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Back to School Plant-Based Lunchbox Ideas

Plant-Based Lunchbox Ideas

Is this the year that your kids convert to plant-based eating at school? It’s not as difficult as you think, it just takes a bit of planning and a willingness to experiment with different foods to find what your kids are into.

Soups & Salads

A nice pasta salad, quinoa tabbouleh, or cabbage salad can be easily prepared the night before and can be divvied up for everyone’s lunch. Don’t forget a good dressing, it’s the key to getting kids on board. Soups are a good bet too, especially as we move into cooler weather, and you can use a slow cooker to make sure they’re hot and ready to go in the morning.


It’s a snap to make plant-based sandwiches. Of course there is always the old standby of PB&J, but kids also love other varieties like a gluten-free bread topped with almond butter and sliced apple or pear. Or try a hummus sandwich and fill it with your child’s favorite veggies.

Spring Rolls

It’s pretty easy to find rice paper, and then fill it with your kid’s favorite veggies and add a dash of sauce to create a healthy snack or meal. You can make these the night before and store them in the fridge with a damp paper towel covering them so they will stay moist until lunchtime. Try these Chickpea Salad Rolls to start, and then experiment from there!

Wrap it Up

Besides vegan tortillas, you can use nori, collard or kale leaves to create a delicious wrap for your kids. Fill them with a variety of veggies, some hummus or guacamole, quinoa, brown rice, or another healthy grain. Don’t be afraid to mix it up once in a while with chopped apples, dried fruit, or nuts (if allowed at your child’s school).

Veggie Sushi

Vegan sushi isn’t hard to make and offers a healthy, bite-sized lunch. You can substitute brown rice for a healthier alternative, or use rice paper instead of seaweed if your child isn’t a fan.

Baked Goods & Snacks

Today’s store-bought goods, even when vegan, are usually full of processed ingredients and sugars. Instead, make your own for a healthier (and tastier!) version. You can make these in bulk a few times a month, freeze, and then pull them out in the morning (or night before). Here are some great recipes from Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw: Blueberry Oat Bars Superfoods Oatmeal Cookies Almond and Hemp Seed Cookies Coconut & Almond Macaroons For snacks, you can make chips, dried fruit, nuts, and cut up veggies and rice crackers with dip, or think of one of the following:

  • Natural fruit leathers
  • Cereal/granola bars
  • Trail mix (dried fruits with nuts and seeds)
  • Rice cakes and tahini
  • Creamy Hummus
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Graham crackers
  • Kale Chips
  • Mini bananas
  • Small seedless oranges

Remember to mix it up! If you stick to the same thing too often your kids likely won’t be as enthused. Last tip: For convenience, keep all of your lunch-making supplies in an easy-to-access place so you can grab food and containers without having to run around your kitchen. And don’t forget to set a good example by packing a healthy lunch yourself. For even more plant-based recipes, pick up a copy of The 22-Day Revolution online or at your favorite local retailer. In it, you’ll find over 65 healthy and delicious plant-based recipes. Wishing you and your family a wonderful school year!