19 Vegan School Lunch Ideas: nut free & healthy

Stuck in a rut feeding your kiddos the same lunch almost every day? Wanting to incorporate more whole plant foods and other healthy options? Needing to keep vegan school lunch ideas nut free to boot?!

I’m here to help!

For over three years, I was focused on diversifying my kids’ lunches as I was faced with the challenge of avoiding nuts (classroom policy) while maintaining a plant-based household.

While not all of my vegan lunchbox ideas were a success, many of them were surprisingly popular and requested again and again. Hopefully some of these kids school lunch ideas will make life easier for you parents!

What do vegan children eat for lunch?

Turns out, plant-based lunches for kids look pretty similar to any lunchbox! Kid favorites like sandwiches, burritos, wraps, and pasta are easy to make plant-based.

What is the healthiest school lunch?

One that incorporates whole foods instead of processed foods. So think fruit, veggies, whole grain breads, legumes, and seeds.

What can I pack for lunch without nuts?

Nut free school policies have become more and more common unfortunately. Protein-rich, high fiber foods will help satisfy your kids longer. Think:

  • whole grains: sandwiches on whole grain bread or whole grain pasta
  • legumes: hummus, rice and beans, roasted chickpeas
  • seeds: sunbutter instead of peanut butter, sesame seed crackers, roasted pumpkin seeds

Need to pack nut free lunches for picky eaters? Hopefully some of these 16 plant-baed school lunch ideas will give you inspiration!? Check out my packing tips below…providing options and having picky eater approved items ready to go should make lunchbox packing easier.

Dueable, Safe, Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Lunchboxes

There are a few things to consider when choosing a lunchbox for your kiddos:

  1. Offering Choice– How many options you want to include in your kiddos’ lunchbox? I aim to include at least 4-5 choices each day. So the lunchbox design really helps to easily provide options…the bento box style is naturally designed for exactly this.
  2. Durability– Plastic, silicon, stainless steel, glass, bamboo…there are plenty of options on the market. I prefer stainless steel because it won’t crack or break, plus it is dishwasher safe. And silicon lids are virtually indestructible in my experience…flexible and long-lasting!
  3. Safety– I prefer food-grade stainless steel to ensure no nasty toxins. And silicon lids are another safe choice instead of plastic.
  4. Eco-friendly– In addition to being free of toxins, it’s important that the lunchbox can last and be used for years to come, and recycled when it finally needs to be…less waste all around!
  5. Insulation– Ideal to keep food cold when you want, at least in the carrying case.

Our tried and true lunchbox brand is PlanetBox, both the 3 compartment and the 5 compartment lunchboxes*. And we carry them in the PlanetBox Insulated Lunch Bag, which has a place for an ice pack inside and pockets for your water bottle and snack on the outside!

While they are pricier than most, they are super durable…the first one we purchased for my son is on its 6th year and still going strong! And my daughter’s PlanetBox lunchbox is now 5 years old!

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Packing Tips for Plant-Based School Lunches

  • Leftovers: Looking beyond the sandwich was a huge win. My kids don’t mind room temperature leftovers, but if yours do, you can always pack in a separate thermos.
  • Options: I aim to include at least 4-5 choices in each school lunchbox. The lunchbox design really helps to easily provide options…the vegan bento box style is naturally designed for exactly this. See above for my favorite lunchbox brand!
  • Have steamed veggies on hand: like potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, and corn. So simple yet so wholesome and filling. I often steam a pound or so and keep them in the fridge for the week.
  • Pack the night before: Consider packing lunches the evening before school while you already have a messy kitchen from dinner. It beats the stressful morning rush, and works well in most cases (with a few exceptions, like avocados or leftovers that you will want to warm before packing).

Whether you’re looking for vegan lunchbox ideas for toddlers or school age kiddos, most of these kids school lunch ideas will work for kids of all ages! The younger kids may just need food cut smaller.

Without further adieu, check out these 16 nut free vegan school lunch ideas.

Vegan School Lunch Ideas (no nuts)

Lunchbox 1

vegan school lunch idea 1, dumplings and broccoli

veggie dumplings • steamed broccoli roasted chickpeas • pineapple chunks

Dumplings hold up surprisingly well at room temperature, making them one of the most fun and easy school lunch ideas. Especially if you use up leftovers!

Lunchbox 2

next, plant-based school lunch ideas 2, burrito!

black bean, avocado, plant-based cheese burrito • corn & green beans • yogurt parfait with plant-based yogurt, granola, & raspberries

Burritos can be one of the most healthy kids school lunch ideas because you can stuff lots of nutrient dense foods into them and cover them up with your kiddos’ favs! And yogurt parfaits make a healthy treat.

Lunchbox 3

vegan school lunch idea 3, hummus and cucumber wraps

hummus and cucumber wraps • mandarins • ants on a log with sun butter • steamed sweet potatoes

Sometimes the most popular healthy vegan lunch box ideas are fun…like ants on a long! Hummus and cucumber make a satisfying sandwich or wrap combination too.

Nut Free Vegan School Lunch Ideas: 4

lunchbox idea 4, red beans and rice

leftover Jamaican rice and peas • half avocado • sliced plum • cucumber & carrot circles • sunflower seeds & dried cranberries

If you’re looking for easy vegan lunchbox ideas, it really doesn’t get simpler than rice and beans leftovers! That’s because the combination makes a complete protein with all the essential amino acids. So…not only easy, turns out rice and beans tops the list for healthy vegan lunch box ideas as well!

Lunchbox 5: Vegan Bento Box!

school lunch idea 5, stuffed flatbread with hummus

spinach-stuffed flatbread with hummus • cucumber spears • sliced apple • roasted chickpeasUnreal chocolate/coconut bar

Stuffed flatbread (the Afghani version is called bolani) is addictively delicious for adults and kids alike! Many grocery stores sell a version of it in the prepared foods section of the grocery store. Fillings can include potatoes, spinach, plant-based meat, pumpkin, and lentils. Definitely worth trying to see if your kiddos like it, as it makes an easy, nutritious main dish in vegan school lunches.

Lunchbox 6

lunchbox idea 6, vegan turkey and cheese

plant-based turkey with plant-based cheddar sandwich • yellow & orange bell peppers • grapes • sesame sticks • gummies

Sometimes, a plain old turkey and cheese sandwich hits the spot. Luckily, it’s easy to veganize with so many alternatives on the market!

Vegan School Lunch Ideas (no nuts): 7

refried bean foldover • Pop Oats • pear slices

Bean foldovers are easy and often requested by my son..simply fold a tortilla over refried beans and enjoy hot, cold, or room temperature.

Pop Oats are brand new to the market, and they make delicious lunching healthy! Pop Oats are whole roasted oats that come in a variety of flavors: Simply Salted, Zesty Ranch, Swell Salted Caramel, Chill-Out Chili Lime, and Wild White Cheddar. With no preservatives and no artificial anything, this snack is about as wholesome as they come.

Wanna try Pop Oats? Buy online and use code PLANTPOWEREDLIVIN for 10% off your purchase!

Vegan School Lunch Ideas (no nuts): 8

plant-based school lunch idea 7, black beans and rice

leftover black beans and rice • plantain crisps • leftover roasted cauliflower • kiwi quarters • dried pineapple pieces

Simple rice and beans make a complete protein, so one of the healthiest choices around!

Plant-based, Nut-free School Lunch Ideas: 9

vegan school lunch idea 8, leftover lentil bolognese

leftover lentil bolognese with plant-based mozzarella shreds • carrots & hummus • tomato wedges • pear slices • pomegranate seeds

Leftovers always make easy vegan lunches for school, and pasta is a kid fav! Not only delicious, but filling too!

Lunchbox 10

lunchbox idea 9, avocado and vegan cheese sando

avocado & plant-based cheddar sandwich • steamed sweet potatoes • persimmon wedges & pomegranate seeds • tomatoes & carrots • roasted chickpeas*

Perhaps not one of the obvious plant-based lunch ideas, avocado can totally work in school lunches, as long as you pack it in the morning. A little lemon will help keep it fresh but in my experience, we don’t even need that usually (outcomes may vary by lunchbox material and outside temperature).

Lunchbox 11

sun butter and jam sandwich • avocado, red bell pepper, cucumber, & chickpea “salad” (no dressing) • mandarin • steamed white potatoes • pumpkin seeds & dried fruit leather

One of the most popular nut free veg school lunch ideas is sun butter and jam! Also, check out store bought roasted pumpkin seeds…salty, crunchy, and full of nutrients.

Lunchbox 12

vegan school lunch idea 11- curry leftovers!

leftover sweet potato & lentil curry with rice • steamed red potatoes • carrots • tomato wedges • dried cherries

Leftovers make the easiest vegan kids lunch to pack! This lentil sweet potato curry (link above) is popular with kiddos if you’re looking for some fresh ideas!

Lunchbox 13

lunchbox idea 12, stuffed flatbread and corn

spinach stuffed flatbread & hummus • corn on the cob • watermelon slices

In addition to the flatbread (explained in lunchbox 5 above), sometimes the simplist whole foods are the biggest wins.

Vegan School Lunch Ideas: 14

plant-based school lunch idea 13, leftover beans and rice

leftover Instant Pot rice and beans • carrots • steamed sweet potatoes • watermelon slices • blueberries

More leftover rice and beans inspo…because it really is the perfect combination! Healthy, satisfying, and delicious.

Lunchbox 15

vegan deli sandwich • Pop Oats • chickpeas • roasted pumpkin seeds • pear slices

Kids love the occasional vegan turkey and cheese sandwiches, especially Tofurkey brand smoked turkey slices.

Pop Oats are brand new to the market, and they make delicious lunching healthy! Pop Oats are whole roasted oats that come in a variety of flavors: Simply Salted, Zesty Ranch, Swell Salted Caramel, Chill-Out Chili Lime, and Wild White Cheddar. With no preservatives and no artificial anything, this snack is about as wholesome as they come.

Wanna try Pop Oats? Buy online and use code PLANTPOWEREDLIVIN for 10% off your purchase!

Lunchbox 16

lunchbox idea 14, sun butter and banana wrap

sun butter and banana wraps • chickpea, tomato, & cucumber “salad” (no dressing) • mandarin • steamed white & purple potatoes • pear slices & pomegranate seeds

For peanut free lunch ideas, sun butter can be a good replacement. Combined with fresh bananas, the sun butter seems to be a bit milder in taste.

Lunchbox 17

vegan school lunch idea 15, cream cheese and jam sandwiches

plant-based cream cheese & jam sandwiches • mandarins • pumpkin seeds & dried cranberries • cucumber & carrot circles

Another tasty alternative when brainstorming nut-free school lunch ideas is to use vegan cream cheese. It pairs perfectly with jam! Just be sure to choose a cream cheese that isn’t made with nuts!

Lunchbox 18

nut free lunchbox 16, rice and beans and quesadillas

plant-based cheese quesadillas • leftover rice & beans • carrots & cucumbers with hummus • mango & apple slices

Cheese quesadillas are a popular kid food and swapping with a plant-based alternative is more delicious than ever! This is another item that I typically make in the morning.

Lunchbox 19

vegan school lunch ideas- chickpea salad and vegan Babybel

vegan chickpea salad • crackers • Asian pear • vegan Babybel cheese • dried cranberries

Vegan chickpea salad is a delicious plant-based alternative to tuna. And super kid-friendly too! We find it is best to serve with crackers, as the bread gets a little soggy sitting with the vegan mayo all morning. And our newest favorite packable vegan cheese is plant-based Babybel!

I look forward to hearing what you think of these plant-based school lunch ideas (no nuts), especially if you try a few of these ideas out on your little ones! Please comment below to tell me what you think or share your ideas!

Finally, for more kid-approved ideas check out:

Pin these nut free and vegan school lunch ideas for later:

vegan school lunch ideas collage

2 thoughts on “19 Vegan School Lunch Ideas: nut free & healthy”

    • Hi Krissy, thanks for your message! These planet box insulated lunch bags come with a space to add an ice pack! I don’t always use one but sometimes. In general, for cold food items I make the lunch the night before and leave in the fridge and these boxes keep pretty cool until lunch! And for the warm items I heat in the morning and add…by the time the kids eat them they are room temperature, which they don’t mind at all. Hope that helps. Thanks for your message!

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