Back to School Vegan Lunches for Kids

Easy vegan lunch ideas to add to kids' lunch boxes.

A kids lunch box with a salad roll, vegetables and fruit


BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCHES FOR KIDS


Going back to school is a bit different this year and there are lots of things to think about.

We need our children to feel confident about going back to school, but once they are out the door there's not much we can do, it's up to them to get on with their day and cope with all the changes.

One thing we can do is send them off with varied and exciting lunch boxes.

Scroll down for lunch ideas including sandwiches, wraps, pasta, pastry, salad and savoury bites.

10 LUNCH BOX TIPS


  1. Make up a grid of lunch ideas. 
    • Let them add ideas and choose from the grid. Make sure they are involved.
  2. Try to vary their lunch from day to day.
  3. Don't give them too much for lunch. 
    • Remember they are kids, don't give them adult size portions, it's daunting. 
  4. Make lunch fun, buy some Bento lunch picks, you can use these to secure wraps or for kids to pick up small lunch items.
  5. Make them up a snack box. 
    • Find a bento box or Yumbox and fill it with lots of little snacks including fruit and veg.
  6. If you are adding something new for them to try, make sure there is something they love and are familiar with in there too.
  7. Remember you can include leftovers and shop-bought options too. 
  8. Make sure all the containers you use have a tight fit, so there are no spills.
  9. Add a small tube or bottle of anti-bac hand gel to their lunch bag. 
    • Even if they wash their hands before lunch they will probably touch many things before eating their lunch.
  10. Add a paper napkin or kitchen paper so they can wipe their hands


pin it for later


Back to School Vegan Lunches for Kids. Easy vegan lunch ideas to add to kids lunch boxes.


VEGAN LUNCH BOX IDEAS FOR KIDS

Scroll down for lunch box ideas and tips.

Kids tip graphic   I've included a kids tip for those plain or fussy eaters for each recipe.


PASTRY

Kids love a bit of pastry just as much as adults do. 
Serve them with some crunchy veg and a dip.

Vegan Pastry Lunch Snacks
From left to right working down


Simple lunch box pastries with a filling of vegan pesto and cheese.

Kids tip graphic   These are so simple to make, let the kids help you make them at the weekend.



Mini puff pastry parcels filled with flavoured cream cheese and spinach. Kids love these little pastry bites.

Kids tip graphic  Change up the filling. Try them with baked beans and grated vegan cheddar.


Hand pies are perfect for packed lunches. The crispy, golden pastry encases a delicious mixture of chickpeas and roast vegetables.

Kids tip graphic  For fussy eaters, mash the chickpeas and chop the vegetables very small.


These savoury puffs are a big hit with kids who like the savoury flavour and the sweetness from the sweetcorn.

If you can't find veggie haggis, you can chop vegan sausages finely.

Kids tip graphic  Try these with your kids favourite fillings.


If there is one pastry your kids will love, it's these wee pizza pies. My son asks for them all the time and they are so easy to make.

Kids tip graphic   Top these pies with your kid's favourite pizza topping.



These are deliciously moreish vegan sausage rolls made with a filling of chestnuts, mushrooms, red wine and herbs. The red wine can be replaced with vegan Worcestershire sauce or mushroom ketchup.

Kids tip graphic  Why not let the kids roll the sausage rolls and cut them.


SAVOURY BITES

Savoury bites are great in Bento boxes with other little bites. 
Kids love this style of grazing at lunchtime. 
It's like a mini buffet. Such fun to eat.

Here are some ideas of what to serve with savoury bites in a bento type lunch:

  1. Plain pasta
  2. Chickpeas
  3. Crunchy veg sticks - cucumber, carrot, red & yellow pepper, mangtout, green beands
  4. Chunks of vegan cheese
  5. Pretzels
  6. Dried fruit
  7. Fruit
  8. Rice cakes, oat cakes or crackers
  9. Dip - hummus, cream cheese, peanut butter, mild sweet chilli sauce
  10. Seeds or nuts (if there is no allergy)
  11. Chocolate chips
  12. Rice
  13. Waffle sticks (sliced waffles)
  14. Flapjacks
  15. Plain popcorn

Vegan Savoury Bites
From left to right working down


Crispy green falafel made with peas and edamame beans in a blender or food processor.

Kids tip graphic  These can be made with just peas. Why not include a dip too?


These muffin tin sushi cups are super easy to make, so adorable and full of healthy goodness. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Kids tip graphic  Why not top these with your kids favourite crunchy salad.


Horse gram and sweet potato patties are a great lunch box addition. You can relace the horse gram with other lentils.

Kids tip graphic  To make these milder for children, skip the chilli powder.


These tofu nuggets are crispy on the outside and soft inside. They are baked for a healthy snack that tastes like a treat.

Kids tip graphic  Why not give them a small tub of ketchup or vegan mayo to dunk these in, but remember some wipes or kitchen paper for their fingers.


These red falafel are super easy to make and just as tasty as falafel made with chickpeas. They are ideal as a savoury bite or served in a pitta or wrap with salad.

Kids tip graphic  If you are adding these to sandwiches, wraps or pitta, flatten them before frying them.


These vegan & gluten-free chickpea squash fritters are easy to make in less than 30 minutes. 

Kids tip graphic  Make smaller fritters for lunch boxes and serve with vegan mayo.

SANDWICHES

Sandwiches are always popular in kids lunch boxes. 
Vary them up with different types of bread, tortilla wraps, pitta bread, baguettes, sandwich rolls or bagels.

Here are some basic sandwich filling ideas:

  1. Vegan cream cheese and cucumber
  2. Vegan cream cheese & grated carrot
  3. Vegan cream cheese and slices of strawberry
  4. Grated vegan cheddar and tomato
  5. Grated vegan cheddar and pickle
  6. Vegan cheese savoury
  7. Hummus & grated carrot
  8. Hummus & cucumber
  9. Hummus & slices of cold cooked vegan sausages
  10. Peanut butter & jam
  11. Peanut butter & banana
  12. Peanut butter & chocolate spread
  13. Onion bhaji & cream cheese
  14. Onion bhaji & cucumber
  15. Falafel & hummus
  16. Falafel, grated carrot & hummus
  17. Dairy free spread & jam
  18. Sage & onion deli slices and vegan cheese slices
  19. Vegan cheese slices and cucumber
  20. Vegan cheese slices and vegan pesto



Vegan Sandwiches
Clockwise from top right.


A lightly spiced chickpea and carrot sandwich filler whizzed up in seconds for a really satisfying lunchtime sandwich.

Kids tip graphic  If your child prefers a simpler sandwich, just spread the sandwich with a thin layer of chickpea and carrot spread and skip the other toppings.

2. Vegan Tuna (made with jackfruit)

This vegan tuna is great on sandwiches. It's made with jackfruit instead of chickpeas. 

Kids tip graphic  Spread your bread with dairy-free spread then add a thin layer of vegan tuna. If they like cucumber, add a few thin slices.


This is a twist on a falafel sandwich with a sweet bite from apple.

Kids tip graphic  Slice the apple thinly and soak in either lemon or orange juice before making this sandwich to help prevent browning.


A vegan BLT made with tempeh that gives it that smoky kick and the nutty taste of creamy avocado.

Kids tip graphic  If your kids don't like lettuce and tomato, leave them out. Mash some avocado to spread on one slice of bread and add dairy-free spread to the other then sandwich with a single layer of tempeh.


WRAPS


Wraps make a good change from sandwiches and always seem much more fun. 
You can cut them in half or cut them in slices for spirals.

Vegan Wraps
From left to right working down.


A satisfying savoury wrap that will fill you up at lunchtime. There's lots of flavour in these colourful wraps.

Kids tip graphic  For fussy eaters you can skip the red pepper or replace it with strips of crunchy raw red pepper.


This lentil avocado recipe for a vegan wrap is say to make and the perfect healthy snack for lunch boxes.

Kids tip graphic  If big pieces of avocado are likely to be off-putting for your child, try mashing the avocado and spreading it in a thinner layer.


These wraps are filled with edamame hummus and shredded veggies for a super tasty lunch.

Kids tip graphic  Some kids might not like the taste of coriander in this hummus, so try adding parsley or basil instead. Also add thinly sliced or shredded vegetables that they like to this wrap.


A delicious vegan lunchtime wrap full of colourful veg and finished with a bit of crunch that makes this one of the best wraps around.

Kids tip graphic  If our child has a nut allergy, leave out the nuts. You can also skip the spinach or add less and it's still a super tasty wrap.


These flavourful mushroom and spinach wraps are filled with crunchy veggies and delish sauces. Tasty and nutritious.

Kids tip graphic   Leave out the chilli for kids and chop the veg small.


These yummy wraps are quick to prepare (ready in 10 minutes) and just melt in the mouth. Lots of flavour and crunch.

Kids tip graphic  For fussy-eaters just add the bean spread and any grated veggies they do like. Carrot would work well.



PASTA SALAD


Add pasta salad at least once a week to help vary your child's packed lunch. You can serve it plain with their favourite veggies and various sauces. 

When making it remember only cook until al dente and rinse it until cold before adding the other ingredients for glossy pasta.

Vegan Pasta Salad
From left to right working down


A fresh summer pasta salad that sings with the flavours of Greece. This vegan recipe includes a zingy dressing

Kids tip graphic   Leave out any of the salad veggies your child doesn't like and you can add some orange juice to the dressing to make it sweeter.

2.  Homemade Spaghetti Os (mini spaghetti hoops)

Kick the can and make this healthy recipe for the kids instead! Homemade Spaghetti O’s that are allergy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!

Kids tip graphic  If you can't find the pasta used in this recipe, look in the baby and toddler aisle of the supermarket for mini pasta shapes. It's made for toddlers, but great for older kids too and comes in fun shapes like stars.


Fun fusilli pasta, creamy vegan pesto, earthy chickpeas, and bright roasted vegetables, combine for a quick, easy, and colourful vegan pesto pasta salad.

Kids tip graphic  For fussy eaters just choose the roast veggies they like or try adding sweetcorn and peas.


A colourful summer pasta salad with the sweetness from the cherry tomatoes and sweetcorn and a tasty dressing. This one is popular with kids.

Kids tip graphic  Leave out the tomatoes or corn if your child doesn't like them.



SNACK BARS OR BALLS


Yes, you should make sure there are fruit and veg in your child's lunch box but do give them a small sweet treat too. It will cheer them up at lunchtime and everyone loves to finish a meal with a little bit of something sweet.

Vegan Energy Balls
From left to right working down


These chocolate chip cookie dough protein balls are the perfect snack or any time treat.

Kids tip graphic  These protein balls are made with nut butter so avoid if your child has an allergy.


The hint of pumpkin, spice and chocolate in these nutritious, no-cook, fun-sized snacks. They store well and kids love them.

Kids tip graphic  These also contain nuts. Some kids may prefer smooth energy balls, if that's the case in your house, just roll them in cocoa or cacao powder.


Naturally sweet and loaded with energy, these vegan chocolate peanut butter energy balls are delicious, healthy and perfect to add as a sweet treat to lunch boxes.

Kids tip graphic  These should also be avoided if your child has a nut allergy.


These no-bake energy balls are quick and easy to make and are full of the good stuff.

Kids tip graphic  These are also nut based.


Vegan Sweet Snack Bars
From left to right working down


These bars are very moreish with their mix of salt and sweet and the layer or dark chocolate on top. They are no-bake and delicious.

Kids tip graphic  These contain peanut butter so should be avoided by those with nut allergies


These golden chewy flapjacks will give you slow-release energy thanks to the oats and have little pockets of fresh blueberries.

Kids tip graphic  If your child doesn't like blueberries, you can make thee flapjacks plain.


These childhood favourites are still popular with kids today and so easy to make for lunchboxes.

 Kids tip graphic  You can skip the nuts in these snack bars.


An easy no bake chocolate tiffin made with peanut butter and cornflakes. 

Kids tip graphic  These also contain nut butter.


These carrot cake protein bars are a tasty homemade snack and they are no-bake too.

Kids tip graphic  If you can't find vegan white chocolate, you can top these with dark chocolate.


Soft and chewy Scottish Flapjacks made with oats, maple syrup, grated carrot and banana. For a treat add some dark chocolate chips.

Kids tip graphic  If you mix the chocolate chips when the mixture is hot you'll get a marbled chocolate effect. Let it cool if you want chocolate chips.




I hope this guide has given you some good ideas for school lunch boxes. Check out my recipes indexes for more recipes.




13 comments


  1. This is such a great post! Not only because there are LOADS of wonderful recipes ideas, but also because you gave such fantastic little tips all throughout. Lots of fun ways to make lunchtime a little special, a little exciting in their day ... and also so much healthier, too! Yay! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for such a fantastic comnent. I hope it gives lots of inspiration.

      Delete
  2. I absolutely LOVE all these ideas! Our family is not vegan but we try to minimize animal products as much as we can so this list will definitely come in handy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well there's definitely lots to choose from here. No need to run out if udeas.

      Delete
  3. Yummy! These are great ideas and healthy! My kids are going to love these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh excellent. I hope they are enjoying being back at school and enjoy some of these ideas.

      Delete
  4. Than you for so many wonderful ideas! I struggle with making my daughter's lunches more interesting, I don't think I will now!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love all of these lunch ideas and an added bonus that they are all plant based (we're vegetarian so they are perfect for us!!) I'm sure my daughter will be so happy to have a variety of lunch options now that the school year has started!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope she likes some of the lunch ideas and is enjoying being back in school.

      Delete
  6. Such a wonderful and delicious collection of lunchbox. I am now sorted for the next 2 months.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! What a fabulous collection - this is a brilliant resource!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a message. I have comment moderation turned on to combat spam so your comment will disappear, but don't worry I will approve it as soon as possible.

Jac