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