Back to School – Easy Plant Based Lunch Ideas for Kids

Headed back to school? Here are some easy plant-based lunch ideas for kids that are both healthy and delicious.

back to school plant-based kids lunch

Just because your child is plant-based, doesn’t mean he or she has to eat a salad every day (though we do love when kiddos will eat a good salad!) OR miss out on traditional “kid” foods – like nuggets, pizza, or even mac and cheese – when school starts up again. 

We know how easy it is to run out of healthy and quick plant-based meal ideas when times get busy – but we’ve got you covered!

Here are some super easy, tasty plant-based lunch and side ideas to get the school year started on the right foot. 

15 Plant-Based Lunch Ideas for Kids

  • Hummus, cucumber, tomato sandwich

Slather some hummus on bread or a pita, layer with thinly sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

  • Tofu “egg” salad sandwich

“Egg” salad made with firm tofu, vegan mayo, lemon, Dijon, vinegar, turmeric, dill, slathered on some seedy bread with a slice of tomato and greens. Full recipe here

  • Almond butter and berry sandwich 

Spread almond butter on some seedy bread and layer with sliced strawberries, raspberries, or mashed blueberries.

  • Soy nut butter and chia jam rolls

Spread soy nut butter on a tortilla and layer with chia jam (made by blending 12 oz thawed frozen berries, then mixing in 1/4 cup OJ, 1/2 cup chia seeds and 1/2 tsp vanilla, and setting in the fridge for a few hours to gel).

  • Peanut butter, banana, and flax crackers

Spread peanut butter and a slice of banana on a whole grain or lentil cracker, then sprinkle with ground flax seeds.

  • Chickpea nuggets

Made using one can of chickpeas (and reserved liquid), garlic and onion powder, poultry seasoning, pinch of salt, oat flour. Full recipe on our IG here

  • Lentil flatbread pizza

Made using 3/4 cup soaked green lentils, 1/2 cup water, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp of baking powder, and toppings of choice. Full recipe on our IG here

  • Grain bowl

Make a kid-friendly bowl using cooked quinoa, chopped bell peppers, carrots, and kale, and curried tofu, tossed in a little olive oil or served deconstructed based on your child’s preferences.

  • Mediterranean veggie wrap with hummus

Spinach tortilla wrapped with chopped kale, olives, crumbled firm tofu, hummus, and grated carrots.

  • Vegan mac n’ cheese

This is a creative take on a classic favorite, using pre-made vegan cheese powder, lentil pasta, and just a few other ingredients. Full recipe on the blog here.. 

  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce and plant-based protein

Cooked spaghetti noodles tossed with crumbled tempeh, cooked lentils, or white beans and tomato sauce. 

  • Chickpea pasta and beans

Cooked chickpea-based pasta tossed with kidney beans and Italian dressing. You can also add in chopped greens, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, and nutritional yeast.

  • Veggie and cracker “skewers”

Make fun skewers by alternating soft pita triangles, spinach or romaine lettuce, grape tomato halves, beans, bell pepper chunks, tofu or seitan cubes, avocado, and anything else!

  • Tofu “pizza” sticks

Made using tofu slices, pizza seasoning, pizza sauce, and nutritional yeast and baking. Find the full recipe on our IG here.

Little girl smiling and holding an apple on her way to school

15 Plant-Based Side Dish Ideas for Kids

  • Unsweetened non-dairy yogurt with berries and seeds
  • Sliced carrots and olives
  • Homemade trail mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cacao nibs)
  • Tangy fresh fruit salad (mandarin oranges, blueberries, hemp hearts, and a little lemon juice)
  • Hemp energy balls (½ cup walnuts, 1 cup rolled oats, ½ cup hemp hearts, 8 softened pitted dates, 1 tsp vanilla, ⅓ cup nut butter, blended, rolled, and placed in the fridge to firm)
  • Celery and bell pepper sticks with vegan ranch dressing
  • Avocado slices rolled in hemp seeds
  • Steamed broccoli and green beans sprinkled with nutritional yeast
  • Roasted sweet potato cubes with mustard
  • Three bean salad (rinsed canned beans, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Italian herbs)
  • Steamed edamame
  • Dried bean- or lentil-based cereal
  • Smoothies made with frozen fruit, seeds, and greens
  • Avocado toast strips with sesame seeds
  • Chia pudding (½ cup nut milk, 2 Tbsp chia seeds, splash of vanilla and maple syrup, and let sit in the fridge overnight)

Chime in: What are some of your child’s favorite plant-based lunches or snacks to bring to school?

2 Comments

  1. Sylvia Houston on August 12, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Really appreciate this blog! I’ll be using these ideas for my own lunch too, lol!

    • alexwhitney on August 13, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      So glad you like it!

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