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Dairy-Free school lunch box ideas

Dietary restrictions in your kids’ packed lunches needn’t be a dead end. You can still pack healthy and tasty lunches for the little ones, even if they’re intolerant to certain ingredients. Get ahead of the game this back to school season , – with four easy to make, dairy free ideas and recipes for the kid’s lunches.

*Some schools may have restrictions on nuts or other allergens, so please adapt the recipe as needed.

Easy Pea-Sy Pasta Salad

One of the great things about a pasta salad is that you can make a large portion that stretches out over a few days, packed with veggies too, so it’s extra healthy to boot.

·        300g dried pasta (we like Fusilli or Rigatoni)

·        200g frozen peas

·        1 large tomato - roughly chopped.

·        10 sundried tomatoes – roughly chopped.

·        2 tbsp olive oil

·        2 tsp white wine vinegar

·        1 garlic clove

·        large handful fresh basil

Cook it!

1. Cook your pasta: Boil your pasta according to instructions on the packet. When there’s 2 mins left to go, add the frozen peas to the mix. Drain and then rinse under cold water to cool the pasta/pea mix and to prevent the pasta from sticking.  

2. When the pasta is cooking, pop the tomato into a blender with half the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and some of the basil leaves. This will make a really tasty rustic-pesto style dressing (minus the nuts).

3. Add the pasta/pea mix to the dressing and throw in the rest of the sun-dried tomatoes and some more basil.

If you love to add an element of saltiness, tear in some thinly sliced prosciutto -though we think this is a lovely veggie dish that the kids will love to munch through at lunch time.

Taco Salad

Add a bit of heat to their lunchtimes, or just some extra-yumminess if they’re not overly keen on spice. We like to add some corn chips on the side for a little extra crunch. If you’re pressed for time, this is the recipe for you.

·        1 lime, juiced.

·        Handful of coriander finely chopped.

·        ½ tsp ground cumin

·        1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)

·        2 tbsp oil

·        400g can black beans, drained and rinsed.

·        200g cherry tomatoes, halved.

·        1 cos hearts lettuce, chopped.

·        200g can sweetcorn, drained.

·        1 red capsicum, finely chopped into 1cm cubes.

·        Tortilla Chips (lightly crushed)

Cook it!

1.      Pull together the dressing by combining the oil coriander, cumin and jalapeno (if using), in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to your taste

2.      Once your dressing is combined, add the drained beans, tomatoes, chopped lettuce, sweet corn and capsicum

3.      Add the crushed Tortilla Chips

4.      Stir to combine

Dippy Hummus Delights

You can’t go wrong with a little bit of dipping action. Simple to make and you can even make it in batches to last over a few lunches too – as this should last around three days when kept in the fridge.

You’ll need a hand blender to make this one, but we’ve found a smoothie blender will work just as well.

·        400g can chickpeas, drained, with liquid reserved

·        1 garlic clove

·        ½ tsp cumin

·        1 tsp ground coriander leaves

·        1-2 tbsp lemon juice

·        1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

·        Munchy bits for dipping – we like capsicum, toasted pita bread and carrot sticks

Cook it!

1.      Pop the chickpeas, garlic, cumin and ground coriander, lemon juice and oil into a bowl or smoothie cup mixer. Use your hand blender or smoothie blender to pulse the ingredients together until they are super smooth. If it’s looking a bit claggy, add a little bit more oil and juice to break it down. There you have it; the hummus is ready!

2.      Chop up or toast all your little bits that you want to pack in with your hummus dip.

Vegan Banana Muffins

A dairy and gluten free offering, you can pack these muffins with different fillings if needed, we like to pack ours out with dried cranberries for a little hint of sweetness. This is an easy 4 step recipe that makes for a nice treat in a lunchbox.

This should make around 10-12 muffins.


·        2 large (ripe) bananas

·        50ml vegetable/sunflower oil

·        65g light brown sugar

·        150g plain flour

·        2 tsp baking powder

·        2 tsp cinnamon

·        50g dried cranberries (optional)

Prep it! What you need:

·        Cake cases

·        Muffin tray

·        Pre-heat your oven to around 180c

·        Line your muffin or cupcake tray with your cupcake cases.

Cook it!

1.      Mash up your bananas with a fork, then add the brown sugar and oil – mix well.

2.      Add the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, dried cranberries and mix well.

3.      Add the mixture to the cupcake cases and bake for 25 mins.

4.      When ready (Insert a skewer or sharp knife into the cake and make sure it comes out clean), leave on a tray to cool down.

If you’re looking for extra tasty-ness, why not add more dried fruit to the mix or even sprinkle on some seeds prior to baking.

We hope you enjoyed our dairy alternative school lunch box ideas – happy lunching!
Dairy-Free school lunch box ideas
Posted on 27-11-2023
By TheAtheletesFoot
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