It's tough to eat healthy at home. It's even more difficult to eat a healthy meal on the go. I used to bring my lunch to work every day when I was teaching and more often than not, it was a hot pocket and some chips, and maybe some fresh veggies or an apple here and there. Eating healthily takes time, planning, and isn't for the faint of heart, but I promise you that once it becomes a habit, it is infectious!
Baby G and I bring food everywhere we go. Part of that has to do with my plant-based diet, but most of it has to do with having kids. I have discovered that it is essential to bring food along almost everywhere! Today I'm sharing three complete [healthy] meals that I LOVE to eat at home, and on the go. These are also great back to school lunch ideas if you have school-aged kiddos, and they're obviously toddler-approved, as baby G literally eats ALL of these things.
G always gets so excited when she sees this pink Igloo lunch box now. She knows exactly what's in it! The vibrant colors are perfect for kiddos when they have to keep track of their own lunch bag at school, and I love how there are a couple of different options for carrying. I use the shoulder strap almost exclusively because it allows me to carry my diaper bag, high-chair cover, and the baby too. As you can see, G likes to hold it by the top haha.
Roasted chickpeas (see recipe for these here)
Dried strawberries (these taste like fruit snacks)
Fresh red pepper sliced
One cup of plain hummus with hemp hearts
The main dish for this is the roasted chickpeas, which are a household favorite. These have seasonings like cumin and chili powder; they're just divine. See recipe here. We eat a lot of dried fruit over here as well. I like that it doesn't spoil as quickly, and isn't high maintenance at all. I treat it like fruit snacks, except there are not refined sugars. Dried strawberries are SO sweet by nature! The peppers and hummus is there for a fresh-tasting snack. The key to feeling full is eating a lot of healthy foods, often, which is why I have like 3-4 different fruits in here alone! I packed water of course, because you can never get too much of that! Have you ever tried infused fruit water?!
Oatmeal granola bars (I modified this a bit to my own liking, but it's a great base recipe)
Homemade magical chia seed jam (recipe here, and you MUST try it. I use a lot of chia seeds for thickness)
Date and oat granola clusters (homemade recipe below)
Like I said, I'm a snacker, but these are some of our go-to foods. I forgot to include fresh nut butter. I put the nut butter and chia seed jam on the oatmeal granola bars and it's absolutely divine! This is more of a breakfast type lunch, but these oatmeal granola bars are packed with deliciousness that will keep you full of energy all day!
Date and Oat Granola Recipe
In food processor mix up the following until crumbly:
-1 cup of oats
-8 medjool dates
-1 tablespoons cacao nibs
-2 tablespoons coconut shreds
-1 tablespoon non-alcoholic vanilla extract
That's it! you can play with the ratios and ingredients, but that's the base recipe and I always add and change things around!
Chickpea salad (literally tastes identical to egg salad)
I didn't include a ton of snacks in this one because both the chickpea salad and almost 1 full cup of cashews are very filling. Plus, the chickpea salad is packed with tons of fresh veggies and lots of protein to keep you full all day. Yes, this dish is toddler-approved to, and can easily be modified for those who aren't fans of chickpeas! Just switch it out with egg if you eat them, or pasta, even!
Chickpea Salad Recipe (modified from this one)
In a bowl simply mash up the chickpeas, then stir in the rest of the chopped veggies. Mix in the mayo and mustard, then serve and enjoy!
1 15 oz can of chickpeas
1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper diced
1 cucumber peeled and diced
2 tablespoons vegan mayo (or regular)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste
Last tip: make sure you are using a quality lunch box! You want one that's extra insulated to keep food cooler longer like this Igloo one, and has plenty of room for all of the deliciousness you can fit inside! I prefer lunch boxes that are water resistant, and have a BPA, phthalate-free lining, since those chemicals shouldn't be around the food. I love that I can conveniently bring fresh, healthy food everywhere with me thanks to my Igloo lunch box. I hope you enjoyed these recipes and food ideas!
*Thanks to Igloo for sponsoring and inspiring today's post.