Back to School Vegan Lunch Ideas for the Kids

By on August 14, 2014
Back To School Lunch

When it’s time for back to school, it’s also time to do some menu planning for the kids’ lunch boxes. If your goal is to make delicious and nutritious vegan lunches, you may be feeling a little daunted, but there are a myriad of terrific vegan recipes out there these days. Here are some great vegan lunch ideas to get you started.

Make It a Wrap…and Add Some Fruit on the Side
Like many of us, kids can get tired of the same old sandwiches day in and day out. Go for a tasty whole-grain wrap instead, and fill it with some vegan friendly spreads like eggless tofu egg salad or a mock tuna salad made from baked tofu. Bean spreads are also yummy in wraps. If your kids are adventurous vegans, you might even wrap those yummy sandwich spreads in dark leafy greens.

Back To School

Pair whatever wrap you include with some fresh fruit and vegetables for a full and satisfying lunch. While children tend to appreciate grapes, berries and apples, there are plenty of other fruits you can give them to change up the menu, including kiwi slices, mandarin oranges, fresh pineapple chunks or even star fruit. For a special inclusion, mix up several kinds of fruit on a stick for a fruit kabob. Chances are, they’ll enjoy the variety and expand their palette.

Note: if you plan to do either the mock tuna or egg salad options regularly, make sure you keep a good vegan mayonnaise on hand. There are brands available in health food store and other good markets, but it’s also easy to make your own with soy milk or other non-dairy milk and some vegetable oil.

Here is a nice Healthy vegan sandwich recipe

How About Some Soup and Crackers?
Kids enjoy a warm soup in the thermos, especially in the colder autumn and winter months. Try a creamed vegetable soup made with non-dairy milk, made extra creamy with the inclusion of either creamed tofu or white beans. If you want to vary the menu for the week, make a big pot of soup and freeze most of it for later. Lentil soups with greens, or simple vegetable soups with the addition of tofu chunks can also be excellent healthful additions to the lunchbox. Soups with Asian flavorings and vegetables can also add variety. Just make sure whatever soup base you use is vegan. For instance, miso (a Japanese soup paste or powder) generally isn’t vegan, but you can find vegan varieties.

Of course crackers make a terrific complement to soup, and there are lots of vegan options. Even some common, well-known brands on the market (Ritz, anyone?) are vegan. If your kids don’t go for crackers, try good multi-grain tortilla chips.

Veggie Wraps Yummy

Dipping Sauces for Veggies or Pasta
Nut butters and seed based sauces, or homemade salad dressings, can be fun in lunchboxes, especially when you put them in little containers. Kids can dip their cut up veggies or their whole-grain breads or crackers and enjoy the experience and the taste.

Brunch for Lunch
Sometimes it’s fun to eat breakfast type foods, even in the middle of the day! Diners have known this for years. Vegan French toast can be a yummy lunch-time option, especially when paired with fruit and a good non-dairy milk drink. There are various recipes for french toast made without eggs. Flax meal, chia seeds, non-dairy milks, tofu and even bananas are possible egg substitutes you can try when mixing up your vegan french toast batter. Experiment with recipes you can find online, or try some of your own ideas when making this sweet and hearty lunchtime treat.

Vegan Mac and “Cheese”
Kids love macaroni and cheese, and believe it or not, there are vegan recipes out there for this delicious kid favorite. Some call for veggies, nuts, or non-dairy cheeses, along with non-dairy milks, to mimic the creaminess of cheese. Experiment with what works for you. In a pinch, Earth Balance even makes a vegan mac and cheese in a box. All you have to do is add non-dairy milk and a vegan margarine. Grate some fresh veggies into the mix or pack it with a lunch-sized side salad.

Do you have a back to school lunch idea you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

About Dean Iodice