Going dairy-free in your kids’ lunch boxes isn’t just good for little ones with allergies — dairy-free snacks actually last longer and might just get your kids to eat fewer cheese sticks and yogurt tubes, making room for a few more veggies.
Here are 10 lunch box-friendly, dairy-free snacks that my own kids love.
1. Toast with Hummus & Veggies
Hummus is my 3-year-old’s favorite snack — and the perfect delivery system for more vegetables. Here, toasted bread keeps things crisp and a few shaved vegetables make for a colorful snack. When packing these for lunch, tightly wrap these toasts in plastic wrap to hold everything in place.
2. How To Make Crispy Roasted Chickpeas in the Oven
These crispy chickpeas are an ideal alternative to chips. They’re salty, crispy, and highly snackable, plus they don’t require refrigeration and can be flavored a ton of different ways. Make extra for yourself!
3. 5 Flavorful Ways to Snack on Edamame
Frozen edamame is one of my must-have ingredients because it can be cooked in less than five minutes and is loved by kids and adults alike. My 6-year-old likes hers packed in their shell, while my 3-year-old prefers shelled edamame for snacking.
4. Pepperoni Chips
This snack continually blows my mind. Buy pepperoni, bake until crisp, and watch the snappy, protein-packed snack disappear. I partner these with a few cherry tomatoes for pizza-like snack nirvana.
5. Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips
My kids don’t actually love kale, but cover it in nutritional yeast and call it chips and they will eat it. Nutritional yeast is a cheesy-tasting, dairy-free ingredient that is delicious on popped popcorn and crackers too.
6. How To Make Crackers at Home
If you have dairy-free kiddos who have been begging for fish- or bunny-shaped cheese crackers, this simple cracker recipe and a cookie cutter will make you a snack her0. Top these with nutritional yeast or everything bagel spice for a special snack treat.
7. Vegan White Bean Artichoke Dip
This is white bean and artichoke dip that tastes sort of like hummus — it’s just made with more veggies. Pack it for lunch with vegetables and homemade crackers for dipping.
8. No-Bake Tahini-Date Energy Balls
These sweeties are packed with nutrient-dense dates, cashews, and tahini but taste like caramel. If you’re game, roll them in sprinkles instead of coconut and your kids might think they are candy!
9. Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Who doesn’t want a chocolate chip cookie in their lunch box? These Paleo pretties can be made dairy-free simply by substituting coconut oil for the ghee used here. Plus they are gluten-free and higher in protein than traditional chocolate chippers.
10. 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars
These chewy, lightly sweetened bars are adored by kids and grown-ups alike. They keep well at room temperature and are free from nuts, dairy, and gluten — making them one of our go-to after-school treats.
What are your favorite allergy-friendly lunch box snacks?
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