No matter what diet you subscribe to, finding meals your kids will love–or even eat–can be challenging. When you are trying to feed your child a plant-based diet, the challenge can be even greater. It need not be, though; there are so many great plant-based meal options. Your child never needs to go without a meal he/she absolutely loves.
Before we provide a round-up of nine plant based kids meals, let’s talk about a few strategies to get your kids to eat a wide variety of foods. A surefire strategy is to involve your child in food preparation.
You can have your child pick out items at the grocery store, assist with food preparation, shop at a local farmer’s market with you, or have him/her help plant a garden. A child that is involved in various aspects of meal preparation is more likely to eat what is in front of them.
Also, understand a child may need to try a food ten to fifteen times before they develop a taste for it. If they don’t like Brussels sprouts right away, try introducing them at a later time–maybe in a different preparation.
You can easily incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet. Simply offer a side of fresh, cut-up fruit with each meal. You can also offer a side of veggies with a yummy dipping sauce.
Let’s start with breakfast for our plant-based meal ideas. A breakfast scramble is hearty, satisfying, and packed with vegetables. You can start by sauteing some onion, red peppers, and mushrooms. Add some crumbled tofu, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and spinach. Serve this satisfying dish with toast and fruit, and you have a very filling meal.
Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Next on the menu is banana oatmeal pancakes, which can be easily whipped up in a blender. Simply combine ripe bananas, rolled oats, vanilla, baking powder, and maple syrup and blend. You can top these tasty cakes with more maple syrup and walnuts. These pancakes are great for freezing, so you can easily defrost and have a second meal.
Involve your kiddos in this great meal by allowing them to customize their overnight oats with their favorite goodies. Begin by adding old fashioned oats and a plant-milk to a jar with a cover. You can customize your kids’ oats by adding their favorite toppings like blueberries, dairy-free chocolate chips, or peanut butter. You will allow the oats to soak overnight in the refrigerator. Eat the oats straight out of the refrigerator, or heat them up.
Bananas French Toast
Your kids will go bananas over this yummy breakfast meal. Soak a hearty bread in a batter of bananas and plant-milk. Cook the bread on a skillet, and top the French toast with sliced bananas, caramelized in coconut sugar and maple syrup. Serve with fresh, seasonal fruit, and you have a hearty meal.
Remember those little pizza Lunchable-brand kits you would bring to school with you? The ones with the crust, red sauce, and side of cheese? Well, here is the healthier, plant-based version of those fun lunches. You can make a crust with cassava flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and olive oil. Make a delicious sauce with tomato sauce and some seasonings. Vegan shredded mozzarella cheese makes the perfect topping.
Peanut Butter Bites
Peanut butter bites are a quick and easy non-bake breakfast, lunch, or snack. These bites are also a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Simply combine oats, non-dairy chocolate chips, chia and flax seeds, shredded coconut, and maple syrup. Then roll the ingredients into balls and refrigerate. Have these bites stockpiled at all times, and you always have a quick plant-based snack or meal option available.
You kids will never miss chicken nuggets with this yummy dish. Kids also love foods they can dip into a sauce, and these nuggets are perfect for this. Chickpea nuggets are a combination of chickpeas, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, and spices. The ingredients are mixed up in a food processor and baked.
Cheesy Vegan Quesadillas
Not only are these quesadillas delicious and satisfying, but they are also a great opportunity to pack in some veggies. Start by making a Mexican cheese from a blend of cashews, nutritional yeast, and spices. Add black beans and the veggies of your choice. Great veggie options include zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Put all of these items in a whole grain tortilla, warm up on the stovetop, and you have a delicious plant-based quesadilla.
We have not forgotten about dessert. Vegan brownies are a gooey and delicious treat everyone in the family will enjoy. You can add ingredients like ground flax, vegan butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and non-dairy chocolate chips to create these sweet and irresistible treats.