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.

Nuts and Seeds

Combining nuts or seeds with beans, pulses, and legumes equals muscle making meals. Top of the list in terms of protein content are pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios. There are dozens of ways to include peanut butter in the kids' lunches but if their campus is nut free, go for pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seed options. Fanny at Oh Sweet Day has a power salad that combines crispy veg, crunchy nuts, tangy dried cranberries, buttery avocado and a creamy peanut dressing that really delivers

photo: Oh Sweet Day

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