It's been a challenge lately packing my teen's lunch.
A few years ago, she went through a phase where no matter what I packed her, even if we'd planned it in advance, nothing I put in her lunchbox satisfied her - to the extent that I finally offered to let her do it. She did, the rest of that year - and then was happy to have me do it again. Her tastes had changed a lot, her lunch scene changed - there had been a variety of factors that caused the problem, and fixed it. And there still are. Thankfully, we've found more ways to deal with them and we now work better as a team to figure out solutions. And she often lets me know now how much she appreciates me packing her lunch. Yes, a mother's dream. Now.
The latest challenge was about her desire to spend some lunches in the library. She wanted to put extra time into preparing for tests. Since there's no eating in the library, she needed something quick & easy to eat on the go. She also wanted to eat less bread. Hmmm. I let her know I'd think about it and asked her to make a list of some things that she might like.
Here is the list she texted me of her idea for a good, quick, portable lunch day:
- seaweed pack
- vegetables (jicama, carrots, pea pods, red pepper)
- bottle of water with strawberry and lemon slices
- chai tea with a little bit of cashew milk
(Yes, this came from her, not me. I know, right? Trust me, she hadn't always wanted such nutritious choices. It's been a journey, folks, but I can tell you it is possible!)
I had purchased seaweed snack packs at Costco. It had been a risk to buy a bazillion seaweed snacks of all things when we hadn't tried them, but fortunately she and I liked them. They do have a little oil and salt added, which make them a bit like eating chips. So my teen took these to school and they worked great. She wanted this as a regular option for lunch.
When I looked at the little seaweed rectangles, I thought they might be just big enough to roll up with something inside, like mini sushi. That way, she'd have less to juggle. Why not give it a try?
We were pleased with how they turned out. The seaweed snack packs have 10 rectangles, and I was able to fit all 10 mini sushi rolls in a little 3" x 4.5" container!
She loved the rolls, especially the ones with avocado. They were delicious and easy to eat on the go, just as we'd hoped. They work well made the day before, too.
Veggies need to be thinly sliced so they can roll up. I had to restrain myself from putting too much in each roll. They just won't roll if there's too much. Ideal examples are a maximum of one teaspoon of quinoa with half a pea pod or a little piece of kale with a thin slice each of radish and avocado.
Are your kids sushi fans? If so, they will likely love these cute little roll-ups in their lunch, too. It just takes a little time to slice the veggies and roll these up. There is no need to pack a messy dip because the wrappers are already seasoned. And if your kids aren't sushi fans, don't worry - tastes change. If you're not sure if they're currently sushi fans, give this a try - they may surprise you.
Mini Veggie Sushi Roll Recipe
QUICK & EASY
Prep Time: About 20 minutes
Quantity: 1 serving of 10 mini rolls
I use organic ingredients whenever possible for more nutrients, flavor, fewer toxins, and to support organic farmers. It’s what I want in the world, so I vote with my dollar. Experiment: If money that would normally be spent on processed foods went to the best organic, fresh, real food ingredients available, notice if your body prefers the change. Real food can be quick, easy, and even fun to make, like this recipe.