When I first started eating a plant-based diet, I struggled to get my family on board. At first, I made separate meals, and then I realized if I changed my way of eating, it was my job to teach my children how to eat healthily as well. So, I had to learn to make vegan recipes for kids.
With the knowledge I possessed, I couldn’t eat healthily and feed my family unhealthy food.
In fact, we, as parents teach our children what and how to eat. Children do not purchase or prepare food, nor do they drive themselves through McDonald’s. As a result, many children develop terrible eating habits.
One of my friends, for instance, told me her child refuses to eat anything but Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and throws herself on the floor if she doesn’t get fruit snacks.
In order to unteach unhealthy habits, we first must admit that we created the problem. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese isn’t real food, nor is it healthy! And, fruit snacks, don’t fruit!
HOW DO WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO EAT HEALTHY?
The key to transforming unhealthy eating habits is to make healthy vegan recipes kids will love. As a matter of fact, my children, who are now grown adults are vegan and healthy.
In order to create vegan recipes that my kids loved, I simply “veganized” the foods they loved before changing to a plant-based diet.
My children, for instance, love Mexican food, and this crunch wrap supreme recipe is a favorite in my house with the kids and the adults. Since my children and I are both lactose intolerant, the Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce is made from potatoes and carrots and tastes fabulous. I make a large batch of Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce to use for a variety of recipes throughout the week.
Another one of my kids’ favorite recipes is vegan sloppy joes. Served with Healthy Greek Pasta Salad, this meal can be made ahead of time, and the sloppy joes can be frozen. I make a double batch and freeze one batch, making meal prepping easier.
Without a doubt, vegan chili mac is a kid-pleaser. Similar to the crunch wrap supreme, vegan chili mac is made with the base recipe from my Vegan NachoCheese Sauce. Topped with Vegan Chili Recipe, everyone at the table loves this kid-friendly recipe.
Additionally, Vegan Taquitos are always in my arsenal of vegan recipes for kids. Crunchy on the outside, and full of lentil filling, these vegan taquitos disappear in minutes. Served with a salad with Vegan Southwest Dressing, my kids love these handheld favorites.
Again, this Vegan Meatloaf recipe is a keeper. Not only do my kids love this meatless meatloaf for dinner, but they love it the next day on a sandwich with crusty toasted bread and mustard.
Regardless of age, all kids love french fries. But, french fries are usually fried! Instead, baked or air-fry french fries for healthy, crispy french fries. If your kids love french fries, as my kids do, try Steak Fries Crispy Air Fryer Steak Fries Recipe or add some chili and make Loaded Chili Fries.
One of the most difficult transitions, for my kids, was bacon. So, I make Vegan Coconut Bacon which is great as a soup topping, or for Vegan BLT, or to top Vegan Potato Soup. Easy to make, and store, coconut bacon is a staple in my kitchen to keep my kids happy and healthy.
Also stuffed with Vegan Coconut Bacon, this Vegan Breakfast Burrito is one of my go-to kid breakfast recipes. Stuffed with tofu scramble and veggies, this burrito is grilled in a pan and ready in minutes.
EASY VEGAN RECIPES FOR KIDS AS WELL AS THE WHOLE FAMILY
As I said earlier, children can be taught to enjoy plant-based foods, but sometimes buy lives get in the way of making healthy foods.
When kids attend school, participate in sports, or another outside activity, it’s difficult to have time to cook. For that reason, I love one-pot meals that come together in under 30 minutes.
Often, fast food replaces cooking because of time management.
Enchilada pasta recipe is made in one pot in under 20 minutes. The whole grain pasta, lentils, black beans, and veggies in a tangy pasta broth all cook together in one pot.
Similarly, spicy cajun pasta is full of vegetables and cooks in one-pot in under 20 minutes. Make dinner easy and clean up even easier with this tasty one-pot wonder.
For a quick and easy meal, vegan jambalaya is ready in 30 minutes from start to finish. Vegan jambalaya is loaded with veggies, brown rice, and beans. It all goes in one pot, so clean-up is a breeze.
HEALTHY VEGAN HOT DOG RECIPES KIDS LOVE…
Kids love hot dogs, and even though we know hot dogs are unhealthy, for some reason we feed them to our children. Perhaps, there’s a way to make a healthy version of a hot dog.
For instance, carrot dogs made properly, taste just like hot dogs according to my kids. Then, take it a step further and add another vegan version of a plant-based chili sauce to make chili dogs.
Kids love coney island hot dogs, so make a healthy chilii sauce, and watch the smiles.
Or, make the kids a fun healthy hot dog meal with mini vegan corn dogs made with carrot dogs in oil-free corn bread. Altough we like them dipped in mustard, dip in kethucp if you please.
If your kids LOVE BBQ like my kids, you will love this pulled pork sweet potato sandwich recipe. Not only is it easy to make, but your pulled pork sweet potato sandwiches will disappear from your dinner table in minutes.
Of course, I introduced my kids to ranch dressing, the real and unhealthy version. So, it was my job to make a healthy ranch version they would love.
According to my kids, my vegan ranch tastes just like the ranch dressing they love. Once I figured out how to make this simple ranch dressing recipe, and they loved it, I could get them to eat any vegetable dipped in ranch.
Even though it may be difficult, initially, to come up with vegan recipes, kids like, think about the foods they like and “veganize” them. And, remember, kids learn by example. As parents, it’s our job to teach them how to eat to grow into healthy, happy, adults.