The after-school carpools are in full swing, homework battles have begun, and I’m back to packing lunches. It’s official—school is back in session! As a vegan mom who cooks just about every meal for her family, things get kicked up a notch during the school year. I take my weekly meal planning seriously and during the school year, it becomes something fierce!
Batch cooking is a necessary part of my weekly routine. I look at it as a gift to my future flustered mama self, (as in mid-week as I am scrambling to get food on the table or in the lunch box). My homemade, healthy plant-based dinners take lots of help from my batch cook Sundays. I typically always make a soup or stew that I can serve on a busy weeknight where my cook time is limited. I also make a sauce for some kind of a pasta dish (a weekly staple in our house).
My Sunday batch cooking sessions also help me get a stockpile of food ready for vegan school lunch boxes and after-school snacks. (Why are my kids always so hungry?) The list below is my go-to for what to batch cook each week. Bookmark these recipes to keep your kids’ vegan school lunches stocked and the snack monsters away. Cheers to a happy and healthy school year!
I always make a batch of muffins on the weekend. They make breakfast easy, (just grab and go, kids!), but they are also great for a healthy lunchbox snack. I typically veganize a box mix from Trader Joe’s and add in extra goodies, but these Raspberry Banana Bread Muffins with Chocolate Chunks from Follow Your Heart are extra special to kick off the school year.
2. Snack Mixes
Snack mixes are the ultimate batch cook recipe! Fill an entire sheet pan (or two) with your favorite mix and seasonings. Bake and store in airtight containers for a fun and easy nourishing snack or side dish in the kids’ school lunch. My kids love this Savory Snack Mix.
3. Finger Foods
Sandwiches are great and all, but I love to mix in other options during the week. Finger foods such as these Vegan Beef & Cheese Taquitos are quick to make and easily customizable when you have kids with different taste preferences. (Please tell me mine aren’t the only ones!) They also freeze really well so you can heat and pack them in minutes.
Hummus is a food group in my house and it’s great to make in large quantity during the weekend. Pack it all week long with veggie sticks and pita chips, or smear on wraps. This Easy Vegan Oil-Free Hummus is a World of Vegan favorite.
5. Energy Balls
My kids love homemade energy balls and bars—and I love that it’s a healthy snack that will keep them satisfied (at least for another hour before they’re hungry again!). These Energy Balls are a great alternative to packaged sugary snack bars and fruit leathers.