My son’s preschool requires a vegetarian menu. This is in order to easily keep the school kosher. Obviously, we still want our children to get protein so I started to do some research about vegetarian foods that are high in protein and are a pantry staple at our house. I found some other amazing proteins in my search that I definitely want to add as a pantry staple if possible, but for now, I wanted to remind us all of 5 very basic ways to get protein in vegetarian meals. So I came up with 5 amazing proteins that aren’t meat or peanut butter! We all know meat and peanut butter, but we also know that peanut butter is basically a no-no in all school settings these days. So what are your options?
This may not be a pantry staple for most of you, but I wanted to include it since it is packed with protein. 18g/cup to be exact! Isn’t that brilliant? We usually buy dry lentils from Whole Foods or any grocery store with bulk bins. That happens to be Whole Foods here, but we’ve used Sprouts in California. If you need an idea on how to cook them, look here.
This mighty and flavorful dish has about 1.1g/tablespoon. My son loves hummus. He especially loves to use raw carrots as a hummus delivery device. He doesn’t eat that much of the actual carrot, but I don’t really care at this point. He’s learning to love them. He loves the hummus, though. We have been sending roasted red pepper, but we also love regular and black bean! We have an amazing local hummus distributor called Roots, and I can eat an entire container in one sitting.
My son loves these, but he hates if you try to get them out of the pod for him. This dish has anywhere from 2-21g/1/2c. We buy in bulk from Sam’s club and keep these in our freezer constantly. You can whip them up very quickly and they’re great with any fish dish you’re having at home. Then you have leftovers to send with your little one to school!
4. Greek Yogurt
I love Greek yogurt. It was one of my favorite parts of being in Greece other than the amazing view and OMG that infinity pool. In all seriousness, though, I love the idea of having Greek yogurt for breakfast every morning. It also packs about 20g/7oz. If you want extra oomph add chia seeds. My son loves to find a couple of ounces of Greek yogurt in his lunch. It’s thick so easy for them to handle with a spoon too.
This is probably the cheapest way to get protein into their diet, and my son loves it. He especially loves it hardboiled with just a little bit of mustard. There is about 6g/egg. This one is super simple and EVERYONE has eggs in their refrigerator.
Those are 5 amazing proteins that aren’t meat or peanut butter. What amazing proteins does your family use to replace meat?
What are your favorite proteins? Is eating healthy important to your family? Is it in your family mission statement? Don’t have one? Click below to get started with your FREE 5-page Family Mission Statement workbook.