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Whether you just want to serve less meat or your family follows a vegetarian lifestyle, these vegetarian lunch ideas for kids will make it so much easier to pack a delicious and healthy lunch every day of the week! From savory bean burgers to wraps and more, these easy meals are about to make your child’s lunch box way more exciting!

A collage of ten vegetarian lunch ideas for kids in clear lunch boxes.

Kids’ Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

It can be overwhelming to come up with appetizing, creative, and nutritionally balanced lunches for vegetarians, especially kids! It’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut and serve peanut butter and jelly or a grilled cheese sandwich every day. There is definitely a time and a place for those simple meals, but there are so many different options out there to explore!

I hope this list really blows open your idea of what a healthy vegetarian lunch can look like for a child and gives you plenty of easy vegetarian recipes to consider.

You could even work through this list and make a different recipe each week or every few days!

Why these Lunch Ideas are Dietitian-Approved

  • Great for meal prep: The best school lunch options are easy to prep and can be served cold. These sandwiches, yogurts, wraps, and more are all perfect for prepping lunches a few days in advance and can be eaten straight from the lunch box – no microwave needed!
  • Nutritionally balanced: These recipes were all developed by a Registered Dietitian to have an appropriate balance of proteins, carbs, fats, and calories for growing children. They’re also kid-tested, so you know they taste great! You’ll find lots of plant-based protein options below, in addition to vegetarian sources, like hard-cooked eggs and dairy products.
  • Expand their palate: Kids aren’t always known for being adventurous eaters, and many kids get used to eating the same types of foods all the time. These kids’ lunch box recipes will introduce your little ones to different textures and flavors, while making each meal interesting!

Easy Vegetarian Lunch Box Ideas

1. Veggie Frittatas and Melon Hearts

This meal is the perfect example of how a few cookie cutters or fun silicone molds can make a simple meal way more interesting! The frittatas are also a great way to sneak in some extra veggies and protein at the same time.

In this lunch box:

2. Bean Burgers

Sandwiches are always a great choice for lunch, but it can be tricky to find vegetarian sandwich recipes that store well. These veggie burgers will hold their shape for several days in the fridge and are seriously tasty!

In this lunch box:

3. Yogurt and Granola Bowl

Who says lunch has to be lunch food? My kids love eating yogurt, granola, and berries for breakfast, and it’s such an easy meal on those extra busy days. It’s a perfect light lunch!

In this lunch box:

4. Hard Boiled Eggs and Veggies

This lunch might not look like a complete meal, but it is! The yogurt and eggs are high in protein, and the apples, pita wedges, and cucumbers have lots of fiber to fill your little one up. It’s the perfect snackable lunch!

In this lunch box:

5.  Lentil Pasta Salad & Fruit

On its own, pasta salad is generally pretty low in protein and fiber but high in carbs. This version has two fresh veggies and lentils to fill their yummies and some healthy fats from the cheese, olives, and dressing. Together, they make a great vegetarian lunch for kids (or adults)!

In this lunch box:

  • Greek lentil pasta salad – Whole-grain fusilli + cucumbers + cherry tomatoes + lentils + feta cheese + olives + Greek dressing (we like the dressing from this Greek quinoa salad)
  • Cheddar cheese sticks
  • Strawberries
  • 3-ingredient cookie {no egg}

6. Chocolate Seed Butter Roll-Ups

You and I know that these are basically sandwiches, but you can easily add the filling on each slice of bread, cut it into strips, and then roll it up. The skewers to make them make them so much more exciting!

In this lunch box:

  • Chocolate seed butter and strawberry chia jam roll-ups on skewers
  • Watermelon slices
  • Cucumber stars
  • Tzatziki

7. Quinoa Salad 

Quinoa is a complete protein and high in fiber, so it’s really filling and satisfying. The tangy dressing and fresh veggies make this salad totally delicious. The oranges taste great with it, too!

In this lunch box:

8. Bagel with Cream Cheese & Veggies

The cream cheese has plenty of fats and protein to match with a whole wheat bagel and the sweet melon stars are always a hit!

In this lunch box:

  • Whole grain bagel + cream cheese
  • Honey dew stars
  • Baby carrots
  • Hummus (try this high protein hummus)

9. Blueberry Pancakes & Fruit

When served cold, blueberry pancakes are kind of like flat muffins or sweet wraps. They’re great dipped in yogurt or served with some fresh strawberries! 

In this lunch box:

10. Healthier PB & J

Do you feel the love in this easy meal? This sandwich uses seed butter to avoid any nut allergies and homemade chia jam for less sugar and more fiber. The little cheese hearts and melon pieces are a fun touch, too!

In this lunch box:

  • Seed butter and chia jam sandwich hearts
  • Baby carrots
  • Baby bel cheese
  • Honey dew hearts
  • Yogurt melts

11. Pizza Roll-Ups

If your little one loves pizza, this is a delicious recipe to try! Each one has spinach and bell peppers tucked inside for a little extra nutrition. They’re great with a little extra low sodium pizza sauce for dipping, too!

In this lunch box:

12. Waffles & Fresh Fruit

My 3-ingredient protein waffles are always a big hit, especially with fresh berries and yogurt. You would never even know they have cottage cheese in them for extra protein!

In this lunch box:

  • Protein waffles with cream cheese + strawberry chia jam
  • Greek yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

13. Falafel Pitas

These pitas are such a delicious meal and easy to prep, too! Make the falafel ahead of time, then spread hummus on the inside of the pitas and add the falafel, lettuce, and pickles. They’re easy for little hands to hold, too!

In this lunch box:

  • Falafel packed in mini whole grain pitas with hummus, tzatziki, lettuce and pickles
  • Blueberries
  • Carrot sticks
  • Ranch dip

14. Mexican Macaroni Salad

Pasta salad is always a great hit, and I like to take it one step further by using whole-grain pasta. This adds a little extra fiber to keep them full for longer. 

In this lunch box:

15. Banana Roll Ups

This is a fun twist on a sandwich with lots of kid-friendly flavors! You can spread either cream cheese, nut butter or seed butter on the tortilla, then wrap it around the banana. The tortilla adds a little extra fiber and makes it easier to eat.

In this lunch box:

  • Banana tortilla roll up with cream cheese (or sub in nut butter if not nut-free)
  • Greek yogurt + raspberry
  • Celery + carrot sticks
  • Ranch dip

16. Hummus and Crackers Snack Tray

If your child loves snacky finger foods, this is a great option! The cheese and hummus will add some protein, and almost every component has fiber to keep them satisfied for hours. 

In this lunch box:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Hummus
  • Carrots
  • Cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Granola bites

Other Vegetarian Lunch Ideas for Kids

Tips for Packing Vegetarian Lunch

  • Set a schedule.  Your child’s lunch does not always need a different main dish every day. It’s okay to feed the same lunch all week or to follow a set schedule (Monday – black bean burritos, Tuesdays – quesadillas, etc). This will make it easier for you, too!
  • Rely on your freezer. Many of my favorite snack and lunch recipes can be frozen for several months! I almost always have tubs of frozen muffins, protein balls, and other snacks on hand for simple, healthy snacks and meals at all times.
  • Incorporate cookie cutters. You’ll be shocked by just how many fruits and veggies your kids will try when they’re trimmed to look like flowers, hearts, stars, and other fun shapes! I always recommend keeping a full alphabet of mini cookie cutters on hand and a bunch of fun shapes, too!
  • Don’t obsess about protein. The average 4-8 year old only needs about 19 grams of protein per day. That’s quite easy to achieve without trying, even with vegetarian food. Focus more on adding fiber (whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc) to fill them up and support their digestive system.
  • Invite the kids. Bring them into the kitchen while you’re prepping the healthy snacks and side dishes, and have them practice their cooking skills at the same time! Maybe they can trim the cucumbers into flower shapes while you work on more challenging tasks.
  • Keep ’em cold. Most of these recipes are best chilled. Find the best ice packs to tuck into their lunch boxes to keep the food cold all the way until lunchtime!
  • Use dips strategically. The right dips will add protein and/or fiber to turn even a simple sandwich into a nourishing meal! Just like the classic PB&J, nut butters will really stick to your ribs, and hummus wraps are a nice savory option!
  • Feed the family. Although adult lunches will generally require larger servings and more protein, these recipes can be served to the entire family, which will make meal prep so much easier. 

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