Vegan Toddler Ideas
Hey I'm new here but I've been a vegetarian for 6 years and I'm trying to go vegan and so far my 10 month old daughter has been raised vegan. I'm running out of cheap, easy, toddler meal ideas for her though. She eats tons of veggies and fruits but what about for her main dish? We've done spaghetti, grilled "cheeze", veggie tacos, veggie burgers, tofu, and more that I can't think of. We're living with other people right now and can't use the kitchen much so if I could get some ideas of some easy food that I can maybe cook a few nights in advance while people are sleeping and heat it up or something like that would be great. Thanks for the help!
Sounds like you're already doing an AWESOME job! Pat yourself on the back!
Here are some other random ideas:
plain nori (snack)
rice cakes (my daughter likes the tamari/nori kind)
cubed, sauteed tempeh
refried beans with chips to dip
...and keep up the fruits and veggies, because that's fantastic!
The obvious would be pb&j. Love them and so do my grandchildren. We also make peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and peanut butter, apple roll-ups with tortillas. Very yummy. Yves bologna sandwiches are wonderful too. I know these are not really main dish food, but great for lunches. How about a homemade tomato soup and grilled chreeze sandwich
nori rolls are just vegetarian "sushi." They are nori paper with rice and fillings inside, basically. I have recipes for them in my book, and there are also recipes on this site probably. For fillings, kids like carrots, tofu, avocado, etc...
You could quickly saute' some seitan and it keeps nicely and is totally kid friendly. Beans, beans, and more beans, I've never met a kid that didn't love a bowl of pintos and brown rice, and making one bag of dried beans serves for a few days. Mac n chz is a family favorite but there isn't much nutrition on it's own.
When my 5 year-old was a toddler he would eat anything if I put it between two tortillas and made it a quesadilla. ;D
What about large beans? Like Christmas Lima or Fava beans? Something she can pick up and hold onto while eating it. They are not huge but plenty big enough to make grabbing and shoveling in fun for a toddler.
Good luck on your quest finding new recipes for your daughter!
I have a 10 month old and a 2 year old, and I find that offering fresh, raw food whenever possible is the easiest, quickest, cheapest and healthiest option for us.
I always have fresh or dried fruit on hand. Slice up an orange, an apple, avocado, etc. It's often a good toddler size serving too, and whatever they leave behind you can throw in the freezer and make yourself a smoothie later. I won't be caught without at least raisins in my pantry.
Nuts and Nut butters are the best. Almond is nutritionally superior to peanut, and also available in raw, unsalted, which I've never seen for PB in my store. I wouldn't worry so much about peanut allergies either. Avoiding foods can often LEAD to allergies. My opinion (but I'm not a "doctor") is that kids need a lot of variety, especially as they're trying new foods in the toddler stage.
My kids also love to snack on nori paper.
Beans (plain is good for them!) go a long way too. I've gotten away with plopping down a couple spoonfuls of cooked beans for lunch.
Noodles too, and you can come up with so many quick sauces. Sprinkle raw sesame seeds for extra nutrients. Nutritional yeast is a MUST. I try to keep some cooked noodles in the fridge. If I put a tbsp of veg butter into reheated noodles, some soy sauce or apple cider vinegar and sprinkle it with a bunch of nutritional yeast, my toddler will eat it right up.
I hope this helps a bit. I cam empathize with not getting a lot of kitchen time to prepare meals so I'm always looking for the quick shortcut.
When my kids were toddlers, they loved hummus on bread cut into little cubes so they could pick them up one at a time. They're 17 and 13 now, and I'm having a hard time remembering what else they ate back then!
I thought of a couple more things my kids loved when they were tiny. Frozen green peas and frozen corn (great for traveling), vegan refried beans on a spoon, and even sweetened red bean paste popsicles. Grated carrot, other veggies, with hummus in pita, pasta with peanutbutter-veggie based sauces.
mashed sweet potatoes
lentil rice pilaf
nut butters on crackers or toast
tiny burritos(refried beans in tortilla, cut bite-size)
hummus and tortilla
garbanzo bean salad
frozen waffles w/ jelly
veggie dogs w/ ketchup
noodles w/ peanut sauce
chunky soups(you can freeze small portions, and defrost as needed)
my daughter says to tell you that little kids like pie
I remember it really being a pain in the ass to figure out what to feed my child when she was younger. But I don't think it's a vegan thing, a lot of other parents have the same dilemma. It gets much easier, and more fun. Now my daughter is three, and we bake and cook together. She is a very adventurous eater.
Oh! And peas fried in a little olive oil, optional salt, pepper and ground walnuts, tossed with tiny pasta shells. DD13 still loves this.