Stuck for ideas on what to feed your toddler. Or are you wanting to incorporate more plant based and vegan recipes but don’t know where to start? Well I’ll share with you a typical day in my vegan toddlers life and some of our favourite recipes to feed our 3 kiddos!
While diets, especially a toddler diet can vary greatly day-to-day, these are the vegan toddler meals he eats in a typical day. We focus on nutrient-dense whole foods with no food group restriction.
While there is a tremendous wealth of accessible and free nutrition information online, there is also a lot of crap out there! Influencers, YouTubers, bloggers all have their own idea of what constitutes a healthy diet for their child (especially a vegan toddler). It can be hard to know which source is credible and based on actual scientific evidence (check this post for some resources).
So please be wary of what you find out there. Talk to a dietician if you are making a diet change or concerned about your child’s nutrition. And question what you read, if it sounds strange it likely is. Human nutrition is based on an ideal level of macro and micronutrients and deviation from that can be dangerous, especially for a child.
If you are curious why I believe this, or if vegan diets are healthy, or want some resources for credible nutrition advice check out this post (why we eat a whole-food plant-based diet). I made that information into a separate post so this one would not be too long, or in case you are not interested in that part of the story, lol.
Also, Forks over Knives has a great article about how to respond to people who question you about raising your child vegan, ” How I answer 6 common questions as the parent of a vegan toddler“.
Ok let’s get to it then…
What my plant-based toddler eats on a typical day.
These vegan toddler meals and this ‘what I eat in a day’ is based on a typical weekday. Weekdays are a bit more structured because of daycare and the older boys being in school but this is fairly typical toddler food for our weekends as well.
Just like your child, my little man will have good and bad days. The best advice I ever got was to focus on what they are eating for an entire day (or even a 3-day cycle) instead of on individual meals. Normally, when kids have an off day they will make up for it a few days later.
It is the parent’s responsibility to provide healthy food options, but it is the child’s responsibility to choose how much they eat.
Easy Vegan Breakfast Ideas: 7:30 am
After my big kids get on the bus for school, we usually come back home and have a more relaxed simple breakfast meal. I am still nursing (he is 23 months old) so he also gets some breastmilk after. These are the toddler approved breakfast recipes he enjoys:
- Weekdays: Steel cut oats with some peanut butter, maple syrup, bananas and blueberries.
- Weekends: with more time we usually make waffles or pancakes with peanut butter, maple syrup, and fruit
- 8 ingredient gluten free waffles (we prep the batter on the weekend)
- Easy breakfast parfait
- On rushed morning we just have sprouted oats cereal with oat milk or meal prepped parfaits
Vegan Snack Ideas: 9:30 am
The little man goes to daycare so he has a vegan snack with the kids and teachers there (that we provide). He is loving daycare so far and I am enjoying the time to run errands or work on the blog. He is only there for the mornings but it is amazing what a mom can do in 3 hours, lol!
- Gluten-free bunnies with a plant-based (nut-free) yogurt and fruit.
- Cereal with blueberries and oat milk
- Homemade cookies or granola with fruit
Vegan Kid-friendly Lunches: 12:00 pm
Lunchtime is my favorite! I pick the little man up and we get to enjoy a nice lunch together. I enjoy this time together and take this opportunity to help reinforce good eating habits. I always make sure to sit with my children and eat at mealtimes. They can observe what I am eating and trying and we are creating a positive and social environment surrounding mealtimes.
Below is a list of some easy vegan kid recipes.
- Leftover eggplant meatballs with steamed peas (we make them ahead of time and they have a great texture)
- Easy 20 minute tofu scramble with quinoa and steamed broccoli
- Leftover family bolognese with sliced cucumbers
- Herby tofu with quinoa and fresh veggies
- Easy red rice and roasted veggie salad
Second snack: 3:00 pm
When the little man wakes up from his nap (he is a solid napper), he is usually pretty hungry so I offer him a wholesome plant based snack. It varies based on what my older boys are having but it is usually one of these:
- Smoothie: I usually make myself a smoothie after my morning workout and I always make extra to give to my kids and my husband. While the photo may look pretty it really is pretty simple to throw together. Use what you have and what works for you. Keep it simple if that means you will make it.
- Plant-based yogurt
- Granola bar, homemade cookies or veggie chips.
Vegan toddler meal ideas for dinner: 5:30 pm
If any meal is hit-or-miss it is dinner. Either his 3 pm snack was too filling or he is tired or distracted by his brothers. The majority of the time he eats well but I try not to get upset if he doesn’t eat much. Here are some of the recipes he has been eating lately. I generally don’t make separate meals for him, unless what I am making is spicy.
Below is a list of some easy vegan toddler meals:
- Kid-approved crispy oil-free tofu fingers
- Finger licking good orange sesame tofu with rice and steamed broccoli
- Vegan alfredo pasta with cauliflower, chickpeas, and mushrooms.
- Lentil Bolognese pasta with sliced cucumbers
- Quick 1 pot vegan chili recipe
Bedtime 7:30 pm
My two littles guys go to bed around 7:30 because we wake up super early for their morning school bus (my older son reads until 8:30). I always offer a fruit snack before bed but Micah usually refuses so I have not included that here. He is still nursing so he gets milk again before sleep so I guess that is his snack 😉
If you are interested in ready more about getting your kids to eat a healthy diet check out this post busy mom, picky eaters, healthy dinners. And if you come from a mixed diet family be sure to check out this post:
12 epic vegan recipes to make non-vegans
Thanks for reading! If you enjoy these easy vegan toddler meal ideas or get a chance to make them I would love it if you tag me with your re-creations, so I can share over on Instagram!
Until then, tchau
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Love this post Patricia! I am shifting my boys and husband and I to more plant based. Found this so helpful. My youngest is also 23months and I am still doing the bedtime nurse – so precious!!
Hi Rachel, so glad you found this helpful! Yes the bedtime nursing is super special for us too. I am trying to get up more posts for people looking to transition to eating more plant based so stay on the lookout for that! Happy to connect with you, and reach out anytime on here or instagram if you need help or have questions about eating more plants! (@at.my.table)