Top Picks for Back To School Plant-Based Lunches

It’s that time again! The start of a new school year is upon us and you’re likely wondering what you can send to school in your child’s lunchbox; especially if you’d like to incorporate healthy, plant-based meals. Don’t worry; we have some ideas.

Here are our top picks for plant-based school lunches:

Sandwiches and Rolls

Get creative with ingredients, as well as the outside – whether it’s vegan, gluten-free bread, tortillas, crackers, lettuce wraps, collard wraps, etc. Here are some combinations to consider:

  • Avocado and tomato
  • Sun butter and banana
  • Hummus and cucumber
  • Spinach and vegan cheese quesadilla
  • Veggie wrap
  • Walnut tacos
  • Veggie burger

Rice bowls and salads

Rice bowls, noodle bowls, and salads all make for fantastic school lunches. Plus, you can get inventive with ingredients and sauces, or just use whatever is on hand, such as:

  • Quinoa, millet
  • Red rice, wild rice, brown rice
  • Shredded lettuce, kale, cabbage, carrot
  • Zucchini, cucumber, carrot noodles (invest in a good spiralizer, it will save hours!)
  • Good toppings: crushed nuts (if allowed), seeds, croutons, dried fruit, etc.
  • Pasta: macaroni, fusilli, orzo, shells


Now, we all know that kids are all about the snacks. Here are some that kids will love and don’t have you cringing:

  • Fresh fruit: apple, strawberry, tree fruits, blueberries, oranges
  • Protein bars (find our organic Plant Power bars at Target)
  • Vegan yogurt and granola
  • Homemade energy balls
  • Dehydrated fruit leather (easy to make at home with this recipe)
  • Fresh veggies: carrots, celery, cucumber, zucchini, grape tomatoes, jicama
  • Trail mix
  • Applesauce
  • Muffins/quick bread
  • Hummus for all!

For delicious plant-based recipes that everyone in the family will love, pick up a copy of The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook. You’ll find delicious snack recipes including Crunchy Chickpeas, Crisp Bread Crackers and Frozen Banana & Sunflower Butter Pie. And perfect take-to-school lunches like Quinoa & Sweet Potato Salad, Lentil Tabbouleh and Avocado & Basil Cream Zucchini Noodles. Delicious, healthy and easy to make!

Start Saving Time Now!

While you might not have a problem being creative when it comes to finding great lunches and snacks for your kids, you might not have the time to construct lunches from scratch each day. Check out a few time-saving tips:

  • Big batches: Making muffins? A dozen or two extra can go in the freezer. The same for quick breads and other home baked goods.
  • Weekend warrior: Do double-duty by making something on the weekend that can also sub in for lunches. Stews and soups are perfect warming lunches that you can make ahead of time.
  • Enlist help: Have a mom get together and you can all make a big batch of different snacks to share.
  • Leftovers! If there’s a meal or two that kids love during the week, why not let them have it the next day as well? Pasta is a great example.
  • Let kids help: Kids are never too young to learn how to make lunch, even if it’s just spreading hummus on a tortilla and grabbing a handful of carrots!

Lastly, grab a good lunchbox that compartmentalizes your child’s lunch. There are many different shapes and sizes, so odds are you’ll find one that fits your kids’ preferences. Happy back to school!