Many kids return to school this week, and I think most children get bored with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips and carrot sticks or ham and cheese sandwich, a pickle and pretzels.

So I thought I would give you a few ideas to make lunch at school a little different and a lot healthier.

Parents also get stuck in a rut packing the lunches. Moms and dads should always prepare their lunches with their children to make it more fun and, while they’re doing it, look at the meal and think about whether or not it’s something they would enjoy eating themselves. That is always a good barometer.

There is also a huge misconception that a plant-based lunch is incomplete. In this week’s column, I don’t have a recipe, rather some ideas for lunches for the upcoming school year.

As you can see below from some lunch ideas, courtesy of local nutritionist Sara Sullivan, a vegan lunch is loaded with vegetables, fruits, antioxidants and quality protein, and they take less than 10 minutes to pull together.

Also, since a vegan diet is no meat, no dairy and no eggs, try water or 100 percent fruit juice instead of milk.

For more information, you can go to Sullivan’s new website this Friday: nutritionsara.com.

Have fun going back to school, and enjoy that vegan thing.

• Thinly sliced raw Granny Smith apples, and melted nondairy cheddar cheese on whole-grain English muffins. Serve with trail mix (nuts and dried fruits) and baby carrots.

• Black beans, avocado, tomatoes and lettuce wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Serve with fresh mango slices.

• Hummus, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes in a whole-wheat pita. Serve with red grapes and raw almonds.

 

Jeff Peterson anchors the 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. news on WGME-TV and is a vegan.