Vegan food can be every bit as delicious as meat-based alternatives, and it’s also really healthy for children from toddler-age and up. If you’re trying to raise your little one on a vegan diet then you might be wondering how best to introduce them to the wonderful world of meat and dairy-free cuisine.
As we know that parents are incredibly busy and spinning enough plates as it is without searching around for some vegan meals for dinner, we’ve searched high and low for simple, tasty vegan recipes that toddlers and parents alike are sure to love. Read on to find out some of our favourites:
1. Minestrone soup. Great for kids and easy for them to manage, minestrone soup is quick and easy to prepare as well. It’s packed with vegetable goodness, with onion, carrot, potato, celery and much more in the mix. Get the full recipe here courtesy of the Vegan Society.
2. Skinny carrot fries. A healthier alternative to chips and just as mouthwatering, skinny carrot fries are also really easy to make. Just cut some carrots into fries, add some cornflour and a touch of black pepper and you’re away. Full recipe here from BBC Good Food.
3. Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Perfect for the little cookie monster in your life, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are a wonderful vegan treat. They can be made in as little as half an hour, too. Find the full recipe at Simple Vegan Blog.
4. Vegan popcorn chicken. Popcorn chicken is as moreish as it gets, and its vegan counterpart is no less delicious. Simple, quick and satisfying, you can find the full recipe here courtesy of The Viet Vegan.
5. Lentil stew. As well as being really easy to whip together, lentil stew is a really tasty, simple and satisfying meal – and as it provides plenty of iron and vitamin C (which assists iron absorption) it’s also really healthy for little ones. Check out the full recipe here.
6. Vegan mac and cheese. One of the all-time great comfort foods, mac and cheese is just as delicious in its vegan form as well. Combine carrots, onion, potatoes, cashews, coconut milk and seasonings to create an indulgent yet simple meal the whole family will enjoy. Get the full recipe here.
7. Roasted cauliflower nuggets. The humble cauliflower is more versatile than you might think, and it lends itself to making delicious roasted nuggets – a great finger food for little ones. You’ll find the recipe here.
8. Vegan chicken nuggets. These are also really to make, and can be whipped together in around 30 minutes. Made from cooked chickpeas coated in cornflakes and panko bread crumbs, they’re packed with flavour. Get the full recipe from Vegan Heaven.
9. Vegan mozzarella sticks. Another amazing finger food for all the family, vegan mozzarella is cashew-based and can be made either more stringy or more melty depending on how much oil you put in. The full recipe is available here.
10. Courgette tater tots. Tater tots are wonderful potato-based snacks and again, they make for another perfect finger food. They can be made in all sorts of different flavours, but courgette tater tots in particular are delicious. Get the full recipe here.
11. Chocolate birthday cake. Which kid doesn’t love chocolate birthday cake? Not to mention mums and dads as well… but anyway, your little one can enjoy a scrumptious vegan cake (whether it’s their birthday or not) thanks to this handy recipe.
12. Banana cinnamon muffins. As any parent to a toddler will know, providing regular snacks is of the utmost importance. Banana cinnamon muffins make a great sugar-free vegan treat, with fruit-based natural sweetness. See the full recipe here.
13. Carrots in blankets. As far as finger food goes, pigs in blankets are admittedly hard to beat – but thankfully, there’s a quirky and equally delicious vegan alternative in carrots in blankets (of vegan puff pastry)! Take a look here for the full recipe.
14.Vegan pancakes. Pancake Day might be behind us for another year, but there’s no reason at all why you and your little one can’t get stuck into these fantastic, fluffy vegan pancakes – entirely free of milk, butter and eggs – the whole year round. Get the full recipe here.
15. Fudgy vegan brownies. For sheer indulgence, these fudgy vegan brownies are just the ticket. If your little one has a sweet tooth, here’s the perfect way to satisfy it with lots of chocolatey, gooey vegan (and gluten-free) goodness. You’ll find the recipe here.
If you’re looking for useful advice on how to raise young children on a vegan diet while ensuring they get all the nutrients their growing bodies need, The Vegan Society has helpfully compiled this concise but detailed guide to veganism for children aged up to five years. Happy eating!