10 Dairy-Free Snacks for Lunch Boxes

updated Jul 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Kathy Patalsky)

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.

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.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

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!

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

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.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

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.

(Image credit: Andrea Bemis)

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.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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!

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

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.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

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?