Fruit Gel Babies

by on August 31, 2006
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School started for us in Mississippi about four weeks ago, but I know that in other parts of the country and world, parents are just now preparing to send their kids back to school. For vegan parents, that means we start looking for good foods to put into our children’s lunch boxes. And while we want the food to be healthy, we know that it also has to be something that our kids will actually eat. That’s where these Fruit Gel Babies come in.

Most kids love “jell-o” and my daughter is no different. We’ve been happy lately to find Dole Fruit Gels in the supermarket, and the mandarine orange flavor, at least, is vegan. But they’re relatively expensive, contribute to landfill waste, and contain added sugar and artificial flavorings. So what I’ve been doing is making my own gel cups at home, using 100% fruit juice and no added sugar.

Kids love vegan Jell-o!

The recipe below made about 8 Fruit Gel Babies, but then my daughter and her friend got home from school and ate most of them (well, I helped a little). I used various sizes of plastic cups–I think the ones shown are 4 ounces each–and went very simple and used canned fruit salad packed in juice, but you can use freshly chopped fruit. Just be sure to dip apples and bananas in orange juice to prevent browning, and avoid using fresh pineapple because it will prevent the agar from gelling.

FYI: Agar-Based Fruit Jell-o is also called Kanten

Kid-Friendly Bonus: E’s Top 5 Lunchbox Entrées

E’s lunchbox often contains the same boring things: either PB&J sandwiches or SmartDeli “bologna” and olive sandwiches. Other days we get a little more creative and get out the thermos. Here are her favorite things to see when she opens her lunchbox:

1. Hummus with crackers/pita wedges and carrots
2. Spaghetti with marinara sauce or any leftover pasta dish
3. Thai Kitchen rice noodles or ramen noodles (I add broccoli slaw while cooking the noodles to add more nutrients.)
4. Mexican Sushi or burritos with refried beans
5. Split Pea Soup, once the weather cools down
6. Ridiculously Easy Lunchbox Enchilada Casserole

Of course, this can’t compare to the variety of lunches on the vegan lunch box blog, which you should check out if you haven’t already. There are a whole lot of ideas there, for grown-ups as well as kids!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 J. Alarcon January 28, 2010 at 11:35 pm

The other ingredients in the Thai noodles should be examined before eaten as part of a vegetarian meal.

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2 Elizabeth August 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Where do you get your agar powder? I’m suspicious about buying it online, but I can’t find it in any of the stores in my area

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3 SusanV August 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I buy it very cheap from the local Asian grocery store. If there’s one in your area, look for it in little packets. The brand is Telephone.

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