Make Better Packed Lunches with a Copy of Vegan Lunch Box (Giveaway!)

Are you stuck in a lunchbox rut but don’t think tempeh, bulgur, and sprouted mung beans are going to go over so well with the kids?  If you’re familiar with the Vegan Lunch Box blog, you already know that vegan lunches can be creative, tasty, and even beautiful.

Just look at one of the entries from a recent Vegan Lunch Box contest:


(This makes me feel pretty bad about the crumpled sack lunch Audrey lugs to daycare.)

Jennifer McCann’s popular blog is also a book: Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!

According to the publishers, Vegan Lunch Box includes . . .

  • Quick recipes that are fast, simple, and convenient
  • Easy recipes older kids can make themselves
  • Memorable menus for holidays and special occasions
  • A handy allergen index identifying wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free recipes
  • Tips for raising happy, healthy vegan kids.

Do you want to win a copy of this book to lull you out of the lunchtime doldrums?  Just post a comment by Friday explaining how dire your lunch situation has become . . . and how this book will transform your packed lunches into objets d’art.  (U.S. addresses only, please.  Edited to add: I’ll choose a winner on Sunday!)

Packing nutritious, interesting, beautiful, vegetarian lunches works for me.  (Uh . . . in theory at least.  I am still working on the “interesting and beautiful” part.)  For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.

Thanks to Da Capo Lifelong books for sponsoring this excellent giveaway!


  1. This is my first year packing lunches and I could use all the help I can get!

  2. For the past yr we have been interested in the whole bento box idea. My daughter has at various times made bento box lunches by herself (she’s 9)…she thinks it’s great fun. I think it’s a great idea to make lunches more appealing for children (or adults).

    Pretty much for 13 years my dh has taken the same lunch to work EVERY DAY…two sandwiches (sandwich meat, mustard, pickles) and a handful of baby carrots. EVERY DAY! How can someone eat the same thing for 13 yrs. I know I couldn’t do it. He likes it b/c it’s “efficient”.

    I’d love to win a copy of The Vegan Lunchbox!

  3. My daughter doesn’t like peanut butter, and thus I am at a loss most days as to what to pack her for lunch! (I ate a peanut butter sandwich for lunch EVERY DAY growing up, so ….) She is a very adventurous eater in most other respects, but figuring out her “entree” has me scratching my head most days. I am sure that having such a nifty bento-type lunch box would inspire me to come up with better and more creative entree options besides cheese, cheese and, um, cheese.

    Fingers crossed!

  4. My daughter eats two things, peanut butter and sliced turkey. Unfortunately, peanut butter was banned at her school for allergy reasons. So, we’ve been doing a lot of turkey for protein. I’d love to get some vegan protein ideas — and spice up her lunch box a little. It’s only a matter of time before she gets sick of turkey and I’ll have no idea what to pack then!

  5. Oh this book would be awesome for my little man.
    I try to give him a pretty healthy diet but lately all he wants is cheese.
    I have to pack his lunch 5 days a week & he usually takes a veggie & Gerber raviolis.
    Somedays he just looks at me like “Again, Mommy?”
    I feel bad for him.
    He needs more variety!

  6. Its great to know that I am not alone out there. My wife and I usually try to pack healthy lunches for our kids but we seem to have run out of ideas. This seems like a solution to our problem.

  7. My lunch has become dire. I’m lucky if I eat a pb sandwich, if anything at all. I would LOVE this book for when I send my son off to school!

  8. We need inspiration! In an attempt to eat a proper balance of plant-based nutritional foods, we find ourselves eating the exact same lunch every day. Salads with seeds and dried fruit, bread or crackers with PB+J, juice or water.

  9. I need some new ideas for lunches. My son is so picky about eating vegetables and fruit, it’s a major challenge to make his lunch nutritious.

  10. When I was still working my husband and I would take lunches, but now that we have a baby he eats random foods (if he eats at all). The closest he has had to eating lunch was a short lived Spaghetti-O’s kick. Most often he ‘forgets’ the leftovers in the fridge and eats dry cereal. I have threatened him with making silly bento’s with cute animals and colored foods and this would give me the push to do it. And maybe there are some good ideas to get him to eat legumes (he says they taste nasty) since I love them and cook with them all the time.

  11. I typically pack 3 lunches – husband, daughter, and me. And while I like to cook, I don’t like to strain the brain when it comes to lunches, so they are usually pretty unexiciting. I could sure use some help for some good, healthy, packable meals!

  12. As for healthy, I’d love to broaden my horizons and find new ideas for packing my sons lunch. I’d love to discover fun ways to spruce up fruits and veggies. Our lunches are boring because my son wants PB and honey every day all day. Help get me out of the rut that has already begun or I’m going to have a Winnie the Pooh on my hands by the end of the year!

  13. Well, unlike some, these lunches would be for me! I am pregnant with my first child and I currently work full time. I try to bring fruit & veggie snacks but as far as combinations & making it look presentable to my oh-so-picky appetite these days is nonexistent! Somehow a pear wrapped in a grocery sack isn’t quite as appealing as some of the lunches I have seen featured from the Vegan Lunch Box! Go figure. At any rate, it would really help me and my unborn child to have a book with already compiled lunches that my prego uncreative mind just has to read!
    P.S. I will be using this for my future children’s lunches, too!

  14. Although I am a vegetarian, not a vegan, and my hubby is a cooperative meat-eater, my eighteen year old vegan sister is coming to live with us this month. And so enters the problem: how to cook for such a variety of tastes and preferences to keep our family healthy and happy, not to mention the fact that my 6-month old is just starting his culinary adventures.

    Until we were married, and for the first few years after, my hubby ate the same lunch he had since kindergarten: a peanut butter and jelly/honey sandwich, an apple, and sometimes a bag of pretzels. I finally persuaded him that his lunch was not only boring, but also habitually gross. He has since graduated to an office job with a microwave where he enjoys leftovers (or Annie’s Mac n’ Cheese), yogurt, a healthy home-baked cookie, and the ever-so-faithful apple. More balanced? Yes. More variety? A bit. But we can do better.

    I stay at home with my son, Liam. At lunch time I often end up raiding the fridge. Sometimes I end up with a fantastic kale and tofu stir fry, and other times, like today, it’s 2 cookies and a cup of tea. I need some help.

    Add into the mix my sister and her dietary guidelines, which are not at all foreign to my cooking repertoire, but require me to be more conscientous with the meal-planning.

    On top of all of these factors is my growing concern with providing Liam healthy and balanced meals which he can look forward to and will set him on the path towards healthy living.

    I just checked out this book from the public library and it is absolutely fantastic. The recipes appear kid and adult-friendly, and most are not at all weirdly-vegan. I can’t wait to try dozens of recipes.

    I want my own copy of this fantastic book, otherwise I might end up hoarding the library’s!

  15. My 5 year old is in two different kindergarten programs. I pick her and her sister up at 11:30am and the second one starts at 12:05. In that time, I also have to get her to change into a uniform.

    I decided it would be easiest to this in the car so I had them both pick out what color of laptop lunches they wanted. I love the lunchboxes, but after only a few weeks of doing this, my creativity has run dry.

    Help please!

  16. I have been packing lunches in laptop lunchboxes for a year now… and the same old same old is getting… well, old! I had heard about Jennifer’s book, but by then, she was sold out & waiting for more from the publisher…
    I have 2 girls and a hubby that I pack lunches for every day. I know that they would love to have a bit more variety in their lunchtime routine! Every day it’s a sandwich, veggies, fruit & treat. Day in, day out. Well, my hubby occasionally gets leftovers instead, but I digress.
    I know that this little book will help spark the creative juices when it comes to the lunchtime doldrums… and my family will be ever so grateful!

  17. Oh, wow. What a beautiful lunch! I think I’m creative enough to pull this off, but it would be wonderful to have some more ideas– and if the ideas were right in front of me, I’m sure I’d be more likely to utilize them!

    I just had my second baby, and towards the end of my pregnancy, all I wanted to eat was homeade vegetable soup. I made my own stock from veggie trimmings throughout the week, and added in as many vegetables and legumes as I could find, then spooned in ground flaxseed right before eating, which left me with a low-fat, -cal, and -sodium bowl of goodness– and packed with fiber and nutrients. I ate this so frequently, I went out and bought a large stockpot so I could make it in bigger batches. What I’m lacking in, however, is daily variety.

    I packed this in DH’s thermos for lunch during the winter and spring months, but during summer he complained that it was just too hot to be eating soup every day (he dines in his car). So, he went back to his old standby, peanut butter. Every day, two peanut butter sandwiches, a protein bar if we have them, and nothing else. I’m dying to add more VARIETY to his lunches– not to mention, he’s started gaining a little more belly with all that peanut butter. He doesn’t eat meat, and I can’t come up with anything besides sandwiches that are easy to eat whilst he’s sitting in the car and reading a book!

    As for me and DD (DS is two months old now), if we’re not eating soup, it’s leftovers nearly every day. I’ll do a salad for myself, but at 16 months, she’s mostly into fingerfood. THAT was what caught my eye in your picture.

    Dad eats peanut butter every day,
    Jessica loves veggies in every way.
    Mommy’s bored and tired and needs some spice,
    And I think everyone’s sick of tofu and rice.

    Sawyer doesn’t care as long as he’s at the breast,
    Mommy’s starting to think he’s attached to her chest.
    Mommy needs new lunches, ’cause she’s running out of brain power,
    And all of her ideas are starting to look sour.

    A book could really change our lives,
    And beautiful lunchboxes might get Mommy more high fives.
    We need this book to save some time,
    ……sigh…..Jessica laughs when Mommy tries to rhyme.

  18. I REALLY need to get my kids to eat more veggies – we eat a lot of bread, pasta, potatoes and meat. I have been trying to cut back on both and add more veggies- I find if I am creative and “hide” veggies in food the kids find that they actually love veggies

  19. Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful and detailed comments! Savanah, I was especially impressed with your poem–the first every rhyming comment here on the Green Baby Guide. Dorothy, thanks for reviewing the book in your comment. It’s good to hear that the recipes are not “weirdly vegan,” which I imagine might scare a few readers off. I hope everyone checks this book out of the library, orders a copy for the library if it’s not available, or just goes out and buys the book. I now know I’m not alone in my reliance on peanut butter for lunches!

    I just couldn’t pick a winner based on the desperation I sensed in your replies, so I used a random number generator to choose a winner. And the winner is . . . Cathy! Congratulations, Cathy! I’ll be emailing you soon.

  20. I am new to this site, and I wondered where I could find the wonderful lunch box that is pictured. By the way, awesome information here! Rhonda (herbalmom)

  21. Rhonda, it’s called a Laptop Lunchbox ( Here in Portland I’ve seen them at New Seasons and Whole Foods. If you can’t find them in your local natural grocery stores, check out their website!

  22. You might love to try the tiffin carriers by Happy Tiffin A food stacking container that were made from high quality stainless steel food grade and are 100%BPA free. It comes from various style and design,sizes to choose from. And it has 2 to 4 separate plates integrated with lockable latches on its sides. So there will be no food leakage. what’s also good in this tiffin carrier, it is portable, light, dishwasher safe, durable and eco-friendly. Moreover its very affordable. Great for gift giving ideas especially this holiday, for camping trips, educational trips, office lunch breaks, tours,etc. 😉

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