Cold lunch ideas for newly picky vegetarian kid? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-10-2014, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cold lunch ideas for newly picky vegetarian kid?

Hi all,
I'm a vegan and my son is vegetarian. He'll be three next month. Recently he's started insisting that he doesn't like foods he used to like. I think it's more of an assertion of independence than anything else. Anyway, thankfully there are several things (hot food) he'll still eat for breakfast and dinner. The problem is what to pack for lunch at his daycare. Often he hardly eats any of the food I send.

The challenges:
-they will not heat up food for the kids, so it has to be a cold lunch
-he seems to get sick of something if I send it often (can't blame him for this, I like variety, too)
-he would live off milk, fruit, and simple carbs (crackers, cookies) if I let him.
-peanut butter is a no go due to daycare policy

Some things he (sometimes) eats are hummus sandwiches, pretzel sticks dipped in hummus, and plain yogurt sweetened with a little maple syrup. He used to eat cheese sticks or cheese sandwiches, but lately he won't eat cheese. He loves peanut butter, but is not so into almond butter.

I usually send a cup of milk, some kind of protein-rich food (yogurt, hummus, etc.) and a fruit and/or vegetable. After nap, all the kids get a snack of the not-so-healthy variety (cookies or goldfish crackers) provided by the day care. They told me that when he refuses his lunch, they try to get him to eat it for snack. But if he refuses it again, they give him the snack all the other kids are having, so that he eats something. I don't really have the time/energy to be too adamant about food stuff these days, so I don't really mind the not-so-great snack...as long as he gets some nutrition in at some point. But that is a challenge lately.

He does take a daily multivitamin.

I'm wondering if there are any ideas you all have for lunch that I may not have thought of. I'd love to hear them! Thanks

Working mom and grad student with a weird husband, a few cats, and a nifty kid!   Anton, born 8/9/11 jog.gif

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#2 of 9 Old 07-10-2014, 08:07 PM
 
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My 4yp goes to kindy and we send morning tea and lunch with her each day. These are some of the thinks she likes:

- grilled haloumi wrapped in flat bread
- boiled egg, peeled with bread and butter
- hummus and rice crackers
- popcorn
- fresh and dried fruit
- yoghurt
- chick peas (drained, tinned ones)
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#3 of 9 Old 07-10-2014, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I didn't know what haloumi is, so I just Googled it I'm not sure if I'll be able to find it in my area but I'll look. Do you put anything in/on the chickpeas, or does your kid eat them plain?

Working mom and grad student with a weird husband, a few cats, and a nifty kid!   Anton, born 8/9/11 jog.gif

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#4 of 9 Old 07-10-2014, 10:31 PM
 
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Nope, just plain :-)
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#5 of 9 Old 07-15-2014, 03:24 PM
 
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My kids doesn't like hummus, so we stay away from it.

What about Big Franks or Veggie Links smashed with Vegenaise and sweet relish. It would look like a tuna sandwich. Kids seem to like this.

Also, cashew butter or sunflower butter could be good replacements for peanut butter or almond butter. Try the cashew one first.

Would they make his lunch for him? For example, you'd heat up a tortilla in the morning and spread it with nut butter, raisins, coconut flakes and or hemp seed and or raw honey. And at lunch time, add a banana into it. It's like a burrito.

Plain ol' tomato-cheese sandwich?

What about edamame? Can that be eaten plain/cold. I think so.

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#6 of 9 Old 07-15-2014, 03:55 PM
 
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We do a lot of cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese instead of mayo. DD loves this. She also loves the chickpeas, also plain. She will also do veggie burgers cut into strips. Our daycare has the same nut policy, but seed butters are ok. I have also made granola and granola bars that she likes. (And, I hear ya about the yucky after nap snacks. Our 2 yr old DD came home asking for "gummies and jello" one day. DH and I were shocked!)
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#7 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 10:43 PM
 
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It has definitely been a challenge sending a vegetarian kid to school or anywhere where someone is watching them (and feeding them) than me. Countless times, my daughter has come home telling me she had marshmallows or gummies and I just gringe and remind the teacher....yet again that she cant have those!
My school has the same policy about heating things up...which is really sad given the teachers get to heat their stuff up. Thankfully our school doesn't have the peanut butter policy or we would be up a creek! lol Sad but true, peanut butter sandwiches are the main thing that my child eats at school. If you have a thermos, you could make a soup and send it with them. My kids really liked that. If your child doesn't mind eating cold pizza (my kids don't mind...and neither do I..lol), you could send in some pizza (homemade or store bought). I would also do a lot of French bread pizzas or tortilla pizzas, but if your child isn't wanting cheese, that may be a problem. Ok I am really getting hungry now...lol. If your child likes salad, that would be a good option. I would say a cheese sandwich or grilled cheese (if they don't mind eating cold sandwich)....but again might not want the cheese. Cheese and peanut butter are our two big go to things...lol.
It might be a stretch (my kids don't like it), but maybe a cold pasta or potato salad (but with vegetarian friendly ingredients). If all else fails, just send in healthy "snacky" like foods....such as fruits, veggies, nuts and milk. You could throw in pretzels if you wanted or pita chips. I have found that sometimes you just have to work with what the kids will eat....even if it is more snacks. Some food is better than no food! Just make sure the snacks are healthy!
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#8 of 9 Old 07-28-2014, 06:04 PM
 
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My faves:

cheese and good crackers
yogurt in a thermos with banana slices
sauteed tofu sandwich {you can saute and season the night before and refrigerate, garnish with lettuce, grated carrot, veganaise, hummus!}
cream cheese, lettuce, cucumber sandwiches cut in small squares
nut butter sandwich with fruit slices instead of jelly, or banana

carrot sticks and dip
sliced apples
tortillas rolled up with any sandwich filling
pasta salad in the thermos to keep it cold!

pasta and tofu with tomato sauce in the thermos
smoothie in a drinking/cool thermos
blueberries
dry cereal/homemade trail mix
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#9 of 9 Old 09-16-2014, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't checked in here in a while, but thank you all for the great suggestions! He loves cucumber so I think I'll try the cucumber sandwich idea. The Thermos ideas are good too, I will try to find one for him. The good news is that he's now in a new school and they will heat up food (yay!) so that helps a lot. Peanut butter is sadly not allowed at the new school either, though. I hadn't thought of cashew butter, I think I'll get some. If he doesn't eat it, my husband will (probably in one sitting, LOL).

Working mom and grad student with a weird husband, a few cats, and a nifty kid!   Anton, born 8/9/11 jog.gif

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