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Curious about going vegan, but worried about what to feed your children? There are actually tons of kid-favorite foods that are already vegan or can easily be made vegan! Check out my simple guide to see what vegan kids eat!
Nut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Make sure your bread is free of dairy or eggs and you can serve up a simple Nut Butter & Jelly Sandwich. My bread of choice is Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds (I get a two pack from Costco for the best price, around $7 for 2 loaves). It’s made from organic whole wheat and each slice contains 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and some essential vitamins and nutrients (like manganese, selenium, and magnesium). If your kids won’t eat whole grain bread, I also recommend their White Done Right bread.
Tips for selecting bread, pasta, cereal, grains, etc.:
- Choose Whole Grains over refined: The first ingredient on the package should include the word “whole”. For example: “Organic Whole Wheat” listed as the first ingredient on bread.
- Use the 5-to-1 Fiber Rule from NutritionFacts.org: Divide the grams of carbohydrates by the grams of fiber. Ideally you want that number to be equal to or less than 5.
Example from Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds:
Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 5g
Carbs/Fiber = 22/5 = 4.4 which is less than 5 so that’s a good choice!
Select jelly with no high fructose corn syrup and keep the added sugars below 8 grams per 2 tbsp serving. We use Trader Joe’s Organic Reduced Sugar Strawberry Preserves. (Check labels on reduced sugar jellies because they sometimes use artificial sweeteners to keep the sugar low!)
You can also make your own at home! One of my favorite recipes is from the Natural Nuturer for 3 Ingredient Blueberry Jam.
Choose nut butter with no added oils, added sugar, or added salt! Kirkland Organic Almond Butter is our current favorite.
Keep a box of Uncrustables in the freezer! These are not the best option for a healthy PB&J, but they are good to have on hand if you are in a pinch. Just toss a frozen Uncrustable in your bag or lunchbox and you are good to go. I also pack these when we travel in case there aren’t any vegan options. (You can read more about my Vegan Travel Food here!)
Tip: Try to find Reduced Sugar Uncrustables! They have 25% less sugar and come on whole wheat bread. I can usually find them at Target.
Pasta is one of our go-to meals on a weekly basis. Just check your pasta to make sure the ingredients don’t include eggs or dairy. I also love trying pasta that is made from different grains like brown rice, quinoa, or even a chickpea pasta (like Banza!) You can also select whole wheat pasta to boost nutrients like fiber and avoid refined grains.
I love serving up pasta because I can also add a variety of veggies to the sauce! If you kids pick around the veggies, try blending them up into the sauce before serving. Here’s my recipe for the EASIEST Veggie-Packed Pasta.
My favorite pasta noodles:
You can also add a vegan meatball option! My toddler loves the Meatless Meatballs from Trader Joe’s.
Yes you heard that right, vegans eat pizza! Pizza is another great vehicle to transport veggies into your family’s bellies! We love making our own pizza at home, just make sure your dough is egg and dairy free. You can even purchase vegan cheese, but we prefer it without. I do enjoy a nice sprinkle of homemade vegan parmesan (check out this 5-ingredient recipe from the Minimalist Baker).
Not a fan of making your own pizza? The good news is that tons of pizza places have vegan options now! Our two favorite spots include:
Blaze Pizza: Their traditional crust is vegan and they are supposedly testing vegan versions of their gluten-free crusts (there is some conflicting info on their website about the gluten-free crust so check with your location). They carry vegan cheese and a new vegan spicy “chorizo”.
Pieology: Order the gluten-free crust for a vegan pizza. They even offer vegan cheese and plant-based protein options!
You can read more about other fast-food pizza options here! Pizza Hut recently announced that they will be serving vegan cheese at all US locations this summer, so the vegan options are definitely opening up!
Burritos, Tacos, and Quesadillas (Oh My)!
Mexican food is one of the easiest to make vegan and delicious! We enjoy burritos loaded with rice, beans, veggies, and guacamole. Lentil or Quinoa tacos are another favorite around here. I even make cheese-less quesadillas using my Sweet Potato Bean Dip!
There are also tons of recipes to make your own cashew cheese! Trader Joe’s makes a Fiesta Cashew Cheese Dip that is tasty on nachos. We also purchased an air fryer recently and love making oil-free Lentil Taquitos!
Smoothies are a necessity in our house! If you have a picky kid, this is your way to pack in some nutrients that they may not normally get. For us, that includes veggies (like spinach, kale, cauliflower), healthy fats (avocado and hemp hearts), and fiber (ground flaxseeds)!
Mac and Cheese
This is another dish that you can create yourself or give yourself a break and buy a boxed vegan mac and cheese! We have only tried one brand of vegan mac and cheese, but I will be posting a full review of the boxed brands soon!
Looking for more options to see what vegan kids eat? Check out my kid-friendly recipes!