Here we are showcasing healthy lunch ideas for adults and kids. These meals are suitable for at home, and at school, these are regulars in my kids’ lunchbox. (excluding the peanut butter sandwich)
1. Simple healthy tomato pasta
This is a common dish that my little ones love, made from pasta, and passata (sieved tomatoes.) I always adjust the recipe using whatever is available, some ingredients I usually add are caramelised onion, basil, garlic, black pepper, diced rosemary, olives, capers, sweetcorn, and soy mince. Whilst it always varies, it is always delicious and is also nice to eat cold. Pasta always goes down well, and in our household
2. Creamy cauliflower pasta
We love creamy pasta sauce that is made from boiled, then blended cauliflower. We add caramelised onion, sautéed garlic, herbs, seasoning with sea salt and black pepper before blending for full flavour. Once married with the pasta, you would not believe that it is vegan or that it is cauliflower!
3. Creamy avocado pasta
Avocado pasta is very popular and so quick to make, start by boiling pasta, whilst it cooks start mashing an avocado with a fork or pestle, add a small pinch of sea salt, black pepper and a little drizzle of vinegar if you like. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and toss with the avocado, serve! This can be made the night before, and the salt/vinegar will preserve the avocado for a little while.
4. Hummus salad sandwich
My little ones love sandwiches, it’s what they always ask for. Hummus and salad is one of there favourites, which is great because hummus is made from chickpeas and they are really good for you. The salad just improves its nutrition even more.
5. Mixed Pepper fajitas wrap
Fancy Mexican? Wraps are super delicious and colourful. Use red, green and yellow pepper, sauté in a frying pan with some onion and Mexican seasoning. You can even add some extras like refried beans, guacamole, tomato salsa or soy mince to give it a protein boost and if you’d like you can swap out tortilla wraps for taco shells.
6. Cashew & herb vegan cheese crackers
When we were vegan, we used to make this homemade cashew and herb vegan cheese, it was so tasty, healthy and extremely versatile. The nutty creamy flavour gives you that soft cheese spread flavour without the cheese and a lot more nutrition. Spread it on crackers or even put it in a bowl and the little ones will love spreading this treat. Feel free to also throw it into a pasta sauce or spread on toast.
7. Special fried tofu rice
This should be made with brown basmati rice because it is safer to reheat compared to white. Start by boiling your rice or use the left-over previously cooked. This can be made many ways but I like to start with finely diced onion in a frying pan with oil, I add frozen peas, then my marinated tofu. When everything is cooked well I add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then throw my rice in, stirring carefully and adding more oil if necessary. You can twist this recipe to your taste, a little dash of organic soy sauce is always a treat.
8. Tomato & Basil Ciabatta (Bruschetta)
Inspired by our trip to Sorrento, Italy. This is so tasty, you wouldn’t believe it. Before I go into the method I recommend finding the freshest ingredients, and preferably organic. This will only help it taste that much nicer, knowing exactly what it will do to your health.
Things you will need Tomatoes of your choice, garlic, fresh basil, (we like to grow our own, but you can buy fresh from most shops.) A ciabatta, you are welcome to make your own if you are confident in your cooking, but for the price of an organic ciabatta, we just buy it from the local shop or bakery. Try to get a good quality olive oil, as cheaper ones can be extracted via harmful methods or may simply taste bitter. You will need sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground really is that much better, so get whole black peppercorns and grind them yourself.
To make your bruschetta start by gently heating a drizzle of olive oil over low heat. Whilst heating, chop garlic, and fresh basil finely and add to the pan for less than one minute. Then add sliced tomatoes, add a pinch of salt, and fresh black pepper. let it cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Cut ciabatta bread through the middle and place in a grill to toast, feel free to use a drizzle of olive oil or butter if you prefer. Once the ciabatta is toasted put it on a plate and top with the tomato, basil and garlic topping and serve immediately.
9. Peanut butter & banana sandwich
As my little ones go to nursery two and a half days a week because of there age, they are at home for lunch sometimes which is a perfect excuse to make quick easy peanut butter sandwiches with organic wholemeal bread. This is eaten only at home due to the risk of harming others with nut allergies.
10. Avocado with salt, pepper and vinegar
Probably the simplest lunch but also super delicious, healthy, and quick to make. Slide an avocado in half, remove the pit, small pinch of salt and pepper on each half, drizzle with vinegar and it is perfect. Eat it solo, it is full of healthy unsaturated fats or cut into cubes and add to a salad.
Side snacks for kids
No matter what, they always get either a piece of fruit or some veggie to snack on. Common snacks include apples, bananas, pineapple pieces, half an avocado, carrot sticks and humous. Nuts are really good for you, however, you can’t give them to your children at school because of allergies. What other healthy snacks can you give them? Why not pop your own popcorn from kernels. Don’t add anything to it and you have a natural healthy fibrous whole grain, seeded whole-grain crackers are great, or even plain rice cakes.
Our children never drink juice unless it is pure orange or apple juice. That is even on the rarest of occasions due to the high sugar, despite being natural, in its high concentrations with low fibre, it doesn’t do much good for the body. Their main drink is always water, and so it should be. It is the most hydrating, sometimes however if we have too much fruit in the house that might spoil, if not eaten soon we throw them in the blender and turn them into smoothies.
My little ones love them and they provide lots of nutrients too! Another great healthy drink if on-the-go is natural coconut water, studies show that it is even more hydrating than regular water. Most commercial fruit juices squash contain either lots of sugar, sweeteners, artificial flavours, colours or chemicals. These are harmful to health and should not be given to kids. I hope you enjoyed this article on healthy lunch ideas for kids. I highly recommend checking out healthy vegan breakfast ideas.