Tips for Creating Easy Vegan Toddler Meals

Raising vegan toddlers is not always the easiest.  Depending on where you live, you may find you have more or less support than you would like.  Of course family support will be very different as well but I don’t want to talk much about that today. 

When we first decided to raise our kids vegan I was convinced it would only be supported in a warm climate like the families I saw share their journeys on social media. 

The places where fruit was accessible in backyards year around, where life was slower paced, kids weren’t in daycare, and families lived more “off the land.”

This was always my mindset on veganism which is honestly the reason why we put going vegan off for at least 5 years.

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However, much to my surprise, there was a very supportive vegan community where we live! (Thank goodness!) I do believe that a lot of the support always depends on how you introduce veganism and this lifestyle to others but I’ll save this topic for another day. 

2 years ago we chose to go vegan and in turn chose to raise our children this way.  

From the very beginning it was quite simple. Our kids were babies and didn’t know any different. They were still being introduced to new foods and truthfully, babies eat mostly fruits, vegetables, and grains during the baby led weaning phase as it is!

As I began mentioning our journey on social media, I would get many questions about what vegan toddlers should be eating, what we feed our vegan toddlers, and other questions around this topic.  

RELATED: What Our Vegan Family Eats in a Day

That’s when I decided to start sharing photos of what we were feeding the boys with tips and tricks to help others. My family, friends, and community were very interested in seeing what our kids eat to get vegan toddler meal ideas and it was easy for us to share!

One thing to keep in mind is that feeding toddlers a vegan diet does NOT have to be perfect.  Without overly comparing, think about what you ate as a child. Some meals for toddlers on the Standard American Diet is cheese and a hot dog. Or chicken nuggets. Or mac and cheese. 

When I think back to what I ate growing up I don’t remember eating fruits and vegetables very often. “Easy meals” when I was a kid consisted of cheese + something else (chips, tortilla, pasta, etc). Growing up this way and having this experience absolutely shapes how I choose to feed our vegan toddlers today. 

TIPS TO Create Easy Vegan Toddler Meals

When it comes to what we feed our vegan toddlers, there are a few things I try to do with every meal. 

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Offer a variety of whole fruits or vegetables
  3. Include a fat and protein source 

As I started learning about plant-based nutrition and became certified in plant-based nutrition, I began to see my plate in a different way, especially when it came to making healthy toddler meals. I strive to offer things in a balanced manner every time, although this does not always happen.

RELATED: The BEST Plant-Based Protein Sources

RELATED: How To Get Your Kids To Eat Healthy (best mom tip!)

Let’s take a look at a few of the easy vegan toddler meals we have made over the years:

The vegan toddler meal above contains the following:

  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Marinara sauce
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Garlic toast with vegan cheese
  • Sautéed mushrooms and asparagus
  • Homemade breaded eggplant with marinara sauce

Spaghetti is an easy meal and probably already a staple in your routine. This makes a great vegan meal for toddlers and you can easily “hide” vegetables in the sauce if you need to.

These divided plates (above) from Replay and we LOVE them.

The vegan toddler meal above contains the following:

  • Quinoa with sautéed mushrooms, salt, and garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Strawberries

In this meal the main focus is the quinoa. Quinoa is a great source of carbs and protein plus tons of other vitamins and minerals. I highly recommend incorporating quinoa into your toddlers meals as frequently as you can.

The plate we are using here is an ezpz mini mat and it was perfect for baby led weaning because we could separate the components of the meal but the mat suctions to the table so baby can’t move it!

RELATED: How To Use Quinoa | Nutrition Facts and More!

The vegan toddler meal above contains the following:

  • Rice
  • Sautéed broccoli and tempeh
  • Green beans

In this meal we used tempeh as the source of protein and then had a grain (rice) and some vegetables. I also used olive oil in the sautéing to include some healthy fats for the littles growing bodies.

The plates we are using above are from Target (came in a set of 6 maybe, from Pillowfort) and were SUPER inexpensive. We like them now that our boys are a little older and tend to like their meals all mixed together.

RELATED: The BEST Plant-Based Protein Sources

The vegan toddler meal above contains the following:

  • Chickpeas
  • Blackberries
  • Mashed avocado topped with hemp hearts
  • Blue corn chips

This is a lazy lunch idea but it contains a good variety of nutrients which is ALWAYS my goal. Don’t be afraid to keep it super simple when you want or need.

The vegan toddler meal above contains the following:

  • Roasted sweet potatoes (in our air fryer!)
  • Avocado
  • Salad of romaine, tomatoes, mashed avocado, and quinoa.

When it comes to salads and toddlers, I found that my two boys starting liking them at different stages. My oldest had a hard time eating lettuce when he was younger – salad tended to get stuck in his throat – where as my younger son never really had an issue. I will say, my top tips for salad is cutting the lettuce up small and adding something like hummus or avocado to make it stick together better so they don’t get that annoying stuck lettuce in their throat.

RELATED: Why You Should Raise Your Kids Plant-Based

3 THINGS YOU Will NOTICE IN OUR toddlers plant-based MEALS

1) We almost always include hummus or avocado. Healthy fats are so important for growing little ones and this is a great, easy, and versatile way for them to get it!

2) Potatoes are part of a balanced diet. For some reason people often look at potatoes as a negative but in reality it is a healthy option for most people! We use them regularly because they are a great source of carbs, fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium, just to name a few things. Eating a variety of types of potatoes can be beneficial to a healthy diet. 

3) We don’t fear treats or sweets. Our diet is a balanced plant-based diet but we do allow vegan treats (like packaged cookies or mac & cheese) when it is convenient or wanted. We want our kids to understand that we can feed our bodies these different things in moderation and that they are not BAD.  I hope that they learn that our bodies are fueled best by whole plant foods but it’s important for us to live a little and explore the AMAZING innovative products of our community members and show support to vegan brands.

There is a huge variety of ways you could raise your toddler. If you are choosing the route of veganism for you and your family, including your toddler, I highly suggest going into it with an open mind. It can be very stressful if we over analyze, overthink, and try to compare ourselves to those who share their journeys on social media. Much like I had done in the past.

When it comes to support I hope you can look to this website to give you encouragement and remind you that behind every family there are parents just doing their best and learning along the way.

And of course, when in doubt or when making a drastic dietary change, reach out to your trusted medical professional.

*I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be one. Everything shared is based on my personal experience and knowledge. Medical Disclaimer


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