It's that time again, back to school. For most of us we are excited to get our little ones back into the routine of school and they're usually excited to see all of their friends. But with that often comes the responsibility of daily lunches. For some of us preparing lunches are easy. We thrive on getting creative with different food combinations, designing perfectly balanced meals for our little ones. But for others, we actually have anxiety about what to pack; either over packing with everything but the kitchen sink, or not packing enough. So wherever you are on the spectrum, here are a few ideas that are sure to please both parent and child; they're quick, cheap and packed with nutrients.
Hummus is a food of the gods in our house. Packed with protein, it will keep your little one's energy up and sugar levels steady. Swap out any of the veggies below for what your child prefers.
1 sprouted tortilla
2 Tbsp hummus (any flavor your child likes)
1/4 avocado, sliced
2 long strips of cucumber
2 slices of bell pepper
Spread hummus on tortilla, layer in veggies and roll up. Secure with a toothpick or two.
Pasta & Peas
Using whole wheat or quinoa pasta in this adds protein and heartiness to this lunch. The peas are sweet and the quick cheese sauce is a sure win over any kid! The B vitamins and amino acids in the nutritional yeast are a bonus, too! If your child enjoys beans or lentils, this is a great way to sneak in some extra protein as well.
1 C cooked pasta of your choice
3 Tbsp thawed sweet peas
1-2 Tbsp garbanzo beans or cooked lentils (optional)
2 Tbsp non-dairy butter (We like Earth Balance soy free variety)
1 heaping Tbsp nutritional yeast
Splash of non dairy milk
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the nutritional yeast and milk and stir to make a sauce. Add the pasta and peas to coat. Can be eaten warm or cold.
These little tofu bites are tasty and delicious. The camoflaged peas give your child a daily dose of veg and also adds more protein and vitamin C. The flaxseed meal adds a nice nutty quality to the panko as well as providing some vital Omega 3s. Pack with a little dipping sauce; my kids like ketchup or teriyaki sauce.
Crispy Tofu Bites
1 16oz package organic sprouted tofu
1/4 C pureed green peas
1/2 C non-dairy milk
3/4 C panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the tofu from the package and pat dry with a couple of paper towels, being sure to remove all of the extra liquid. Cut into 16 equal size cubes and set aside. In one bowl add the milk and pureed peas and mix. In another bowl add the breadcrumbs, flaxseed meal, spices and mix together. Coat each piece of tofu in the milk/pea mixture and then roll it in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat each side. Place on a greased cookie sheet and cook for 15-18 minutes (turning once) or until golden brown. Excellent served warm or cold.
What are some of your kid's favorite lunches?