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.

Chickpea or Garbanzo

We might be undecided about its name but there's no disputing its nutritional value. A member of the bean family, the garbanzo comes to the table as hummus and is an easy addition to the kids' lunchboxes. For another take on the garbanzo, try falafels. This recipe at Love Lola suggests baking rather than frying for a super- healthy twist on a Mediterranean staple.

photo: Love Lola

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