Updated: Feb 13
School lunches normally have a main course and a pudding and, if you’re lucky, your school will have a salad bar where you can help yourself and maybe even extra fruit to choose from. Packed lunches should be about the same, the main part, something sweet and, of course, fresh fruit. You can also pack some extra bits to make a “starter” or a “side dish”.
So, here are some ideas for what you could put in your vegan packed lunch.
Sandwiches, rolls, pitta breads
Fillings for sandwiches can be used in a roll or a pitta bread. You can use meat substitutes, Quorn make vegan ham and chicken slices. Falafel can be cut into small pieces and added to a sandwich. Vegan cheese and vegan cheese spread can be found in a lot of supermarkets then there are fruits and vegetables that you can add too, avocado, tomato, lettuce even spinach leaves.
Wrap can contain the same fillings are sandwiches, but where everything is rolled up together you can experiment with fillings that would fall out of a sandwich or bread roll. Try making wraps with beans in, you could have a barbecue bean wrap, or what about a wrap with slices of vegan nuggets? Pinwheels are wraps that have been sliced into little bite size rolls. Pinwheels work well with a mix of wet and dry ingredients such as falafel with cheese spread or hummus and bolotti beans as it holds them together. Pinwheels can also be used as a side dish if you only pack a few of them.
Salads don't have to be just a bowl of leaves. You could have a salad with rice, kidney beans, quinoa, millet, bulgar wheat, potato, there are a lot of options. You'll need to add other tasty salad foods like carrot, sliced pepper or beetroot to keep it interesting. Make sure to include a mixture of different foods to make sure that you're getting all of the nutrients that you need.
A little salad can be used as a side dish instead of a main just like slicing up a wrap and using pinwheels for a side dish.
A handful of cherry tomatoes make an easy and nutritious side dish
Vegetable sticks with dip
A little pot of vegan cheese spread, salsa or hummus can be added as a dip.
Breadsticks can be eaten with a dip as well, just like the vegetable sticks.
Small bread roll
You could take pieces of fruit like an apple and a pear or a banana. You could use a small fruit bag from the supermarket, a lot of supermarkets sell little bags of pineapple, grapes, apple slices and melon.
A fruit salad can be amazing after a good lunch, it's really tasty and full of the vitamins that you need. In the summer a berry salad is definitely better than a banana or apple, in my opinion it is anyway.
Now, these aren't a healthy option, but they are fun. Oreos, for example, can come in little lunchbox packs but they are vegan.
Vegan yogurt/Vegan pudding pot/Gelatine free jelly pot
Again, not healthy, but we can't be perfect all of the time.
Check for lecithins from milk, lecithins from soya are fine.
Water is always the best option.
Check the juice is vegan friendly, some juices are filtered through animal body parts.
Plant based milk carton
There are soy and coconut milk options and some supermarkets sell different flavours.
Whatever you choose to have in your lunch make sure that you take lots of different foods, keep it interesting and ensure that you're eating enough. Its easy to undereat when you're eating a healthy vegan diet.