Kid Friendly Vegan Alternatives
Unfortunately my kids were not born into a vegan lifestyle. It took a lot of research and trial & error to get them to slowly transition. Many people ask me “Do your kids eat the same foods you eat?” Yes and no. Some days they eat the healthy meals I prepare for them, other days they are picky and only want chicken nuggets and pizza. They see other people eating certain foods that we don’t, so it’s only natural for them to question why we don’t have it too.
My only rule is we do not buy any meat or dairy products for the house. So when they are home, they eat only vegan friendly foods. If they go to a kid’s birthday party and want a slice of pizza, I don’t stop them. I noticed going at a gradual pace and slowly eliminating or substituting certain foods helps a lot.
Below I’ve put together some kid friendly meals and snacks with vegan alternatives. Some of these items are processed so I don’t recommend eating them every day. The way I see it though, I’d rather have them eat a plant based chicken nugget than meat chicken nuggets. Let’s be honest, kids are kids and there are certain foods they just want! And if you’re a busy parent like myself, sometimes it’s easier to give in once in a while just so they eat something. I don’t have it all figured out. I try my best to fuel my family with nutritious foods, but I’m not perfect.
My kids can get super picky at times and I feel the frustration many of you do. It’s not easy trying to keep them healthy when all they want is the junk they see on T.V.. All we can do as parents is try our best to educate them about proper nutrition and learn when to pick and choose our battles.
(Notice below I will link the websites to some of our favorite vegan brands so you can easily check them out for yourselves. Majority of these dairy and meat alternatives I find at Stop n Shop or Trader Joe’s).
1. Oatmeal with Fruit and Chia Seeds (great for omega-3s)
2. Rice Cakes, Peanut Butter and Banana
3. Cereal with Fruit and Nut Milk
- Brand – Cascadian Farms (This is one of their favorite cereal brands)
4. Rice Cakes with Vegan Cheese and Fruit
5. Tofu Scramble with Cheese and Toast
- Banana & Blueberries (my kid’s preference, any fruit of choice will do)
- Flax Seed Meal (for omega-3s)
- Spinach (they don’t even taste it)
- Almond Milk
- Nut Butter
- Plant Based Protein Powder (Sometimes) – Orgain
Lunch & Dinner Ideas
1. Peanut Butter & Jelly
2. Whole Wheat Pasta (Veggies, Butter, Meatballs/Beans)
- Meatballs – Trader Joe’s Brand or Gardein
- Butter Alternative- Earth Balance
- Parmesan Cheese – Go Veggie
3. Taco/Taco Bowl
- Ground Meat – Trader Joe’s, Gardein or Beyond Meat
- Shredded Cheese – Trader Joe’s Brand or Daiya
- Sour Cream – Soaked Cashews, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper (Blend)
- Beans, Rice, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Avocado & Salsa
5. Chicken Sliders/Chicken Fingers
- Brand – Gardein
6. Macaroni and Cheese
- Brand – Daiya
- Brand – Daiya
1. Plain Popcorn
2. Pretzels/Carrots & Hummus
3. Fresh Fruit or Dried Fruit with Nuts/Seeds
4. Cookies/Brownie Bites
- Brand – Enjoy Life
5. Ice Cream
These are just some of the meals my kids enjoy to eat on a weekly basis. A lot of these cheese and meat swaps can easily be found in most grocery stores. Make sure to follow me on instagram @ashleyabatiello for daily vegan meal and lifestyle inspiration. 😉