The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) launched a pilot program adding plant-based items to lunch menus in September, 2017. The pilot program began after 14-year-old Lila Copeland successfully campaigned for vegan lunches to be offered throughout the district. The program was so successful that Food Services Director Joseph Vaughn decided to support the program and its expansion. Beginning in 2018, there will be 10 menu items added to cafeterias in 35 schools across the district.

“It is exciting to see that students are trying something different for the first time,” said the district’s Senior Nutrition Specialist Ivy Marx.

The LAUSD isn’t the only school district that recently added plant-based menu items to its lunch program. In October, all 1,200 schools in the New York City public school district added a vegan item to their lunch offerings. Additionally, 15 schools in Brooklyn, New York also committed to Meatless Mondays in their cafeterias.

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Make Healthy Plant-Based Lunches at Home

If schools in your district aren’t offering plant-based menu items or you’re simply in need of quick, healthy, and easy-to-make lunch recipes, we’ve got you covered. Check out these options from the Food Monster App.

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

These Crispy Tofu Nuggets by Attila Hildmann are a vegan twist on a traditional favorite and beat the fast food variety any day. If you don’t want to deep fry them, you can also fry them in a skillet until golden brown. The curry ketchup is a unique dipping sauce that packs a punch and perfectly complements the dish. It also goes great with your morning tofu scramble eggs!

‘Just Like Boxed’ Mac and Cheese

Thinking about your beloved boxed mac and cheese and really missing it? Have no fear, this ‘Just Like Boxed’ Mac and Cheese by Jamie Bevia has got you covered! Normally homemade mac and cheese is pretty much all sorts of unhealthy melted cheeses thrown together with white pasta, butter and cream. Believe it or not, this recipe for vegan ‘just like boxed’ mac and cheese is pretty damn near close to the real unhealthy deal, but healthy! Don’t be intimidated by coconut milk. It does not taste like coconuts.

Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Fish Sandwich

Whether you loved or loathed tuna fish sandwiches as a kid, we have a good feeling that this Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Fish Sandwich by Melanie Sorrentino will quickly become your packed lunch go-to. Mashed chickpeas act as the tuna that is stirred in with the classic mix-ins: celery, onions, and pickled. Spread the “fishy” mixture on your favorite bread and you are good to go!

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You can also find more fast food recipes like these 21 Lunches and Snacks Kids Will Love by downloading the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Crispy Tofu Nuggets

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