The Local Veg (a new column): School Snack Ideas for Veg Families

As a kid – and still today as an adult – I eat a lot of peanut butter, on toast, in sandwiches and in all kinds of other recipes. But, unlike when I was a child, it is often no longer safe to be sending kids to school with peanuts and nut products because of how common it is for kiddos to have severe food allergies. So what are some filling alternatives that veg families can send their wee ones off to school with? Beans to the rescue!

• Bean spreads – you aren’t limited to hummus here, all kinds of beans make great quick and easy spreads that can be enjoyed in a sandwich. For example, white beans are great mashed with olive oil and garlic. Alternatively, some refried beans wrapped up in a tortilla with some salsa and other fixings as desired is a very quick and easy lunch.

• Roasted chickpeas – a tasty snack with protein to keep kids full

• Fava beans – these large beans are great for snacking and could be used for dipping too.

• Tofu cubes sautéed in your favourite sauce.

• Homemade bean balls or falafel. These could be served on their own or popped into spaghetti, or a pita.

• Finally, beans can be easily added to any salad, or throw a bunch of beans together for a bean salad.

There are so many ways to use beans, it is truly amazing. Sending your veg kids to school with more beans may finally help banish that age old question – “But where do you get your protein?”.