The following article was written
by Ashley Palmer.

So
long, summer! With school starting (or just around the corner for a few lucky
kids), most parents have back-to-school
clothes
, school supplies, and new backpacks on their minds. One thing you don’t want to
overlook is making sure that your child has a complete, nutritious, and tasty
meal while at school. Luckily for you, I’m here to help you pack a lunch with punch!

Load Up on Fruits
and Veggies

Fresh
fruits and vegetables are obviously great choices for packed lunches. To liven
things up, add a small container of homemade
hummus
, vegan cream
cheese
,
or creamy peanut butter for dipping. Pop the lunch box in the freezer
overnight, or put a cold pack in it to keep everything fresh.

Hummus
1 lb.
chickpeas, cooked
3 cloves garlic 
2–3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2–3 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped
coriander 
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt, to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. paprika

  • Put the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, water, parsley, and
    coriander into a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste.
    Gradually add the olive oil, stirring constantly. Stir in the salt.
  • Pour the hummus into a serving dish. Drizzle the olive oil
    over it and sprinkle on the paprika.
  • Serve at room temperature. 

Makes 4
servings

Send a Complete
Meal

Pack
all the fixin’s for a cold pizza pocket
or a build-your-own burrito in small
containers. Once at school, your child can create his or her own lunch from
scratch. This is a great way to keep the ingredients from getting that soggy
texture that’s all too common in packed lunches.

Cold Pizza
Pocket

1 whole grain
pita pocket
2 Tbsp. tomato
sauce
1 cup assorted
fresh vegetables
1 Tbsp. vegan
cheese, optional
1 tsp. basil
or oregano, optional

  • Tear pita in half, fill it with all the ingredients, and
    enjoy!

Makes 1
serving

Build-Your-Own Burrito
2 Tbsp. salsa
1 Tbsp. guacamole
2 Tbsp. black
beans
Cubed baked
tofu, chopped lettuce, onions, peppers
1 soft tortilla
shell

  • Take
    your
    pick of fillings and place them on the tortilla. Roll it up and start munching!

Makes 1
serving

Dessert Can Be
Simple

Happily
for us, some fruits can be disguised as dessert to fool the unsuspecting
student! Some of my favorites include dates, mandarin oranges, and
strawberries. Or create a simple trail
mix
to please the palate and give your child extra energy during afternoon
classes.

Simple Trail Mix
1/4 cup
mini pretzels
1/2 cup mixed nuts 
1/4 cup dried pineapple
1/4 cup raisins 
1 vegan chocolate bar, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coconut flakes, optional

  • Mix all the ingredients together. Store in an airtight
    container.

Makes about
2 cups
 

Brave the Lunch Line

Let’s
be honest―it’s bound to happen: You’re too busy to pack a lunch, or your child forgets
his or her lunch at home. Be sure to store a few dollars in your child’s
backpack or locker, just in case. Asking your child’s school to provide
vegetarian and vegan options is a great start, but it’s more persuasive if the request comes from the student.
Take a look at peta2’s latest campaign, The Veggie Burger Project, to help you get
started.

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Article source: PETA Action Alerts

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