close to my heart – I just blogged about our back to school lunches a couple of days ago! I rely heavily on leftovers for lunches so I always make my meal plan for the week with using leftovers as part of next days lunch. There are always some days it doesn’t work out but I use leftovers plenty. I also try to make up a bean and/or grain salad at the beginning of the week to keep in the fridge for days when leftovers aren’t happening. I always pack fresh fruit – either a fresh cut fruit salad (using a variety of fruits) of a sliced season fruit or two, and then so other thing we like to pack are veggies and dip (hummus or guac), sometimes a spinach or tossed salad, crackers or pita and hummus, coconut milk yougurt, a muffin or healthy cookie, leftovers in the thermos (soups, chilis, pasta, grains and beans, etc), veggie wraps,….the list goes on and on! We use planet boxes to pack our lunches and they are fantastic!

    But I think the best tip for packing school lunches is to give variety and make sure you pack things they like! If its healthy and they’ll eat it, I’ll back it! I don’t want to send them with stuff they might eat because I think its healthy. If they don’t eat it they can’t think and learn well during the day. Thats why sometimes leftovers don’t work – sometimes dinner the night before wasn’t a “hit” and I don’t want to send something I’m sure they won’t eat much of.

    It would be great if periodically you post a week of lunches that you pack for the girls and hubby – I always find those post to be so usefully for ideas and inspiration. Thanks again!
    Jaime recently posted..Back to school = back to packing lunchesMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Jaime, those planet lunchboxes are handy! i can see why you love them. Your kiddos are being very well nourished, those lunches are so colorful, full of vitamins and antioxidants!! It’s so smart to use leftovers, many nights I don’t have any, lol! Then, sometimes our dinners include mixes with nuts (like a veg burger or pasta sauce), and no nut products are allowed in the school – that’s tricky for me at times. You know I’ve never thought to post a week’s worth of lunches – that’s a great idea Jaime – I’ve made a mental bookmark and hope to get to it!

      (And agree with you, seeing a lunch returned mostly not eaten gets to me – not just b/c it’s a waste of food but b/c I know the appetites my girls have and they then just inhale the snacks after school… not great.)

  19. While this might not always work for kids, I almost always pack my lunch the night before, right after dinner, when I’m putting the food away. Sometimes I’ll portion out two or three containers’ worth of leftovers, which make super easy grab-and-go lunches for either myself or my husband!

    P.S. My brother and I were lucky enough to be able to come home for lunch until third grade, at which time, my mom taught us how to pack our own lunches (the night before . . . always . . . ) and supervised for a couple of years until we got the hang of it. To this day, I think those early skills and habits I developed have allowed me to save so much money and eat healthy lunches my whole adult life!

    • Dreena says:

      Catherine, I remember going home for lunches as well! I’d often walk home, have a quick soup or sandwich and then back to school. Things are so very different now! Smart mama, teaching you that food prep biz! So true, it’s MUCH easier to pack up those things beforehand, esp when you have some of the items out already – like leftovers. You were a good student. ;) Thanks for sharing the tip here too!

  20. Robin says:

    My latest favorite lunch (fortunately, I come home for lunch), is to put a split whole wheat pita in the toaster and then cover it in your great creamy hummus topped with either a kale salad or sliced tomatoes. Yum!! The pita in the toaster is an easy no added fat pita chip. Thanks for all the ideas above. I’m a fan!

    • Dreena says:

      That’s a dynamite lunch Robin, especially toasting the pita – almost makes the hummus melt into it, right? I love salads on top of things like that, sometimes pizza houses do the same, really a switch-up that’s so tasty. Thanks for sharing that idea! :)

      • Robin says:

        Also, forgot to mention the chocolate chip studded banana chia muffins that have been a hit in the lunchbox lately. All her friends ask for a bite!

  21. Such a great post with a lot of really useful information….and the recipes! Wow! I use a lot of these ideas myself. My oldest has tree nut and peanut allergies in his room so that limits him. However he’s a big fan of quesadillas. I usually include refried beans, salsa, Daiya and black olives. I toast it at home and he re-heats it at school. He also loves sunbutter sandwiches. My middle son does well with PBJ sandwiches and my youngest is most versatile. He loves the Goddess Chickpeas and Egg-less Sandwich Filling. I always include fresh veggies and sometimes something crunchy (like pretzels or cereal). Muffins or banana bread, cocoa cookie dough balls, are all common in my boys’ lunches too. I also have been adding coconut milk-based yogurt. Oh, and hummus for dipping! There are so many possibilities!!

    Oh, and tonight I made the lemon-herb tofu. I hadn’t made it in a while and it hit the spot! Yum!
    Christine Magiera recently posted..Recipe! Corn RisottoMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Christine, I don’t think I knew that about the peanut/nut allergies with your boy. Gosh, that’s tricky. For school, I’m always baking/cooking nut-free, so hopefully some of these ideas will help! I need to get that eggless salad recipe up on the blog – thanks for mentioning that! You have given many ideas here – the small nondairy yogurts are terrific too, and yeah, kids love munching on crunchy stuff!! Thanks for your ideas (oh, and our girls LOVE quesadillas too)!

      • Dreena says:

        oh wait, I now see you mentioned the allergies are in his class!! Do the other classes allow nut butters then? Our schools all have a no-nut policy – throughout the schools, and all the schools here! Even if there’s none in the specific class. So, no peanuts or nut products of any kind. Makes it a little more finicky, but I’m used to it now b/c it’s been so many years of working around it.

        • Right, there’s a boy with an allergy in his class. Sorry for the mixup. :) Thankfully my boy doesn’t have any allergies, that would be difficult to accommodate all around! But you do make it easier, giving lots of variations in your recipes to allow for allergies or aversions in general! The school as a whole isn’t nut/peanut free so I do pack nutbutter and peanut butter sandwiches for my other two. That makes it easier for my middle one especially who is the most choosey. Thanks again for the great ideas!
          Christine Magiera recently posted..Recipe! Corn RisottoMy Profile

  22. I love this post Dreena! It is super helpful for not only packing my kids lunches but mine as well. I also have a crazy cupboard full of containers, but you are right, the kids are more likely to eat the fruits/vegs if they are pre-cut. I will definitely have to make some of the recipes you’ve posted. I will also leave a review of LTEV, every recipe I’ve made out of it has been a huge hit with the family. Which reminds me, I’ve got to make that Mac-oh-geez ASAP!
    Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} recently posted..Vegan MoFo Favorites Round Up Week 1My Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Anna, I joke I have the leaning tower of ziplocs! Sometimes they just tumble everywhere, when I’m scrambling to get the lunches in order, ha!! But, they serve their purpose. Thanks for your feedback, and for offering to leave a review of LTEV, very appreciated! (and yes… make the mac!) :D

  23. Tiffany says:

    Dreena, This post is so helpful for everyone! I know so many of us have to go to work or college and it helps to have so many healthful meal ideas!

    I’ve been making so many of your recipes and each one is fantastic! I can’t wait until your next book is out! I made your maple banana bread, this time with chocolate chips and it was amazing!!!

    By the way, I am really looking forward to your exercise post. Can’t wait to read all about it!

    As a side note: tonight on food network, Rachel and Guy are premiering their new show kids cook-off. I am so intrigued to watch this. I wish the show taught kids about veganism but at least it gets kids in the kitchen and interested in food rather than packaged products.

    Thank you so much for inspiring everyone around you and I am always so happy to pass on all the information I’ve learned from you! xo

    • Dreena says:

      Oh great! Thanks Tiffany, glad to know it’s helpful for many, not just for parents with wee kiddos! You are so kind – thank you, it’s just the best to hear that recipes are being enjoyed.

      I’ll look into that food network show, not sure if we get that one in Canada, but would love to see it, thank for heads up!

      I’m *this close* to getting the exercise post in order! I had technical glitches with the video, but think I have it figured now – so SHOULD be the next post. #fingerscrossed ;)

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