Healthy vegan back-to-school lunch box ideas

Chickpeas, chewy or crunchy, your choice. Picture: Pexels/Chait Goli

Chickpeas, chewy or crunchy, your choice. Picture: Pexels/Chait Goli

Published Feb 14, 2024


What do vegans enjoy for lunch? The same thing non-vegans enjoy: sandwiches, soups, salads, snacks, and sweet treats.

Preparing a vegan lunch to-go might seem like a struggle but it is no more challenging than making any other lunch.

To help you pack your lunch we are sharing with you five easy vegan lunch box ideas that are perfect for school days. These vegan lunch ideas will have your kids counting down the seconds until lunchtime.

For more inspiration on how to make these, allow Google be your friend.

Tasty tacos. Picture: Pexels/Roman Odintsov

Meat-free tacos with guacamole

Whether it is for Taco Tuesday or TGI-Friday, this is a great recipe for lifting your kid's spirits and getting all hands on deck and involved in loading up their tacos with lip-smacking goodness.

Veggie ‘hot dogs’

You can replace the meaty wors with carrots for a tasty vegetarian twist. Choose the largest, thickest carrots you can find; they shrink during cooking, and you can always trim the narrow end to fit the bun.

You can serve these carrot dogs in buns with the toppings such as vegetarian chilli, cheddar, chopped onion, pickles or relish tomato sauce and spicy mustard.

You can change up your ingredients for anything you think your kids may like. Picture: Pexels/Chait Goli

Chickpea nibbles

Chickpea nibbles are a great snack or appetiser. You can eat them right away for a tasty crunch or after they have cooled down when they are a bit chewy.

You can change up your ingredients for anything you think your kids may like.

You could use rosemary and lemon zest, balsamic vinegar and sea salt, Cajun spices, or sweeter combinations like cinnamon and a healthy sweetener.

Vegan big mac

A delicious vegan Big Mac replica can be made in less than 15 minutes at home using easy-to-find ingredients. Anyone in your household will find this burger tasty with a vegan sauce included.

It is quicker to make a burger at home than it is to drive and wait in line to order at a McDonald’s.

Baked cauliflower wings

Baked cauliflower wings make the perfect vegetarian substitute for crispy hot wings. This is the best way to include cauliflower in your kid’s diet. Although they are super low in calories, cauliflower wings are surprisingly addictive.

If there are cauliflower haters around you, give them some of these spicy “wings” and see how they change their minds.

Below is a buffalo wings recipe that you can try.

This cauliflower vegan version from our archives has all the same elements to satisfy any food cravings.

The tender morsels are coated in a crispy batter that is packed with flavour and because it is baked, it is light and perfect for dipping in some ranch dressing.

Cauliflower buffalo wings bursting with flavour. Picture: Supplied

Cauliflower Buffalo wings


1 head cauliflower (medium-sized)

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp fine sea salt

2 tbs coconut oil melted

⅓ cup buffalo sauce

Ranch dip

½ cup coconut yoghurt

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp dried dill

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp fine sea salt

A pinch paprika

A pinch pepper


Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop the cauliflower head into bite-sized florets and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the almond milk and apple cider vinegar to make buttermilk. Set aside.

In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the flour, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Add the buttermilk and whisk to combine.

Dip the cauliflower florets, one by one, into the batter, and roll to coat, using a spoon to scoop the batter into the nooks and crannies. Place the florets onto the baking tray, spreading them out so they are not crowded.

Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the florets over to bake the other side for an even bake. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Prepare the Buffalo sauce: In a large mixing bowl combine the melted coconut oil and buffalo sauce. Mix until smooth and silky. Set aside.

Prepare the ranch dip: In a small bowl, combine the coconut yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, dill, onion powder, sea salt, paprika and pepper. Mix to combine.

Once the cauliflower florets are crispy and baked, transfer them to the mixing bowl and toss gently to cover in the sauce. Transfer to a serving platter with the home-made ranch dip.