Packing lunches can be stressful enough- add a vegan diet (which is often comprised of pastas, soups, rice dishes, etc. that don't always pack well) AND so many schools going nut-free to protect children with allergies, and it can feel overwhelming.
I'm lucky in that my daughter (my only school-aged child) likes to have the same thing each day, she likes it to be familiar, so I have a quick and easy system, and of course a special gadget.
The Planetbox lunchbox is a great way to to keep lunch from getting smashed, eliminate plastic bags, cancel out the dreaded "where is my tupperware lid?" battle, and it's cute and durable. We've had the same box for 3 years. This year (the third year), we replaced the carrier bag, but the box is still going strong. You can check out all their offerings and extras at Planetbox.com, including replacement magnets and various organizational extras, but the best price I've found is on Amazon if you want to buy the set with bag.
In it, I make a Sunbutter and jelly sandwich almost every day. Sunbutter is a peanut butter alternative made with sunflower seeds, so it's allergen friendly and delicious. I've also used tahini in a pinch for a nut-free vegan sandwich. I got a cuteheart sandwich cutter that creates almost no waste (about the same as cutting off the crust) and she has loved that too. My daughter is not a fan of vegan lunchmeats or cheeses in her sandwiches (although I have rolled up tofurky slices as a side). On other rare non-sandwich days, I'll put in fresh edamame, leftover pancakes or pizza, veggie nuggets, or a quesadilla with vegan cheese.
Once the sandwich is made, I use fresh vegetables and fruits to fill out the box. I pre-peel her oranges because it's less messy and it it's easy. I try to include fresh berries, cherry tomatoes or grapes depending on what's in season and on sale. For veggies, my kids favor sweet bell pepper, snap/sugar peas, carrots, or I've even included fresh spinach and she liked that too.
For the "treat" spot in the center of this model of Planetbox, I find that a square ofRitter Sport Dark Chocolate with Marzipan fits perfectly, or a few Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
There are a few different styles of Planetbox lunchbox, but I've found the Rover just right for a kid's lunchbox.
Thelaunch is better, in my opinion, for older kids or adults who maybe pack less variety and need larger sections for bigger servings.
For more lunch ideas, follow me on Instagram where I post my daughter's lunch picture almost daily.
I hope these tips and ideas in the slideshow above inspire you and make your lunch packing a little less stressful- and maybe even fun! What kind of plant-based lunches do you pack for yourself and your family? Let me know in the comments!
I wrote a children's book, How Our Vegan Family Celebrates, to help vegans and vegan allies know how to include vegans in their celebrations and give affirmation to vegan kids who may feel alone. The book goes through holidays throughout the year and has a section at the back with parent tips!
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