One of the most difficult things for most moms during lent is packing a lunch that our kids will actually eat. You know, nothing too soggy, too cold, too brown, too green, too…anything. Which amazes me because when we were kids we got peanut butter and jelly on almost every fasting day and you know what? We ate it! Crazy, right?
In general, my kids are pretty good eaters but when it comes to fasting lunches, it can get a bit difficult to find things that everyone enjoys. The good news is they’re willing to try different things in order to find things they like. Mostly because they know if they don’t they’re going to end up eating the same boring stuff. The only time my kids complain about fasting is when there’s nothing they like available, which means I need to constantly be finding new stuff and making enough of the things I already know they like.
The trick to keeping everyone’s belly happy in my house is to make sure there’s always lenten baked goods available. If there’s Curious George bread ready to warm up and slap some Earth Balance on for breakfast or chocolate chip cookies to snack on after school, they’re happy campers.
I think having a quick snack readily available keeps everyone’s hunger at bay until mealtime and avoids my kids screaming from the pantry, “There’s never anything good to eat in this house!” So, don’t forget. Baked Goods.
Below are some ideas for their lunches and regular snacks for any time. Most of them are are self-explanatory and you can add whatever sides your kids like. They are all meat and dairy free but each child fasts differently as recommended by you and their spiritual father. If they have a blessing to eat cheese simply use the real thing instead of the veggie option.
When I pack lunches I make sure there is a main entree, fruit, veggie & snack. So you can plug the ideas below in wherever you have a hole to fill. I also try not to use soy based products, so the veggie hot dogs and cheeses I recommended are all soy free. Whole Foods and even some mainstream supermarkets like Publix, Harris Teeter, Giant Eagle carry a pretty good selection of healthy non-dairy products.
- Pizza Rolls
- Pigs in a Blanket- fasting hot dogs (Field Roast brand are soy free and pretty tasty), Veggie American Cheese wrapped in a Crescent Roll
- Sandwiches with Hazelnut Spread and Bananas (You can ditch the bananas if needed)
- Pasta with Sliced Black Olives, Sweet Peas and Grated Veggie Parmesan
- Mini loaf of bread with a side of Kalamata olives (if they eat dairy, throw in some feta)
- Cucumber and Vegan Cream Cheese Sandwich (can swap cream cheese for margarine)
- California Rolls- we love the ones with crab, avocado and cucumber
- Tomato Basil Soup with mini loaf of bread
- Grilled Veggie Cheese Sandwich Triangles
- Spanakopita with your choice of sides
- Fasting Cheese Quesadillas-you can make these Southwestern Style by adding Black Beans and Corn
- Peanut Butter, Banana & Honey Roll Up- simply spread on a burrito, roll up and cut in half
- Burritos with rice, black beans and corn
- Pita Pizzas (my favorite veggie mozzarella is by Earth Island)
- Yogurt Parfaits (Whole Foods has several really good vegan yogurts. Top them with fruit and granola on the side. Don’t put it on from the morning because it will get soggy!)
- Veggie Mac and Cheese
- Flatbread Sandwiches (flatbread, cheese if they’re eating dairy, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, and whatever other veggies your kids like.)
- Avocado Chocolate Pudding (my kids have NO IDEA there are avocados in this! Score for Mom!)
- Assorted Veggies with Dressing (we love the Poppy Seed one) and mini loaf of bread
*sometimes with the sandwich options I’ll use different types of bread like thin bagels, burritos, etc. to make it interesting!
* the “mini” loaves of bread we use are the French Breads in the freezer section at Costco. They’re low gluten and really delicious. I usually give them each half a loaf along with olives, fruit and snack.
Some of our favorite fasting snacks are:
Sorbet or Ice Cream made with the Vitamix (this is so easy, we usually use a combo of fruit, vanilla coconut creamer-not milk, and ice! add whatever toppings like sprinkles or toasted nuts.)
Roasted Coconut Chips from Trader Joe’s
Zen Brand Chocolate Pudding made with Almond Milk ( we get it from Whole Foods)
Hope this helps! Happy lunch making! 🙂