5 Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Lunch Ideas [Video]

5 Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Lunch Ideas [Video]

With more than 16,000 followers on Instagram, dozens of helpful lunch tutorials on
YouTube, and a growing Facebook group dedicated solely to bento-style lunchbox ideas, Sylina Lunches has come up with many healthy and fun lunch ideas that will keep the kids happy and make your life easier! 


When it comes to packing vegetarian lunches – protein is often a concern for many parents. Are we packing enough protein? Are our children getting enough protein to last them the full day at school? These concerns, although stemming from a place of love, are often unwarranted!

Did you know that many non-meat foods contain protein in them?

Here are some plant-based protein options:

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Buckwheat
  • Chickpeas/hummus
  • Edamame
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Nut or sun butters
  • Quinoa
  • Soba noodles
  • Spinach
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Wheat germ
  • Nutritional yeast

Non-Plant based protein options:

  • All types of cheeses (brie, cheddar, cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, gouda, mozzarella, parmesan)
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt

With a list like that, the options for your lunchbox are endless! There are many vegetarian recipes for falafels, quiches, salads, pastas, wraps, sandwiches, sushi, treats, and more available on the Internet.

A few of my favorite vegetarian inspirations are:

  • Edgy Veg
  • Hot for Food
  • Fablunch
  • Mind Over Munch
  • FullyRawKristina
  • Rawvana

Now, here are 5 Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Lunch Options:

1.Veggie Pizza Rolls

Photo Courtesy of Sylina Lunches

Who doesn't love pizza? Whether you use store-bought dough or make your own using two simple ingredients (equal parts of Greek yogurt and self-rising flour), these pizza rolls are sure to be a hit for your child. A great way to add extra protein and nutrients to it is to puree up some lentils, spinach or broccoli right into the tomato sauce. Instead of making a traditional round and flat pizza, shape your dough into a rectangle, add your sauce, topping and then just roll up your pizza and slice them up into rolls before baking. The result will be some ooey, gooey pizza rolls.

2.Veggie Pasta Salad

Photo Courtesy of Sylina Lunches

Pasta is another kid-friendly food. For a boost of protein, go for a pasta brand that is made with quinoa. That will serve as a great base to any sauce and toppings you add to it. The trick with packing cold pastas is to minimize the amount of sauce that you use. Using dressings is a fast and easy way to coat your pasta with lots of flavors that will keep it yummy for lunch. Adding chickpeas, chopped kale, and nutritional yeast are all great additions too!

3.Veggie Empanadas

Photo Courtesy of Sylina Lunches

Have leftovers from dinner? Chop or dice them up into tiny pieces and throw them into an empanada! You can totally cheat and use store-bought pie dough, but it is also just as easy to make them from scratch (flour, salt, butter, egg, and water). Don't hold back – you don't have to limit yourself to just leftover veggies! Dice up any tofu, tempeh or mix in some quinoa, lentils or beans. Cheese and any sauces like tomato sauce, pesto, cream sauces, etc. also help to make this a delicious and a kid-favorite food.

4.Buddha Bowls

Photo Courtesy of Sylina Lunches

Did you know that rice actually makes a great lunch option? And it also tastes great cold too! Buddha bowls have recently become a popular meal option. What I always do is cook my rice with quinoa. That way I'm sure to get in the protein without having to think about it! This lunch idea is also a great way to use up leftovers, or you can just add any fresh ingredients to it. Shredded or diced veggies are great! I also will include a sauce for the kids to pour on top of the buddha bowl. A simple choice is soy sauce but you can get fancy and create a more complex sauce like tahini, mango chutney, or salsa.

5.Veggie Kabobs

Photo Courtesy of Sylina Lunches

Let's admit it – food on a stick is simply the best invention ever! Something about adding food onto a stick instantly makes it more kid-friendly. Kabob sticks, toothpicks, special bento food picks or even reused coffee stirrers work great to create this yummy lunch option. Think of alternating colors and shapes – this will make it visually more appealing. Also, alternate your veggies with things like cheese, pasta or tofu. As long as it's still bite-sized pieces, it will work well. Again – adding some dipping sauce is never a bad idea!

Did you like these kid-friendly vegetarian lunch ideas? They are among my children's favorites. Use them as the base for your own variations – get fancy, get your kids involved and share what your favorite combinations are for these pizza rolls, pastas, empanadas, buddha bowls and kabobs!

Need More Lunchtime Inspiration?

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