Vegetarian Lunches and Snacks for Children

by in Guest Posts, Pediatrics, Vegetarian September 21, 2008

I interviewed my friend Heidi, the author of Healthnut Mom Wannabee for some ideas of what vegetarian items she packs in her children’s lunches.

Be sure to try these new lunch ideas at home first before leaving your kids stranded in the cafeteria with some “freaky lunch” that other kids may make fun of as discussed in my article “55 Healthy School Lunch Ideas”.

For the first few weeks of school, be sure to pack all their most familiar and favorite foods before making any major changes.

Heidi, what are your ultimate goals with a vegetarian lunch menu?

Thank you so much for asking me about my kids healthy lunches and snacks. Both of my daughters (2 and 5) are very particular about what they eat so sometimes I have to be creative and convince them that blueberries are just as delicious as candy.

Both of my daughters are vegetarians and I do try to buy most everything that I can afford organic for them as I read and believe that since children have faster metabolisms, and less varied diets they are more prone to damage. I do my best but there are days when despite my best efforts they want Doritos.

Heidi, what are your girls’ favorite vegetarian lunches?

  • Whole wheat tortilla with vegetarian refried beans, organic cheese and salsa-quick, easy and delicious.
  • Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, Banana and organic cheese puffs (make sure to read the ingredients on the breads because some aren’t exactly as they read). I always make sure the jelly is 100% fruit and if possible organic.
  • Hummus with pita bread, apple and a piece of organic cheese-simple and delicious!
  • Vegetarian chili loaded with vegetables in a thermos, a bagel and her favorite fruit of the day-one of Ava’s favorite lunches.
  • Vegetarian bologna,turkey or ham with a slice of organic cheese, lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bread, granola bar and blue corn tortilla chips.
  • Vegetarian BLT on whole wheat bread with provolone cheese (morning star veggie bacon), dried fruit, spinach salad with nuts. To be fair, neither of the kids like the spinach salads so I am slowly trying to introduct them.
  • Guacomole dip with blue corn tortilla chips,bottled natural fruit smoothie (can’t remember the name, and nuts.

Thanks so much Heidi, for stopping by the kitchen table to share that with us!

Remember that your children don’t need meat at every meal, they just need a balanced protein source such as beans and rice, beans and corn, or nuts and whole grains to ensure the full complex of essential amino acids needed to support growth.

Please leave any other suggestions or links to vegetarian school lunches in the comments sections for other parents to enjoy!

For more of Heidi’s great healthy eating tips, simply stop by her website at

Resources: “Vegetarian Sources of Protein”, “The Top Five Nutrients Vegetarians Should Watch Out For”

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene


  1. Wow! Never thought of these kinds of things. I will try this. Thanks so much for all the ideas.

  2. Great ideas Heidi has provided for vegetarians.

    I bet it is challenging to convince any kid that blueberries are as good as candy.

  3. These look like great snacks for me too. Thanks Heidi and Dr. Nicole.

  4. I can do the PBJ with organic cheese puffs. That sounds good to me right now.

  5. This is great. What would you recommend for kids that are allergic to dairy? Is it too much for them to be vegetarian? Any lunch ideas would be appreciated.

  6. Hi Dr. Nicole! Thanks for allowing me to share these food choices with your readers. I was so excited that I put a link up on my site. I am so honored-you have no idea! As for the person with a child allergic to dairy there are a lot of very good soy products that do not contain any dairy. Vegan cheese (soya is one brand), soy milk, soy yogurt, and some great vegan cookies (vegan is no meat, dairy) vegan cakes, chips, vegan butter, vegan sour cream, etc. Whole Foods or any other health market is a great resource as well as online just look up vegan recipes or vegan foods and you will not believe all the delicious options!

  7. I’m not a vegetarian but some of these suggestions sound healthy and yummy!

  8. My children are not at school yet but they tend to prefer vegetarian food too. They do not like sandwiches so tend to end up with bread and butter or toast cut into strips for dipping in houmous. They love having cucumber, red pepper and carrot sticks and also pieces of cheese with their lunch. They always start with their vegetables which is encouraging!

  9. Heidi is amazing and those snacks…delish! The whole wheat tortilla snack sounds just perfect for someone like me…quick and tasty (must say I sometimes eat the whole wheat tortillas plain!).

  10. Great lunch ideas! My daughter and I are vegetarians so this list is great. Unfortunately, my daughter gets stuck on one lunch and that is what she wants everyday for months. Last year it was a black bean hummus sandwiches and this year she wants cheese with spicy mustard. I suppose it takes trying to figure out her lunch easier on me 🙂

  11. my little veggies adore all of these ideas. we also love all morningstar farms soy products (the corn dogs are a particular hit). i’ll often try to include a cold pasta salad in their lunches and they snack on creative things like my 8 year-old is now eating a banana smothered in peanut butter and grape jelly topped with cashews. so, we just try to have fun and be creative! (p.s. we love heidi!)

  12. […] is such a compliment to me that Dr. Nicole Sundene of Kitchen Table Medicine asked me for some suggestions on vegetarian snacks and lunches for children. Her blog is one of the […]

  13. umm i hate vegatarians but w/e

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