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Top 10 Vegetarian Lunchbox Ideas

Children are known for their picky taste buds. Sure, there are some full-blown foodies who haven’t even hit puberty yet, but most kids like their food plain and simple. This preference has led to many well-known “go to” recipes for busy parents who need to pack a quick lunch each morning. These are the ones that you know your children will love and that you won’t have to force them to eat, and luckily, many of these can be easily veganized.

Here are 10 easy vegetarian lunch ideas that will certainly please a variety of palates.

Top 10 Vegetarian Lunchbox Ideas

  • Homegrown happy meal. Use frozen veggie patties (Boca carries a vegan version)—or make your own soy-free patties from black beans—to whip up kid-approved burgers. Add a side of oven baked fries and throw in a toy for an even happier meal.
  • Deli slices and cheese, please. There’s a wide variety of meat-free sandwich slices available nationwide at major grocery stores. Pair these with soy cheese and you’ll have a classic sandwich, or use them for cracker stacker
  • Who doesn’t like pizza? Top a toasted English muffin with a dollop of pizza sauce and a slice of vegan cheese (yes, brands like Follow Your Heart really melt!) to make a mini pizza. These “pizzas” will be so tasty that you may even be able to sneak a few veggies on top too.
  • Roll ’em up and send ’em out. Try a veggie dog rolled up in a crescent roll and baked until golden brown. Or cover a tortilla with yummy fillings—such as vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand is available in major grocery stores), veggie pepperoni, and veggies—roll it up, and slice into fun pinwheels.
  • PB&J, deconstructed. Make the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich more fun for your little one by packing the peanut butter and jelly in separate cups and adding a few breadsticks for dipping. Throw in other healthy dippers, too, such as celery and apples.
  • Kid-style salads. Yes, even your child will like this salad—pasta salad, that is. Mix tricolor pasta spirals with diced veggies, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, and vegan mayo or dressing. Try other kid-friendly salads, like faux-chicken salad, on a sandwich or with crackers.
  • Pack-and-go tacos. Try healthy black bean and brown rice tacos made with flour or corn tortillas. If you’d like to use a soggier filling, such as veggie crumbles cooked in taco seasoning, simply pack the filling in a thermos and let your child have fun assembling at lunch.
  • What’s in your thermos? Warm your kids up on cold winter days by heating canned vegetarian chili and packing it in a thermos. Pack a baked potato so they can top their spud with the filling chili.
  • Pitas are perfect. Cut mini pitas in half and stuff them with hummus, falafel, or your other favorite sandwich filling and add some veggies.
  • Beanies and veggie weenies. Vegetarian baked beans, such as Bush’s Best Vegetarian Baked Beans, are available at almost every grocery store. Add sliced veggie dog pieces and you have an instant lunch that’s nutritious and delicious.
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  • jenneobn says:

    Hey everyone! 😀
    Im new to
    I hope I can be a regular here!

  • Diana says:

    I at one time agreed with Rachel’s comment, why eat fake meat kinda like exchanging meth for coke lol…but I do occasionally eat a Boca burger or fake cheese. I am a veg for ethical reasons only, so the healthy effects are a nice added plus to saving 92 lives a year. I can see your point Rachel but really if people are sparing the lives and cruel they are kept in for consumption…chill and live and let live. 🙂

  • Lunchbox Obsessed says:

    Thanks for the veggie ideas, always great to have new ones. We rely a lot on the veggie meat products to make healthy hot dogs. I always forget about pita pockets… thanks for the reminder since kids love “weird” shaped bread. I have a list on my site of 10 lunchbox fillers — they are all vegetarian, too (except the hard boiled egg for vegans), if you want to check it out please do. Thanks!

  • Jane says:

    I would like to point out that perhaps the Hormel vegetarian chili should not be suggested in light of the recent investigation of cruelty on their farms. A company whose animals are not treated well should not be used, even for the non-animal products.

  • Beth says:

    How about vegitarian cassaroles…
    ratatolie, veg soup, veg’s and spiral pasta for pasta salad, or stir fried in olive oil or Brushetta for Italian.
    Don’t for get chinese food
    Budda’s delight, or mexican bean burittos.
    Irish oatmeal with maple syrup.
    There is a lot of ethnic options.

  • Mardi Wong says:

    Hi Amy,
    Good posting! I think this is just another choice of lunch. Not to say unhealthy food, just don’t eat the same menu everyday, than everything is no problem.

    Vegetarian Guide | Vegetarian Indonesia

  • Kristie says:

    I am so thankful you posted these meals. I have been a vegetarian for almost 12 years and I have a six year old who likes to eat meat. I am greatful that these veggie options are out there for her. My problem is not that I don’t like the way meat taste, it is just crule and inhumane to eat it. So it is wonderful to have options to eat something that taste good and is a lot healthier and humane than eating meat itself. Thank you!!

  • LaUrEn! says:

    yum these lunches sound great. i’ll try them soon!!

    check out my animal cruelty site

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Your comment wasn’t blocked it just wasn’t posted yet. We have to review each comment before posting and that can take time. Sorry for the wait.


  • rachel says:

    why didnt my comment get posted??

    i have been veg for over 15 years, i am on peta’s side, but it makes me sad that my comment was blocked.

  • Serena says:

    These inspire me to go for more variety when packing my lunch box. Amy’s ideas are totally jazzz. I should read her blog.

  • Curtis says:

    Yum! I’m not a kid and don;t have kids, but these ideas are great for “kids’ meals” that adults can enjoy, too!

  • rachel says:

    these lunches are all pretty unhealthy, and honestly not very good veggie lunches. they are full of processed foods, and tons of processed soy.

    also, they are just ‘fake’ versions of meat and milk foods. there is lots of veggie foods out there without eating just fake meat and fake cheese.

    you are basically saying – well, meat and milk really *are* the best, but we dont eat it, so here is something ALMOST the same, but not quite. still processed and full of salt though!

    following a diet like this will not only make a kid sick (all the salt, and processed junk), but they may end up eating real meat and milk foods because they won’t be able to tell the difference.

    i have been veg for over 15 years, but if these are the top 10 lunches, it is a sad day for veg people.

  • john says: has an article today about meat impacting global warming.