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Lunch for Little Fingers

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pinwheels

School is right around the corner, and with it, the challenge of keeping lunch nutritious and appealling to your young eaters. School lunches can leave a lot of the less exciting fruits and veggies uneaten and heading for the compost bin. This month, we’ll revisit our favorite tips for making sure your kids are getting solid nutrition, even when you’re not with them to encourage nutritious choices.

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Top 5 Nutritional Pitfalls for New Vegans

Garbanzo Salad Romaine Wraps

For the typical omnivore, switching to a vegan diet which excludes meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy is a drastic lifestyle change. Without a foundational understanding of nutrition and key considerations for vegan eating, it’s easy to feel like your whole life just turned upside down. I’ve pulled together five common nutritional pitfalls for new vegans along with strategies to address them here. 

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Vegan Treats

Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream

To be honest, finding treats when you’re vegan is easier than you might imagine. Technically, Oreos are vegan. If your objective in choosing a more plant-forward diet, however, is in part to eat more produce and fewer processed foods, those technically vegan snack foods don’t need to be your first choice for satisfying your sweet tooth. Let’s look at a few tips for bringing the qualities of a lovely treat into a vegan dessert.

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Lentilicious

Spicy Lentil Wraps with Red Pepper Paste and Tahini Sauce

When you’re looking to decrease the animal products in your diet, one of the first questions you might ask is, “How will I get enough protein?” Plant-based protein isn’t actually all that hard, but the question underneath that question is really often, “What can I replace meat with as a filling and satisfying entree?” The cheap, delicious, sustainable option that many people are less familiar with is lentils.

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The B12 Question

Vegan Cheesy Chips

For all the benefits of the plant-based diet, and especially for those on a vegetarian diet, there is still one very important consideration, which is the lack of B12. Our bodies can’t produce B12, the essential, water-vitamin found mostly in meat and dairy foods, and therefore we must seek it in our diet. For those on a plant-only diet, there are many fortified foods and supplements available to help them meet their B12 needs. This raises the question as to how easy it is to become deficient in B12 and whether supplements and fortified foods are an adequate replacement.

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Vegan Cheesin’

Cashew Cheese Sauce

Cheese is one of the things many people miss the flavor of when they’re trying to reduce the amount of animal products in their diet. Cheese is usually high in salt and saturated fat, so it’s a sensible thing to limit. It’s so flavorful that a little can go a long way, so it’s easy to enjoy in small quantities, but if you’re looking for plant-based alternatives altogether, let me introduce you to cashews and nutritional yeast.

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