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How To Create A Plant-Based Lunchbox
Eating a pIant-based diet* is beneficial for all humans and more sustainable for the planet!
Sandwiches with meats and cheeses are easy, so to make the lunch box more plant-based, I encourage you to fill half the box with sliced or chopped fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a win-win situation.
* What is a plant-based diet?
Plant-based diets focus on eating mostly plants and finding flexibility with meat, fish, and dairy products. When compared to a vegan diet, a vegan would only eat plants and no meat, fish, dairy products, or honey. A vegetarian diet would eat mostly plants and include dairy products like cheese, milk, and yoghurt.
Our goal here is to start adding in more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds to your child’s diet.
A plant-based diet can be 100% from plants. If that is your goal, feel free to swap out the protein sources to plant-based versions like tofu, beans, peas, lentils, or nut butters.
Let’s keep it simple by planning visually for a balanced and nutritious lunchbox.
4 Food Sections**
- Source of protein
- Source of carbohydrates
- Fresh fruit
Don’t forget to add in hydration plus Juice Plus+ supplements
- Water, infusions, milk, or juice.
- Juice Plus+ Fruit and Vegetable Blend Capsules or Chewables to support your varied and balanced lunchbox.
4 Tips to make sure your plant-based lunchbox gets eaten.
Every child is unique and has their own taste and preferences. Take the pressure off by experimenting with different lunch boxes each week and ask them which fruits or vegetables they liked the best (not which ones they didn't. Keep them focused on the good J).
- Pack ½ fresh – Fill half the box with chopped or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables. Kids and teens are more likely to eat these when cut up into finger food sized pieces. Smaller pieces are also easier for a younger child to swallow.
- Make it colourful – the more colours, the more enticing it will be to eat. Make it insta-worthy. Rainbows get extra points!
- Texture is important – have something crunchy, something creamy, something juicy.
- No forcing, more exploring – it takes at least 5-7 times for a child to develop the taste for something. So, don’t force them… let them taste and, eventually, they will find the fruits and vegetables they love to eat.
Food Shopping and Weekly Prep
Keeping fresh fruits and vegetables on hand is the key to success here. And might I mention, it is also good for parents and the adults in the house too!
How to make it happen?
- Shop twice a week.
- Buy the rainbow.
- Prep the fruits and vegetables into containers.
- Learn which fruits and vegetables last the longest and how to best keep them.
The details on how to make food prep happen:
1) Shop twice a week
- Pick regular days to shop to create a routine.
- Shop when you’re not hungry, tired or, when the shops are busy.
2) Buy the rainbow
- Buy in these colours: red, yellow, orange, green, purple, and white.
- Try something new. J
- Buy already sliced if you can afford it and want to save time.
3) Prep the fruits and vegetables into containers
- If you have a small child, make sure to chop the fruits or veg into bite size pieces. This includes slice grapes and cherry tomatoes in half to avoid a choking situation.
- Pealing ahead of time, relieves you of the dirty work in the morning and then you can focus on just assembling the box vs. large food prep.
- Anyone, even adults, will munch on a fruit or vegetable if it is sliced and placed in a nice container. I often do this before dinner… on the table, in a small saucer, I place sliced peppers and cucumbers as an appetiser to dinner.
4 ) Learn which fruits and vegetables last the longest and how to best keep them
For the most part, watch out for moisture and keep things dry. I often wrap my fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator with a towel or kitchen towel to keep moisture away. And other fruits and vegetables, I keep in bowls and out of sunlight.
- These are some fruits that keep well on the shelf, in a cool place out of the sun
- Apples, pears, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, avocado, oranges…
- These keep well in the refrigerator with a kitchen towel:
- Grapes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, peppers, bananas, cherries, cucumber…
Plant-Based Lunchbox Chart
Make your own plant-based lunchbox with these ideas! Remember choosing one food from each section.
Which foods to add as a source of protein and carbs?
Most foods contain a combination of all 3 macros: protein, fats, and carbohydrates, so they cover all basis, but some foods are naturally higher in protein, carb or fats than others. We created the chart above as a general guide to help you find a variety of foods that function as a protein or a carb source.
Which fruits and vegetables pack well in a lunchbox?
Our personal favourites are:
Apple slices with cinnamon sprinkled on top
Banana cut in half
Baby spinach leaves
Radishes cut in halves
Sweet potato cubes (cooked gently)
Why add Juice Plus+ Fruit and Vegetable Blend capsules or chewables?
Juice Plus+ helps you bridge the gap between what you should eat, and what you do eat, everyday! When you add Juice Plus+ Fruit and Vegetable Blend Capsule or Chewable food supplements to the lunch box, it is an easy way to create routine that will stick with your children throughout their lifetime. Please enjoy Juice Plus+ as part of a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle.
Here are the recommended amounts for children through teens and adults of Juice Plus+ Chewables and Capsules.
Ages 4- 13:
- 2 Juice Plus+ Fruit Blend Chewables
- 2 JuIce Plus+ Vegetable Blend Chewables
= Total 4 Chewables
- 2 Juice Plus+ Fruit Blend Capsules
- 2 Juice Plus+ Vegetable Blend Capsules
= Total 4 Capsules
- 4 Juice Plus+ Fruit Blend Chewables
- 4 Juice Plus+ Vegetable Blend Chewables
= Total 8 Chewables
Why add water, infusions, milk, or juice?
Hydration is very important to a growing child and adults as well. Most of the time we don’t drink enough. Hydration can be in the form of a drink, but can be in the form of soups, stews, or fruits and vegetables that have a high-water content like pineapples, oranges, and melons.
Wrapping it all up… in a box
All in all, this was a lot of information. I hope it inspires you to start adding fresh produce to your child’s lunchboxes everyday (and maybe even your own).
Any questions? Send us a message down below or reach out to your Juice Plus+ Partner for more inspiration in nutrition.
- Portion sizes can be varied to suit the age and requirements of the individual child.
- In cases of allergies or special dietary requirements, parental expertise should be used, with support from your health care professional where needed.
EASY TIME SAVING RECIPES TO INSPIRE YOU
Garden Fresh Lunch Box
- Ideal for Small Children
Assembly makes life easy in the morning!
1-2 hard boiled eggs
1 small whole-grain pita bread or whole-grain crackers
3-4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2-3 bite sized sweet peppers, chopped
4 cucumbers, chopped
10 grapes, cut in half
For children 4 years old and older: 2 each of Juice Plus+ Fruit and Vegetable Blend Chewables
Please scale portions to the relevant age of the child.
- Boil your eggs, let them cool in a bit of cool water and peel them for easy eating.
- Assemble everything in the box.
Don’t forget to pack Juice Plus+ Chewables and a bottle of water. And you’re done!