Protein-rich foods are the building blocks for our kids’ growing bodies. While meat is the obvious provider it’s far from the only one. Dairy, grains, nuts, and beans, especially when combined, are big players when it comes to finding meat-free lunchtime alternatives that pack a punch. We’ve rounded up some of the best recipes to give kids the perfect protein pick-me-up. Flip through the slideshow to see them all.

Soybeans

Soy offers what's called a "complete" protein, meaning it's one of the best alternatives to meat at mealtimes. The soybean is also packed with minerals and B vitamins. A baggie of steamed edamame (that's soybean in pods) is the perfect lunchbox snack but tofu (made from soybean curd) makes a meal of it. Check out these tried and tested tofu croquettes from Weelicious which are packed with veggies, protein, and flavor.

photo: Weelicious

What meat-free proteins do you pack in the kids’ lunch box? Let us know in the comments below. 

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— Emily Myers