The beginning of every school year is a fresh start for not only kids, but their parents too. Moms and dads face shiny new lunchboxes and re-usable bags with a renewed inspiration to make creative and delicious meals at lunch and snack time. With five of my own children, it’s a dilemma I must face nearly every day of every week. Not only do my children of all ages get bored of the same old sorry sandwich, they’re also picky and have special diets. My oldest son has severe food allergies, so making lunch for him that is delicious, healthy and safe is a must.
These vegan recipes are not only fast and delicious, but they are also healthy and updated versions of lunch and snack time classics. They’re the perfect school fuel food, and perfect for everyone.
Creamy Tomato Soup: This is my all-time favorite soup to pack in my kids’ thermos. It’s packed with veggies and the kids won’t even know it. Despite its name, it’s completely dairy free.
Classic Applesauce: As a girl born and raised in the Midwest, trips to the apple orchard were always some of my favorite memories, especially with my own children. We loved to go out into the fields and pick tons of apples of all varieties for pies, muffins, cakes, and simple snacks. This applesauce recipe is the one I make most often. It’s fast, easy, and stores well for snacks throughout the week. I often use applesauce as an egg replacer in my baked goods, and Martha’s applesauce is hands-down my favorite.
Classic Mac and Cheese: You’d be hard pressed to find a kid who didn’t love macaroni and cheese. It is the classic lunchroom meal. My version is vegan, completely dairy free, and easy to make ahead of time and pack in a thermos.
Cucumber-Blueberry Smoothies: I love to make this smoothie in our Vitamixer as a powerful, antioxidant- rich after-school refreshment. We love to use dairy free yogurt and other berries if they are in season.
Fresh Fruit Parfaits with Healthier Granola: I love to make fresh fruit parfaits and kabobs with homemade, healthier and nut free granola. Kids love the granola on its own, making it the perfect afternoon treat.
Cinnamon Tostadas: I’m in love with cinnamon toast, and have been since I was a child. My kids love it for breakfast or as a warm after-school snack. This updated version is even better. I love to use gluten free tortillas.
Kelly Rudnicki is the author of The Food Allergy Mama’s Easy, Fast Family Meals, The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book and Vegan Baking Classics. She is also the founder of the award-winning blog www.foodallergymama.com and lives in Southern California with her husband and five children.