Sustainable School Lunch – Early September

September 11th, 2015 - filed under: The Food » Food and Health

Hi guys, and welcome to the first post in our Sustainable School Lunch series! These photos were taken during the first week of September, which means here in California, we’re still feeling the full effects of summer. That translates to hot hot days, fresh fruit overflowing in our CSA box, and leftovers from low-maintenance, no-heat dinners. Here’s what I packed for Waits’s kindergarten lunch:

sustainable school lunch

  • Vegan cheesy crackers (special occasion for the first week of school because he loves them! we buy these ones) and green olives, in the Steeltainer compact container. I love this little bento; the snap-on lid is a great fit and it never leaks. However the divider piece is removable, and it doesn’t really stay put. I’ve mostly taken to using this container for single-items. And for that, I love it.
  • Hummus + cucumber pinwheels on whole wheat flatbread in the Eco Lunch Box oval.
  • Homemade blueberry kombucha in his Klean Kanteen 12-ounce stainless steel sport top.
  • Two gluten-free blueberry mini muffins. I sent these in the LunchBots Rounds leak-proof containers, but a word of warning – this is a set of 2 and BOTH of them came to me with broken seals. I’ve since returned them and won’t be buying them again. So – I don’t recommend LunchBots Rounds!
  • Local organic grapes from my CSA box. These are literally the crispest, juiciest grapes I have ever tasted. They are soooo good!


sustainable school lunch 2

  • Oat milk! Our fave, and I try not to use the single-serving cartons very often for lunches, but they sure are handy to have around. I try keep a few in our snack box in the car, since they’re shelf stable. Life savers, they are!
  • Half an apple with almond butter, in the Steeltainer compact container. The almond butter did not stay where it was supposed to, which is my one and only gripe with this container (and if you need it to separate foods, that’s a pretty big gripe!)
  • Local strawberries from our CSA box and organic cucumbers, in the LunchBots Duo stainless steel container. I have had this bento for a loooong time, since way back in Portland, and it has held up so well. And definitely keeps food separate — so if you’re looking for a split container, this one is ace!
  • Homemade blueberry kombucha in his Klean Kanteen 12-ounce stainless steel sport top.
  • A taco! Leftover refried beans + grilled peppers taco, in an adorable Lunch Skins snack bag. I love these reusable baggies THEY ARE SO CUTE.


sustainable school lunch 3

  • Herbed popcorn in the trusty Eco Lunch Box oval. I like this container because it has the snap-down lid, but a word of warning – it’s really big. So if you use it *for* a lunch box, it’s great. If you want to put it *in* your lunch box, it takes up too much space. But I usually just put it in Waits’s back pack alongside his lunch box, and that works well for us. I’ve had this thing for years and its held up great!
  • Tofu shapes! Flowers and leaves and acorns, pan-sautéed in olive oil, Braggs, and nutritional yeast. Sent in a Lunch Skins sandwich bag.
  • Oat milk, in his Klean Kanteen 12-ounce stainless steel sport top.
  • Olive hummus with celery + bell pepper + cucumber sticks, in the Steeltainer compact container. This was the last time I used it with the divider. Now I use it as a singles container and I like it so much better that way.
  • Them amazing grapes.


sustainable school lunch 4

  • Still working through those local strawberries from our CSA, plus organic cucumbers, in the LunchBots Duo stainless steel container.
  • Chocolate smoothie! Oat milk + banana + cashew butter + kale + chocolate protein powder, with vitamins and probiotics added (zinc, K2, D3, bone-builder complex — see this post for why and how I supplement the way I do for vegan kiddos) sent in the Little Green Pouch reusable squeeze pouch. Our school is glass-free for lunches, so I love sending his smoothie in this reusable squeezey pouch. It’s a perfect “snack-size” smoothie, it’s dishwasher safe for easier clean-up, and so far no leaks!
  • Peanut butter and banana roll-ups on whole wheat flat bread. These were a hit, especially since I added a drizzle of his absolute favorite – Bee-Free Honee! (vegan “honey” made from apples) I used the Steeltainer compact container without the divider, and it was perfect.
  • Herbed popcorn in the trusty Eco Lunch Box oval. This is popcorn from Whole Foods, non-GMO, super inexpensive, and the seasoning contains powdered mushrooms. We LOVE this stuff and I always keep a big bag in our car snack box for emergency transit munching.


sustainable school lunch 5

  • Chia pudding made with oat milk, maple syrup, and strawberries, sent in the ECOlunchbox Eco Dipper. This one doesn’t have a snap lid and I was a little worried about spillage, but it stayed perfectly sealed. Chia pudding was a big lunch hit!
  • Oat milk in the Klean Kanteen 12-ounce stainless steel sport top.
  • His first school lunch sammie. ♥ With Tofurkey smoked “turkey” and Follow Your Heart cheddar slices, on whole-wheat sourdough. I wasn’t sure how this would be received, but he really liked it. Sent in the oh-so-adorable Lunch Skins “Green Pear” sandwich bag.
  • Half a local heirloom mini melon from our CSA box, cubed, sent in the Steeltainer compact container, sans divider.
  • Homemade “cheesy chips”. Jeremy and I came up with this late at night brainstorming something fun for lunch. Corn chips by themselves are boring . . . but corn chips sprayed with a light misting of coconut oil, then dusted with salt and nutritional yeast? YUMMY! He loved these. (Also sent in a Lunch Skins sandwich bag – the “Tangerine Orange” pattern this time.


And that, my friends, is that! A whole week’s worth of lunches. I hope that you enjoyed this new series, because I sure am having fun putting together these little lunches!

Until next time. ♥


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  • Kat

    I love this! Your post gave me some lunch ideas for college

  • Shelby

    Those all look delicious and I love pinwheels! They are so much more fun than a wrap! What kind of flat bread do you like to use for them?

  • ellie

    that popcorn sounds delicious (now that my braces are off i can have popcorn again :) )! is it something that came prepackaged or something you threw together?

  • Krista

    This post was wonderful! My favorite!!!!! Keep ‘em coming, sister!

  • valerie struski

    loved this post!! we always need lunch and snack ideas for our wee-one.

  • Karen Franks

    SUPER healthy, colorful, tasty, and ecological! My new grandson (June birth) is ready for the sequel to Vegan Pregnancy. Are you working on it? Hope so!

  • Mrs. D.

    Love, love, love! I am going to sew some re-usable snack bags for the fam in the next few weeks… Thanks for the great lunch ideas. :)

  • Angie

    I am really loving these posts. I often get stuck in rut for lunches.

  • Rachel in Veganland

    These lunches are adorable! I love how you’re using the little containers. I do something similar with my own lunches (and dinners, often) too!

  • Lindsey

    Please keep these posts coming!

  • Laurenne

    Yesssss! I love these school lunch posts. Making lunches (and any meal, really) for my veg kids is so intimidating, but you give me great ideas, as usual. I look forward to the next one of these!

  • Emily

    I love this post!!! i’m a college student as well + definitely gaining some inspo from these <3 need to invest in some containers aside from my typical mason jars!! I make a smoothie nearly every morning- any reusable plastic bag alternatives for my frozen bananas? I've yet to discover anything that I can freeze my bananas in that is reusable!

  • Laurenne

    I wanted to add… how much does he actually eat? Have you had any lunch fails? Be real with us!!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, that’s awesome! Good food does not discriminate by age!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I think so too! I love pin wheels but surprisingly, he didn’t love these. It might have been the bread though, which is the whole wheat Lavash bread from Trader Joe’s. It’s a little thicker and tougher. I’m going to try again with tortillas and see what he thinks.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    It’s pre-packaged, and I buy two versions. My fave is the one at Whole Foods, it’s just called “herbed popcorn” and that’s the one with mushroom powder. It’s soooo good!

    I also buy the Trader Joe’s brand Herbed Popcorn, it’s not quite as good but still mighty tasty. I’m actually munching on some right now!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Awesome! Yay, I plan to do them every other week!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Awesome, glad you liked it and hope it provided some fun ideas!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I actually am sort of partly exploratory-phase just beginning to consider working on it! I need to put together a proposal and take it to an publisher . . . which is easier said than done. But I have all the ideas and the whole book sketched out and ready to go! I’d love love love to write a vegan parenting book.

    Congratulations on the new grandson!! ♥

  • Sayward Rebhal

    You’re welcome, so glad you liked them!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    So glad you like them Angie! Hopefully you’ll find some new ideas. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yup, I am officially container-crazy. I’m already needing to find more room in my kitchen!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’m on it! =D

  • Sayward Rebhal

    He eats most of it but it’s all throughout the day. This covers his morning snack (recess) at school, as well as his lunch at school. Then I pick him up in the early afternoon. We go through his lunch and see what he ate, and then I drop him off at his afternoon child care provider. I send the rest of his un-eaten lunch for the afternoon, which he finishes and also shares with the other kiddos. So mostly it all gets eaten, and over the course of the day he eats quite a bit . . . on good days. He’s a bit hit or miss with the quantity he’ll consume, if I’m being honest. It was worse when he was younger (eating less) and seems to have really mellowed out (eating more) as he’s started school.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Emily! Yes – I always peel my bananas, freeze them on baking sheets (single layer so they don’t freeze stuck together), and then transfer them to a large glass snap-lock container. Once they are already frozen you can stack them without worrying that they’ll stick together. I like the large “glass lock” containers these days, but back in Portland I used to buy the big containers of spinach in the hard plastic package – EarthBound Farms I think? Do you know the kind I’m talking about? Those work great for storing frozen nanners!

  • Madison_Marie

    Holy Heck…that is a lot of food for lunch!! Thanks for pointing out that it takes him all day–snack, lunch, afterschool snack–to eat it all. Also, thanks for the ideas :)

  • Emily

    I think I know what you’re talking about! Any specific brand? do you use a freezer safe glass lock container or just a regular old Life factory style container?

  • vegyogini

    I love seeing what Waits eats for lunch!

  • Morgan Dunham

    Hello! I’ve been perusing these school lunch posts as my little big guy is entering kindergarten in the fall and I’m on the hunt for containers. Lots of good suggestions here for sure but I was wondering what do you send the lot of it in? Like an insulated bag, or lunch sack or what? Thaaaaaaanks!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I usually send them in a reusable lunch sack, or for the PlanetBox it has it’s own carrier. I love this lunch bag from the Vegan Police shop in Etsy (I have it myself!) —