While meat is a natural source of protein and can feel like an essential element in your child’s lunch box diet, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that there are many ways you can provide your kids with the right nutrients and energy without stacking up the meat. For non-vegetarians and vegans, it is important to eat red meat or lean meat around 2 or 3 times a week. It is not, however, necessary to have meat every day. When you have a few meat-free days a week, you allow more time to focus on your vegetable intake, as well as saving money and helping the environment by reducing the carbon emissions associated with meat production.
It can sometimes be difficult to get inspiration for nutritious meals without meat, especially ones that appeal to kids. To help reduce the amount of meat your child eats through the school week without reducing the important proteins needed, try out some of these handy meatless lunch box tips.
There are many quick and easy recipes for veggie burgers that you can whip up at home. Using ingredients such as carrots, zucchinis, and beans to name a few, veggie burgers are tasty and full of nutrients that kids need. With a wholegrain burger bun and some classic burger salad ingredients such as tomato, lettuce, and cheese, your kids will love pulling one of these out of their lunch boxes at school. The great thing about burgers is that they can be well presented to make them appealing for children and they taste great while still getting all those important elements in your kids’ diet.
Vegetable quiche, lovely meatless lunch box tips
A really handy thing to pop in the lunch box is a quiche. Very tasty meatless lunch box tips. This dish can be made ahead of time and frozen if needed. Quiches are a great way to get a whole lot of vegetables in your child’s diet, such as mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, and other such vegetables they might not be as keen to eat on their own. With the right type of pastry, quiches can be really healthy while still getting the right amount of carbohydrates in for your kids. Quiches also taste great cold which make them an ideal lunch box delight. Check out the Asparagus, Spinach & Feta Quiche below. This quiche should stand at least 15min after taing it out, but it is therfore perfect as well to put into your lunch box and maybe be heaten up in the microwave if you like.
Salad bean wrap
One of the best sources of protein and energy without meat are beans. From kidney beans to a four-bean mix, these little ovals are filled with the nutrients your child needs to stay healthy. One of the best ways to present beans in your kids’ lunch box is to have them as part of a wrap. Separate ingredients for the wrap into containers, using things such as beans, tomatoes, cheese, grated carrot, and lettuce, and use a wholegrain tortilla wrap as the outer layer. You child can put all ingredients together at lunch time at school and end up with a tasty, healthy wrap to chow down on.
What are your preferred meatless lunch box tips you would like to share? Tell us in the comment section. Meat does not have to be in the lunch bix every day. We believe that there are other great meatless lunch box tips around.
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Asparagus, Spinach, & Feta Quiche
Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
A simple savory quiche made with asparagus, spinach, green onions, feta, and mozzarella cheese. This vegetarian spring quiche is great for brunch or dinner.
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
8 asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups fresh baby spinach
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 green onions, chopped
1 9-inch pie crust
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie dough and stick in freezer while you prepare the other quiche ingredients.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus spears, and spinach. Cook until asparagus spears are slightly tender and spinach is wilted. Transfer spinach to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in the feta and mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Remove pie crust from the freezer. Place asparagus pieces, spinach, and green onions on the bottom of the crust. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables and into the crust.
5. Bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until quiche is set and slightly golden brown. Let quiche stand for 15 minutes before serving.