lunchbox
Community Coordinator | Wellington, New Zealand | Contactable via nadia@livekindly.com

Updated October 4, 2019. Are you stuck for vegan lunch ideas and recipes? Every child needs a nutritious, tasty lunch to power them through the school day. Vegan foods — especially nuts and seeds — are packed with protein and will provide the energy and brainpower your child needs to tackle whatever the afternoon brings.

Why a Vegan Lunch?

Research has shown that consuming vegan food is good for overall health. It can reduce the risk of serious diseases, like heart disease and certain types of cancer. They are also better for the planet. Meat and dairy production is responsible for high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental damage, including deforestation.

ProVeg is trying to get more schools to feed children plant-based foods with its School Plates program. Jimmy Pierson — the director of the organization — said last year, “eating more plants is good for us now, builds long-term healthy eating patterns which can spare us the nation’s most common ailments, protects our planet and its resources and – crucially – is cheaper, too.”

But you don’t need to wait for your child’s school to introduce a vegan meal program. You can pack them off for the day with their own vegan lunchbox — filled with snacks, sandwiches, and sweet treats to give them everything they need to keep going. Here are 20 lunch ingredient ideas and recipe suggestions to get you started.

5 Key Vegan Lunchbox Ingredients


 

Wraps are versatile and easy to make.

1. Sesame Tortilla Wraps

Wrap it up or chop and toast it up, however you eat them, sesame tortilla wraps are guaranteed to be tasty. Also, these are yummier and more economical than store-bought wraps and can be customized to suit your taste preference.

Get the recipe here.

Raw veggies are a tasty nutritious lunchtime snack.

2. Raw Veggies

Raw veggies like carrots, cucumber sticks, and tomatoes make the perfect lunchbox addition — add them to a wrap, a sandwich, or simply pop them in on their own.

Hummus is protein-packed.

3. Hummus

Add hummus to your child’s sandwich or wrap, or simply offer it as a dip for their raw veggies and pita bread. Incorporating hummus is a tasty way to ensure your child is getting all the protein they need.

Fruit is an easy, healthy snack.

4. Fruits

Adding fruits — like apple slices and banana — to a lunchbox dessert recipe (or popping them in by themselves) is a great way to ensure your child is getting the right vitamins and minerals to keep them going all afternoon.

Nuts are the perfect healthy addition to a lunchbox.

5. Nuts

Add nuts to granola bars, protein balls, or dessert pizza to give your child a protein kick. Or, if you prefer, add them in their own separate container for a snack that will keep your child going all through the afternoon.

5 Vegan, Tasty Lunchbox Snack Recipes


 

You don’t even have to bake these peanut butter and jelly bars. | Dessert With Benefits

1. Peanut Butter Jelly Tip Protein Bars

Kids love peanut butter and jelly. So why not make sure they’re getting in their protein with these tasty no-bake bars?

Get the recipe here.

Add gelatin-free marshmallows to these crispy treats. | Dessert With Benefits

2. Krispy Treats

All the fun of Rice Krispy treats, but they’re healthy too! Enjoy crunchy, chewy puffed rice with homemade marshmallows.

Get the recipe here.

Ditch the plastic and make your own potato chips. | Well Vegan

3. Kale and Sweet Potato Chips

A fan of the texture and satisfying crunch that comes with opening a packet of potato crisps? This homemade version is a tasty, wholesome alternative.

Get the recipe here.

Make your own vegan Doritos. | She Knows

4. Sweet and Spicy Tortilla Chips

The flavor for this recipe is similar to that of Doritos. Pack some hummus or non-dairy sour cream and the kids will love it.

Get the recipe here.

These coconut bacon chips are ideal for snacking. | Simple Veganista

5. Maple Coconut Bacon Chips

For trail mix, sandwich fillers, or just pure snacking, this flavor combination is a hit with kids and adults. This sweet and smoky flavor is perfect, and coconut is better for the brain (and the environment) than bacon.

Get the recipe here.

 5 Easy Vegan Lunchbox Main Recipes


 

Tempeh is packed with protein. | She Knows

1. Grilled Tempeh Sandwich

For your perfect protein-packed sandwich filler, this recipe will take your sandwich game to the next level, and is great for kids too.

Get the recipe here.

Stuff pittas with veggies for an easy, tasty lunch. | BBC

2. Spicy Stuffed Pitta

 How could anyone turn down a stuffed pitta sandwich with lightly spiced courgette slices and juicy tomatoes? It’s quick to make, warm, and filling.

Get the recipe here.

Change up lunchtime with a pasta salad. | Veg Kitchen

3. Pasta Salad

Everyone loves pasta, right? If you want to mix it up from sandwiches, try this tasty pasta with steamed veggies and a light dressing.

Get the recipe here.

Swap chickpeas for chicken to make this salad sandwich. | Oh She Glows

4. Chickpea ‘Chicken’ Salad

This chickpea salad is the perfect sandwich or wrap filling, or can be eaten by itself. The mashed chickpeas have a chicken-like texture, and the sauce is the perfect creamy egg-free mayo.

Get the recipe here.

Make a vegan BLT with rice paper. | Edgy Veg

5. Vegan Rice Paper BLT

Use up the rest of that loaf of bread by making the ultimate vegan BLT, complete with crispy rice paper “bacon.”

Get the “bacon” recipe here.

 5 Vegan Sweet Lunchbox Dessert Recipes


 

Sweeten up your child’s lunchbox with apple pizza. | She Knows

1. Apple Pecan Pizza

As a general rule, pizza anything is a hit. What kiddo isn’t going to want to chow down a pizza with shaved apple slices, maple syrup, and cinnamon?

Get the recipe here.

Banana chia pudding is a tasty lunchtime treat. | A Virtual Vegan

2. Banana Chia Pudding With Mango Lime Puree

This is an easy snack, or light meal to include in any packed lunch. Packed with flavor and an abundance of nutrients, enjoy classic chia pudding with a tasty twist!

Get the recipe here.

Spend an afternoon with the kids baking these granola treats.

3. Caramelized Cashew Granola Bars

It’s crunch time! Wanting to pack a delicious, nutty and caramel-toned granola bar in your child’s lunch? Reduce packaging waste and costs by making these at home — your kids could even join for a sweet afternoon of family fun.

Get the recipe here.

Banana muffins are quick and easy to make. | Minimalist Baker

4. Banana Crumb Muffins

These banana crumb muffins are a crowdpleaser, and they’re quick to make too.

Get the recipe here.

These coconut snack balls are protein-packed.

5. Bounty Coconut Snack Balls

These snack balls are easy and rather therapeutic to make. They are also filled with quality protein to maintain those energy levels.

Get the recipe here.


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Struggling for vegan lunchbox ideas? Here are 20 plant-based ingredient and recipe suggestions to get your child through the school day.
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