Do you have a picky toddler? Are you looking for vegan meal and snack idea inspiration? Look no further! I’ve compiled a list of foods than even the fussiest of toddlers can’t ignore.
They’re an easy, sweet way to start the day or end a meal, especially in the winter. They have a lot of vitamin C and the aroma is delightful. Slice it up or cut into bite sized chunks for your little to enjoy!
Portable, delicious and nutritious! Dried fruit packs up to 5x the amount of iron as regular fruit, so it’s a great way to sneak in some nutrients into your toddler’s diet. My neighbor introduced me to these and they’ve been a staple in our house ever since!
Dates With Peanut Butter
Dates are nature’s candy, without the sugar crash and upset stomach. My daughter loves to dip fresh medjool dates into organic peanut butter. You can even make vegan turtles by layering a date with peanut butter and pecans, then drizzling melted dairy-free chocolate on top with a pinch of crushed pink himalayan salt. Pop in the freezer for 10 minutes and enjoy!
They’re incredibly simple and nutritious. When I make my own at home, I like to use frozen blueberries and frozen dark cherries as a base. Then I add kale or spinach, and squeeze fresh citrus juice on top. I sometimes use coconut water or just plain water to make it more liquidy. I always throw in hemp hearts, ground flaxseed and chia seeds for healthy omega-3 fats. If I have fresh turmeric or ginger I’ll add that, too (with a tiny pinch of black pepper to make the turmeric 2,000x more bioavailable). If we’re traveling or out of town, Naked Juices are available at most gas stations and are our favorite go-to snack.
My daughter’s first food was mashed avocado, and it’s been one food she’s loved since the beginning. You can simply mash it up with a little salt, pepper, garlic salt and lime juice, or let them eat it plain! Avocado is full of healthy fats that help with brain development, so we try to eat it at least once a day.
My daughter could eat an entire container of hummus in one sitting (and let’s be honest; so could I!) It’s amazing on crackers or bread, with baked veggies and homemade french fries. I prefer to make my own hummus at home — it takes five minutes to whip up in the food processor and lasts in the fridge for a few days. Because it’s made with chickpeas and tahini (ground up sesame seeds), it’s bursting with nutrients like iron, zinc and B6, as well as almost 20 essential amino acids!
Our family eats lentil soup about twice a week. It’s easy to whip up for a quick lunch and super affordable. We love Amy’s brand soups especially. It’s great with a baked potato or leftover brown rice, a dollop of vegan sour cream, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and a dash of hot sauce!
Hands down, my vegan toddler’s favorite food is fried mushrooms and green peas. Throw those in with some brown rice, carrots, Bragg’s liquid aminos and sauteed kale and you’ve got yourself a wholesome lunch or dinner!
My daughter loves spicy and interesting flavors, so tempeh tacos are a fan favorite. Frying up tempeh with minced garlic and onions and taco seasoning is simple and delicious! We sometimes fry up russet potatoes, refried beans, make fresh salsa, guacamole and cashew nacho “cheese” to top them off! We could eat vegan tacos every day!
Not only are pancakes hearty and comforting, but I pack them full of ground flax seeds and chia seeds without anyone noticing! I follow a recipe from the minimalistbaker.com (my all time favorite recipe website). They’re my favorite weekend treat and even better with some tofu scramble with veggies on the side!
I hope this gives you some ideas to try with your picky eater! It helps to add fun flavors and eat the same foods as our kids. If you’re not eating broccoli, they probably won’t be interested in eating it either! It’s important to be a positive example for our children and set them up to enjoy healthy and delicious foods early in life. What vegan foods does your toddler love? Let me know in the comments below!