There are days that you feel tired, you have unexpected errands to do before lunch, This is why we need some Healthy Vegetarian Lunch Box Ideas. The ones that will settle well with your soul and help you save time in the kitchen.
Packaging our own homemade vegetarian meals every day is a perfect way to have healthier lunches each and every day. The key to doing this is having healthy vegetarian lunch box ideas. Providing homemade food for your kids will help reduce the amount of junk food they eat from other sources, including school lunch programs, on their school breaks.
Healthy Vegetarian Lunch Box Ideas
It’s back to school month, which can mean crazy mornings, hurried breakfasts and hustling to get everyone out the door on time. It also means it’s time to start stocking your pantry, prepping snacks and thinking about what to pack our kids’ lunch boxes.
If you’re in need of some lunch inspiration – I feel ya! My kids are starting school this week, and I am still trying to figure out the drop off/pick up routine, snacks for the car ride and how to duplicate myself so I can get the kids to their after school activities at the same time! One thing I know, is that our days run smoother when I have taken the time to prepare fun, healthy lunchboxes ahead of time and load up on “safe” snacks, like Enjoy Life Foods!
My kids love seeing opening their lunchbox and seeing their favorite, allergy-friendly snacks and If I am being honest, these aren’t just for the kids. I love munching on them too! They are perfect for tucking away in your purse, keeping on hand for car rides, or just grab-n-go when the “hangry” hits.
Healthy LunchBox Ideas
With kids, just like with adults, presentation of food is so important. If your child opens up their lunch box and their lunch looks appealing, they are more likely to eat it. I try to pack a variety of colorful foods in my kids’ lunches each day. Bright and colorful fruits and vegetables are both good for the body and pleasing to the eye.
IT’S A WRAP LUNCHBOX:
Washing and prepping your veggies ahead of time makes it easy to throw together a nutritious veggie wrap. We like ours to include a little hummus, vegan deli slice, spinach, avocado, tomato and carrot shreds. It’s delicious! Just add vegan yogurt and berries for a lunchbox everyone will be begging for!
I also like to include a special treat that my kids love, like these Crunchy Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies from Enjoy Life Foods. They are the perfect size, loaded with chocolate chips and I can trust that they are not only gluten-free but “free from” the Top 12 allergens.
My kids are involved in packing their own lunches. From a young age, they helped with choosing foods at the grocery store, and packing their own lunchboxes the night before. Having your kids help with the process teaches them about healthy food choices, portion sizes and makes them more likely to eat what they pack.
One of their favorite, easy lunchbox meals is a SunButter sandwich with smashed strawberries on gluten-free bread, rainbow fruit salad and Enjoy Life Foods Lentil Chips. Have you tried chips these yet? I love that they are made from plant-based protein, but my kids love that they are light & crunchy and seriously bursting with flavor!
This one may seem more like breakfast, but it makes an awesome lunch too. This particular lunchbox is my daughter’s favorite because its light but still packed with plant-based protein. Plus, she is a huge fan of fresh veggies, vegan deli meat and protein smoothies, so it works out perfectly for her.
Of course, a little extra crunch is needed which is where these Lentil Chips come in! She’s a fan of spice which makes Thai Chili Lime a perfect pick for her but you can choose from other flavors like Dill & Sour Cream, Garlic Parmesan, Sea Salt, Moroccan Spice and Margherita Pizza.
Prep and pack any of these vegetarian lunches for a nourishing midday meal at work or school.
Do you want to pack more lunches instead of skipping or ordering takeout when you have a busy day?
It takes a little extra planning, but there are a lot of advantages to bringing your own lunch from home. This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of lunch options in your area.
Make Meal Prepping Work For You.
The good news is you don’t have to spend hours dicing and hovering over the stove to start meal prepping and packing lunches to go.
Start small and make a batch of Instant Pot Black Bean Soup or a ready-to-eat Edamame Crunch Salad. Both recipes are easy to make and full of nourishing ingredients that will help you stay focused for the rest of the afternoon.
Why Pack Vegetarian Lunches?
Some of the benefits of meal prepping and packing lunches for work or school include:
- Ability to cook multiple servings at once
- Balanced meals for energy
- Save money
- Option to pack in reusable containers to reduce waste
What Makes These Vegetarian Lunches Ideal For Work Or School?
If you want to make a few vegetarian lunches ahead of time but feel a little bit overwhelmed by starting to meal prep, don’t be afraid to keep it simple with a single recipe.
Storage Tips For Packed Lunches
When you’re prepping lunches ahead of time, you generally want to keep sauces and dressings in separate containers. Also separate anything that’s supposed to stay crispy, such as tortilla strips or roasted chickpeas.
To keep avocados from getting brown, either spritz them with lime juice or cut them immediately before eating. You can also store apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning.
How To Use The Same Ingredients In Different Vegetarian Lunches
Look for versatile ingredients, such as beans, chickpeas, whole grains, starchy vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds, and seasonal produce.
- black beans for tacos, chili, and enchiladas
- brown rice for power bowls, burritos, and grain salads
- chickpeas for hummus, bowls, and as a soup topper
- sweet potatoes for sandwiches, soups, or energy bars
- spinach for salads, bowls, or stuffed potatoes
- tahini for salad dressings, sauces, and whole-grain cookies (for those days when you also want an afternoon snack)
Make a big batch of one of these vegetarian soup recipes and you’ll be set for lunch all week. When you’re making an entree soup, look for a balance of fiber from vegetables or whole grains and protein from pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas, and dry peas) or soy (tofu, tempeh, and edamame).
1. Instant Pot Black Bean Soup
2. Instant Pot Black Bean Soup
Cook dry beans, sweet potatoes, and spicy chipotle peppers in your Instant Pot to make this hearty Black Bean Soup up to a week in advance. Portion it off into microwave-safe containers for grab-and-go meals.
3. Vegan Corn Chowder
4. Vegan Corn Chowder
Creamy oat milk is blended with sweet corn and three types of peppers in this Vegan Corn Chowder soup. Be sure to add on the beans at the end if you want to increase the fiber and protein.
Tomato Barley Soup with Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas
5. Tomato Barley Soup with Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas
This Tuscan-inspired Tomato Barley Soup is a comforting and delicious lunch on the go. Add vegan cheesy roasted chickpeas on top for a little extra crunch.
8-Ingredient Harissa Bean Chili
6. 8-Ingredient Harissa Bean Chili
Simplify meal prep with one flavor-packed ingredient. Spicy harissa flavors bean chili all on its own so you only need 8 ingredients to batch cook this vegan lunch.
Freezer-Friendly Taco Soup
7. Freezer-Friendly Taco Soup
Make-ahead taco soup is filled with vegetables and plant-based protein from both black and pinto beans. It’s freezer-friendly, so you can keep it on hand for months.
Filling vegan salads really do exist. Look for balanced recipes with lots of variety from whole grains, starchy vegetables (such as potatoes, squash, or corn), beans, chickpeas, lentils, or edamame.
1. Heirloom Tomato Greek Salad with Tofu Feta
This vegan take on Greek salad is made with juicy heirloom tomatoes, nutty toasted farro, and crumbled tofu feta. The added grains give this entree salad extra staying power.
2. Jerk Tempeh Salad with Mango Salsa
When you’d rather be in the Caribbean, there’s spicy jerk tempeh served over a hearty spinach salad with fruity mango salsa. (Keep the salsa in a separate container to keep the greens crispy.)
3. Easy Edamame Crunch Salad
Protein-packed soybeans are tossed with crunchy vegetables and spicy peanut dressing in this easy Edamame Salad. Make-ahead, ready to eat, and also happens to be one of the all-time most viewed recipes here on Grateful Grazer.
4. Chickpea Mason Jar Salad
When you’re looking for ultimate portability, go with a mason jar salad. This easy vegetarian lunch recipe is made with fiber- and protein-packed chickpeas and Moroccan-inspired spices. Good hot or cold.
1. Garlic Tarragon Roasted Beet Sandwiches
If you like combining fruits and veggies, try Roasted Beet Sandwiches layered with apple slices, fresh tarragon, and garlic-herb chickpea spread.
2. Vegan Cranberry Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
I’ve been making these chickpea salad sandwiches for years, and I still never get sick of them. Sometimes I swap out the chickpeas and use tempeh or tofu instead. It’s ideal when you don’t have access to a microwave.
3. Ultimate Sweet Potato Hummus Sandwiches
The best thing you can do for yourself this week: take a break to bite into this fully loaded Sweet Potato Sandwich with creamy avocado and hot sauce.
The options for vegetarian power bowls are endless. Just combine cooked whole grains with beans, veggies, and sauce. My choice for the sauce is almost always tahini.
1. Baked Tofu Harvest Bowls
Try fall-inspired Crispy Baked Tofu Bowls with sweet potatoes and kale for a balanced vegan lunch that won’t leave you feeling hungry.
2. Easy Tempeh Burrito Bowls
Tempeh and sweet corn are seasoned with Mexican-inspired spices in this balanced burrito power bowl. Pack it up with all of your favorite burrito fixings.
LUNCHBOX SUCCESS TIPS:
Packing a healthy lunchbox doesn’t have to be stressful! Here are a few other ideas to make this school year a success.
- Pack what they love. It seems like no-brainer but if my one child hates cucumbers but loves sugar snap peas, then I’m just gonna swap out one veggie for another. It’s easy and I know it’ll get eaten.
- Shop at places where you can buy these fun pre-portioned items like apple sauce, hummus and guacamole.
- Order “safe” snacks online so you can always have your pantry full of foods you feel good about your child eating.
- Prep ahead. By taking the time to wash & cut produce and pre-portion things like granola, pretzel sticks, and nut-free butters, lunches can come together quicker and it’s easy for the kids to jump in and help.
- Use reusable containers and insulated lunch bags. You don’t have spend a fortune but items like meal prep containers, bento boxes, and freezeable lunch bags will make prep and storage a breeze as well as keep your kid’s lunches from getting warm before they have a chance to dig in!
- Consider others! Even if your child or school isn’t “nut-free”, consider those sitting around you. I know how much it means to my son, knowing he can sit safely next to his friends without worrying he’ll be in danger. School should be safe everyone, including those with food allergies.