Five Amazing Lunch Box Recipes For Kids

  Mayuka is one of our absolute favourite mums to follow on Insta, it's safe to say we have a mini mum crush. The photos she captures of her gorgeous family, based in Papamoa Beach NZ, are both effortlessly cool and super cute. She has been kind enough to share some of her favourite recipes to make for lunch boxes and fun filled days out.
best recipes for kids plant based

Healthy Banana bread

- Mix 52g Soya milk and 5g of Apple cider vinegar and let it sit
- In a separate bowl crush 3 well ripe bananas, add 58g coconut oil, 42g maple syrup and 50g Coconut sugar and mix
- Once its well mixed add 40g oatmeal, 180g spelt flour, 4g baking soda, 2g baking powder and 1tsp salt and mix well. (You can add vegan chocolate chips if you want)
- Bake at 180c for 30mins

Vegan Mixed Vege Sushi

- Heat sesame oil in a frying pan
- Once heated put in 150g Vegan mince and cook until heated, add some mixed vegetables with 2tbso soy sauce, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tsp seasoning.
- Cook until the moisture evaporates 
- In a bowl add cooked steamed rice and combine the mixed vegetables 
- Roll and wrap with Sushi seaweed and cut into desired size pieces

Teriyaki Tofu

- Wrap the tofu with kitchen paper to drain water. Lightly weigh the tofu down for 20mins.
- Thinly slice the drained tofu
- Heat sesame oil in a frying pan
- Cook the tofu until golden on both sides
- Add 1tbsp Soy sauce and 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup and cook until the texture gets sticky


Vegan Baked Donuts

- Mix 150g tofu and 15g cane sugar until creamy. If the tofu is too firm and won’t go creamy add little bit of soy milk until it gets creamy
- Into this mix sift 100g Plain flour and 4g baking powder and gently mix
- Put the mix in a baking tray and bake for 20mins at 180c. Its good to flip at half way about 10mins and it bakes well.
- Coat it with melted vegan chocolate and your done



Japanese Vegan Seasoned rice

- Wash 600g rice
- Add 3 and 3/4 cups of water 
- Add 2 tbsp Soy sauce, 2 tbsp Mirin, 1tsp Salt, 1tsp seasoning and mix
- On top add thinly sliced 1/2 carrot, 1/2 Leek and 2 mushrooms. (Adding Vegan mince was very tasty as well)
- Put on medium heat with the lid slightly open
- When you see that it has started to boil close the lid for 1 min
- Simmer on low heat for 10 min
- Turn off the heat and wait for 10mins



What is your favourite activity to do with your kids? 

Making little tents and hide outs around the house with the kids.

Do your kids like to get involved with cooking meals?

Whenever we are baking, they all help mixing and cutting out shapes. I haven’t let them use knives and the heat yet, but I get them involved much as possible like getting herbs from the garden etc.

How did the decision to become plant based come about for you and your family?

It all started with my third child Ruca. When he was six months old, we found out he had a severe dairy allergy. His allergy is so severe that if you were to touch him with a hand that you touched yoghurt with, he would react instantly with bad hives, and a spoon of Ice cream will cause him to start vomiting. Soon after discovering the dairy allergy, we found out he was allergic to fish as well. We quickly decided to eliminate dairy and fish from our household. I’ve never been a big fan of meat in the first place, so it was great for me.
Moving from Japan to New Zealand was a huge factor as well, we met many plant-based families, and this made me realize how many other options are out there. Japan is really behind a lot of the world in this area, and I didn’t know anything about being Vegan or plant based growing up there. After I started researching alternatives we could offer Ruca, it opened whole new world for me.
The older kids have a good understanding and support our decision and stance. They’re all amazing siblings and really look after Ruca, making sure he doesn’t encounter any allergens. Our older girls will have meat or dairy sometimes when they are out with their friends. We are not pushing it hard on them too much, but at home we are wholly plant based.

What was like moving abroad as a mum of young kids?

Around three months after the birth of our third child, I got postpartum depression. I really needed a change. My husband worked for an American financial firm so he was busy working with business trips and couldn’t help me much. We both didn’t have parents or family near to help either. It got too much for me to look after three kids under four years old with a new baby by myself. We decided to chase a better work-life balance lifestyle and made the decision to move to New Zealand where my husband grew up. There have been difficulties raising children here as I didn’t speak an inch of English, but the kids love it here and to me that’s all that matters. I believe it was the best decision we ever made.

What surprised you the most about motherhood?

I was able to put myself last in line of priority and put the kids first in anything and everything.

What is your favourite thing about motherhood?

The kids unconditional love for you - even if you are having the worst day, they will cheer you up.