Back-to-school lunches are here! I’m so excited to be sharing content geared towards vegan kiddos, however adults can have a little fun and make these for themselves too – no judgement here. Really this is perfect for all ages because you can modify each as needed. A little meal prep never hurt anyone, in fact I highly recommend it and will definitely elaborate on the topic in the future.
Kicking it back to when I was in school, you were the “cool kid” when you brought a Lunchable. It’s been a dream of mine to see vegan Lunchables available, but until that day comes, I’ve shared two veganized combos below. Of course replicating my favorites, the mini pizzas and cheese and crackers. All vegan and gluten-free! I totally ate that nacho one too, but I didn’t feel it was very lunch worthy. Maybe if you add beans and bulked it up nutritionally, go for it.
For balance I’ve also included two combos that are more whole-foods based. Hopefully this will inspire you with combining your child’s favorite foods to create a totally customized lunch they’re sure to enjoy.
Mini Gluten-Free Pizza Bites Lunchable
Vegan Gluten-Free Mini Pizzas with a side of Natural Fruit Roll-Ups and an easy to peel Tangerine for balance. For the kid that keeps it real. I honestly ate pizza every other day in middle and high school… no shame. It was the only thing that didn’t suck at my school. This version however is a hell of a lot better AND I made it gluten-free by using my absolute favorite English Muffins from Food For Life Baking Co. You can find them in the gf freezer section. I recommend defrosting first and toasting them before topping with sauce and vegan cheese. Then bake/broil until crispy and melty on top.
These honestly take about 5 minutes to make from start to finish and they’re not too bad if you’re using that brand as the base (oil-free!) and adding your favorite tomato sauce. The cheese is definitely processed, but if you want to make it a bit healthier, feel free to add veggies and/or omit the vegan cheese and replace with a cashew based version (I also have a chickpea cheese sauce).
Rainbow Fresh Rice Paper Rolls
Rainbow Rice Paper Salad Rolls with Homemade Peanut Sauce and Simple Truth Banana Chips. Probably my favorite lunch of all, I adore fresh/spring rolls like no other. You can make these very quickly and if you wrap them tightly with plastic or parchment, they can stay fresh for a few days. Otherwise they’ll dry out, be sure to keep them wrapped and in an air-tight container. If the texture isn’t your favorite, try baking them and changing the filling for an asian noodle style combo. Crispy Pad Thai Spring Rolls. You’re Welcome.
Vegan Cheese & Hickory Tofurky Crackers Lunchable
Vegan Cheese, Tofurky & Gluten-Free Crackers with Natural Fruit Roll-Ups and a Tangerine. The second Lunchable combo I’ve veganized and it’s also gluten-free too! Using Daiya Cheddar Cheese Slices and Tofurky Slow-Roasted Hickory, cut into circles with a small cookie cutter. I actually used one that perfectly fit the Simple Truth Gluten-Free Black Pepper Crackers I used to pair with it. You can also make these by using any combo of vegan cheese, mock meat and/or crackers you like best. These just happen to be my favorites and they’re always accessible at my local Kroger grocery store.
Almond Butter & Chia Jam Banana Wraps
My fourth and final whole-foods based lunch combo. Almond Butter & Chia Jam Banana Bites. Wrapped in a Simple Truth tortilla with a generous layer of Simple Truth Almond Butter (no sugar or oil added!), with Homemade Chia Jam, this batch was peach, and a ripe banana. Roll and cut into bite-sized pieces, or cut in half and eat like a wrap. Paired this with a side of Simple Truth Carrot sticks and a mix of raisins and sunflower seeds.
Send the kiddos off to school with a homemade meal that’s actually good for them. Looking back on my schooling experience, I really wish my parents were able to make my meals for me. I never felt good eating the food provide by my school, but I completely understand those of you that aren’t able to do this. Even sending them off with a piece of fruit is an amazing start. Can you believe they didn’t even have fruit available at my school? I’m shocked I wasn’t exposed to more wholesome options.
I’m curious to know if your child’s school has plant-based options available to them. More and more are at least offering fruits and veggies. It’s been about 10 years since I was last in school, so I truly hope they’re only going to get better about providing healthy options. The proper fuel is important for optimal energy!
For even more kid inspired meals, I highly recommend checking out my Recipe Index for the full list of every recipe this site has to offer. From kale chips to crispy chickpeas, you can find so much more inspiration to create the perfect back-to-school lunch for your child! 4 Easy Kid-Friendly No-Bake Snacks & 4 Quick Plant Strong Lunches both are also great resources for when they come home from school.
I hope this was helpful for those of you looking for new ideas on back-to-school lunch prep. Please let me know if you give any of these a try. I would LOVE to see your photos! You can tag me on Instagram @PlantPhilosophy and I’ll be sure to give it a “like” and leave a comment.
This post is sponsored by Simple Truth and is free from 101 artificial preservatives and additives most commonly used. Available exclusively at the Kroger® Co. Family of Stores.