kid-approved vegan lunch
Community Coordinator | Wellington, New Zealand | Contactable via

School lunch plays a critical roll in public education. Not only does it fuel one’s body and mind to excel academically, lunch is a social occasion. Students bond and barter over lunch, and what one eats often sparks conversations at the lunch table.

Unfortunately for growing children’s health, most mainstream snacks and processed foods are loaded with preservatives, colorings, saturated fat, artificial additives, animal products, and added sugar. Sure, within the unwritten capitalism rules of the cafeteria, these items trade well, but so do unique and “rare” foods that look and smell appetizing.

Send your child to school with vegan fuel that nourishes their mind and their social status. Make a shopping list and be sure to include ingredients for these 17 kid-approved vegan lunchbox meals. And don’t forget the cool lunchbox!

17 Kid-Approved Vegan Lunchbox Meals and Snacks for Back to School

1. Sweet and Spicy Tortilla Chips

Make homemade Doritos, without the artificial flavorings. Pack some hummus or nondairy sour cream and the kids will adore the special treat.

Get the recipe here.

2. Krispy Treats

Give your kid the ultimate bartering lunch item – rice crispy treats. These vegan options have less sugar than the pre-packaged varieties, and they’re also free from preservatives. Get your kid involved and make a batch together.

Get the recipe here.

3. Peanut Butter Jelly Tip Protein Bars

Level up your kid’s soggy lunchbox PB & J by turning it into the best protein bar they’ll ever eat.

Get the recipe here.

4. Kale and Sweet Potato Chips

Veggies are so much more craveable in chip form.

Get the recipe here.

5. Grilled Tempeh Sandwich

Goodbye, sad school lunch. These colorful sandwiches beat any cafeteria option under the heat lamp.

Get the recipe here.

6. Apple Pecan Pizza

As a general rule, pizza anything is a hit with kids. Send them to school with this wholesome dessert to ensure they stay full and focused.

Get the recipe here.

7. Spicy Stuffed Pitta

Don’t be afraid to introduce your kid to some spice. Children’s palates typically crave bold flavors, and introducing new spices will make them adventurous eaters in the future.

Get the recipe here.

8. Pasta Salad

The trick: tell them it’s pasta, but load up on the veggies. The light dressing will get any kid to eat their vegetables.

Get the recipe here.

9. Chickpea Salad Sandwich


Tuna salad cannot be depended upon to keep for hours, especially on warmer days. Send them to school with a lunch that will taste just as fresh as when you packed it with this protein-packed, chickpea-based sandwich made with eggless mayo.

Get the recipe here.

10. Vegan Sushi


Sushi is often thought of as an “adult” food, but it’s actually very kid-friendly. Think of it as veggie-based finger food. Get your kid involved and pretend to be vegan sushi chefs together.

Get the recipe here.

11. Healthy Trail Mix

Most store-bought trail mixes contain tons of chocolate and excess sugar. Put the “healthy” back in trail mix with this homemade version.

Get the recipe here.

12. Banana Chia Pudding With Mango Lime Puree

Upgrade the conventional chocolate pudding pack to a homemade jar of chia seed pudding. Other kids will be in awe of the fact that you can actually make pudding, instead of just buying it at the store.

Get the recipe here.

13. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw Museli Bars

It’s lunchtime, crunch time! Wanting to pack a delicious, nutty granola bar in your child’s lunch? Reduce packaging waste and costs by making these scrumptious bars at home. These bars also contain vital nutrients and no added sugar, unlike most bars on the market.

Get the recipe here.

14. Banana Crumb Muffins

Although these muffins may be intended for a naturally sweet finish to lunch, they likely won’t last until then. If your kid has access to their lunchbox, the muffin will be gone by snack time.

Get the recipe here.

15. Bounty Coconut Snack Balls

vegan snack balls

These snack balls are easy and rather therapeutic to make – perfect to take the edge off after chauffering your children around. They are also filled with quality protein to maintain those youthful energy levels at after-school sport practice, while moms and dads cheer from the sidelines.

Get the recipe here.

16. Overnight Oats

Kids love breakfast for dinner, so why not breakfast for lunch? Overnight oats are a great make-ahead meal for busy parents, and given a refrigerated lunchbox, it can even be made in the morning and be ready to eat come lunchtime. Winning!

Get the recipe here.

17. Beet Hummus

vegan kid-approved lunchbox meals

Remeber those crazy-colored ketchups of the ’90s and early 2000s? Kids went crazy for them. Pack a brightly-colored condiment that’s actually good for them with this natural, whole food beet hummus.

Get the recipe here.