Whether you are new to vegan living (welcome, friend!) or in need of some new recipe inspiration, these vegan recipes for kids will give you plenty of ideas for creating delicious kid-approved meal times. The recipes here in this post are great for kids of all ages but also can be enjoyed by adults too.
As a mother myself I completely understand how important it is for meal prep to be quick and affordable. Here you won’t find any funny ingredients you can’t spell or ingredients that carry extortionate price tags. Just simple, honest food you can prepare in family-friendly time using ingredients from your local market or store.
Transitioning into vegan life can feel a little overwhelming if your kids aren’t naturally adventurous eaters or used to eating lots of plant based food. But with the right approach, it will happen. In fact, healthy eating can become fun!
These are my best 3 tips to help kids enjoy vegan foods from day 1…
TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR LITTLE ONES ENJOY OUR VEGAN RECIPES FOR KIDS
1. EDUCATE YOUR KIDS ON THE GREAT BENEFITS OF A VEGAN DIET
Help kids to understand how eating a wide range of plants helps to keep them healthy and strong.
There’s many ways to do this but we have explained it to our kids in quite simplistic terms as they are both still quite little. For example…
…You’ll have more energy so can play for longer
…You’ll get stronger so climbing your favourite tree will get easier
…Your body will be full of goodness so you’ll be able to fight germs and bugs like a super hero
It’s also important to help them to understand how their choices impact not only their own health and well being but also the welfare of animals and our environment.
Vegan children’s author Ruby Roth writes beautiful books which empower children to love deeply, think critically and act responsibly. These can be a great resource to use with kids to explain veganism.
2. LET THE KIDS GET INVOLVED
Research shows time and time again that kids are more likely to eat something they have helped to make. Therefore actively encourage kids to get involved in the planning, preparing and cooking of their meals.
At the market/supermarket, ask them to help find and pick the ingredients you need. Also allow them some choices, for example, which tomatoes you buy.
There are plenty of ways kids can get involved at home too:
- Reading the recipes
- Washing and preparing veggies and fruit
- Putting on any toppings or sauces
- Measuring out ingredients and using weighing scales
- Stirring and mixing ingredients
- Setting cooking timers
3. START FROM A SAFE PLACE AND PROGRESS
If a vegan diet is completely new then it’s a good idea to start with familiar meals your kids know and love and substitute animal products for vegan alternatives. Start with the vegan recipes which contain their favourite foods and the flavours you know they’ll enjoy.
If your kids are less adventurous with what they’re happy to sample then introduce new flavours, textures and ingredients slowly. Try not to force any particular foods and offer choice and variety often.
10 BEST VEGAN RECIPES FOR KIDS
These vegan recipes for kids are tried and tested on even the most difficult of food critics (*ahem my youngest son). I’m certain you’re going to find plenty here which your family will all really enjoy! There are plenty of different flavour options and combinations you can try on each recipe.
So let’s get creative and lets get cooking…
1. VEGAN WRAP ROLL UPS
Mini tortilla wraps (large for bigger kids and adults!) make for a great filling lunch or snack.
You can mix and match both sweet and savoury to incorporate your favourite flavours. You can also replace the tortilla with a crisp iceberg lettuce leaf to make a gluten free version.
Some delicious vegan wrap recipes for kids are:
- Avocado, Hummus & Cucumber
- Tomato & Vegan cheese
- Peanut Butter & Jam
- Vegan soft cheese & sliced red pepper
- Baby Spinach with Lemon & Coriander Hummus
- Fishless-fingers, cucumber & lettuce
- Vegan ‘bacon’ broken up into small crispy pieces with iceberg lettuce, tomato and vegan mayo
- Rainbow wrap – roasted pepper hummus, baby spinach, grated carrot, grated beetroot & cucumber sticks
2. VEGAN MAC N CHEESE
Mac and Cheese is a much loved dinner time treat in pretty much every house with kids. Being vegan doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy this yummy comfort food.
There has been a battle brewing for the “Best Vegan Mac and cheese” recipe for some time. We’ve sampled many a version and my personal favourites are from Vegan Mac and Cheese from Simple Vegan Blog and Mac and Cheese Mix from Vegan Richa.
However…our kids actually prefer my own home made simple vegan version of this family favourite.
Make Mac and Cheese a la the traditional method but replace dairy butter with vegan butter, dairy milk with cashew milk and dairy cheese with 2 level tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Once the sauce is thickened add it to the food processor with a large handful of spinach or cooked broccoli (5 large florets). This turns the sauce a lovely bright green.
I serve with a side portion of roasted kale and we sit down to enjoy our “Mac n Greens”. My boys have actually recently renamed this dish “Hulk Pasta” and I think thats a pretty awesome name for it!
3. BUILD YOUR OWN SUPER DUPER VEGAN STIR FRY
Possibly the simplest, quickest and most fun of all the vegan recipes for kids!
This recipe is a great one for kids to get involved and hands on with. Let the kids choose and prepare all their favourite veggies and sides to build their own personal stir fry. They’ll have heaps of fun creating lots of different flavour variations.
Build-your-own stir fry using the following:
- Vegetables: Courgette, Sweetcorn, Peppers, Mushrooms, Onion, Beansprouts, Carrots, Kale,
- Protein: Tofu, Edamame, Peanuts, Almonds, Cashews
- Vegan Rice/Noodles: Brown Rice, Rice Noodles, Udon Noodles, Soba Noodles
- Seasoning: Garlic, Ginger, Lemongrass, Chilli
- Vegan Stir Fry Sauce (optional): Teriyaki, Plum, Satay, Tahini
4. DELICIOUS POTATOES: THREE DIFFERENT WAYS
1. Jacket Potato + Yummy Toppings
Jacket potatoes are great for easy meals and I’m yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love potatoes?!
Baked potatoes are really nutritious. I recently learnt that when cooked in their skins, gram for gram they contain more vitamin C than a carrot and are higher in potassium than bananas.
Simply oven roast potatoes on 200C/gas mark 7 for 20 minutes then turn down to 170C/gas mark 5 for a further 45 minutes to one hour.
Kid friendly fillings include:
- Mashed Avocado & Tomato
- Baked Beans
- Plant based (Chickpea) Tuna Salad
- Bean Chilli
- Hummus & Roasted Chopped Veggies
2. Best Vegan Sweet Potato Fries Recipe For Kids
The easiest and healthiest (probably!) portion of fries you can make for your kids. And it even counts as one of their five a day.
Here’s how to create simple, delicious fries every time:
- Cut potato into fries: Evenly-sized sticks, approximately 1/4-inch wide.
- Soak in cold water: Soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse, drain and dry on kitchen paper to soak off any excess water.
- Add oil: Add 1 tablespoon of your preferred oil to a bowl or zip lock bag and toss to coat evenly.
- Season: Add in your seasoning of choice – we love using garlic powder, thyme and paprika!
- Lay on parchment-paper lined baking tray: Lay out the fries in a uniform fashion ensuring no fries are touching so that they cook evenly.
- Bake: Bake the fries for roughly 30 minutes flipping half way through.
3. Potato Tots
Yep your kids can still enjoy one of their favourite tea time treats!
This Vegan Tata Tots recipe makes for a great homemade version which contains nutritional yeast and therefore, a dose of the vital B12 vitamin. This recipe is also Gluten Free.
5. VEGAN SHEPHERD-LESS PIE
This one is guaranteed to become a family dinner favourite! It’s wholesome, hearty and great for winter evenings.
The recipe is the same as a ‘traditional’ shepherds pie but with the necessary vegan substitutes…
- For the filling, substitute mince with lentils or ‘minced’ mushrooms
- Substitute stock with vegan stock or bouillon
- For the creamy mash topping, substitute dairy butter and milk with vegan milk and vegan spread or olive oil.
If you haven’t made a shepherds pie before, this is a great plant based recipe.
6. VEGAN VEGETABLE PASTA RECIPE
There’s two easy ways to do vegetable pasta – one with chunky veg pieces and the other as a smooth blended vegetable sauce.
Dried pasta is almost always vegan but it’s worth double checking the ingredients list on the packaging.
These are our two favourite homemade vegan pasta sauce recipes for kids:
Chunky Veg Sauce
- Dice your kids favourite vegetables into one centimetre cubes
- Cover in a small amount of oil (coconut is our fav) and oven roast on medium high for 25-30 minutes
- Add a clove of finely chopped fresh garlic to a saucepan pan and cook for a minute
- Add a jar of passata along with 1tsp of fresh thyme and basil. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Once cooked, add the roasted veg to the passata sauce and mix.
- Spoon over cooked pasta and enjoy!
This recipe freezes well so any leftovers can be frozen to use any time over the next few months.
Smooth Veg sauce
We use this 7 veg ragu recipe by Jamie Oliver. It’s also great when used as a dipping sauce or as the base sauce on pizzas.
7. VEGAN VEGETABLE CHILLI
Chilli is a great staple in the plant based recipe pantry! Packed full of veggies and beans, it’s a wholesome satisfying dish the whole family love.
Any left overs (if you’re lucky!) can be used to make nachos, wraps or topped on jacket potatoes.
Our favourite plant based chilli recipes for kids are here:
8. SUPER PORRIDGE & OATS
Porridge is packed with slow releasing energy therefore the perfect start to the day for active kids. It’s also great for supper and filling tummies in the evening before bed.
You can use whichever plant based milk you love and top with seeds, dried fruit, nut butter, fresh fruit, chai seed jam…whatever it is that your kids love.
If you are tight for time in the mornings then consider making porridge the slow cooker overnight. Alternatively you can go for a no-cook overnight oats option.
These vegan oat recipes are awesome for kids:
9. VEGAN PIZZA AND PIZZA SWIRLS
Pizza is a great quick go-to recipe for busy days and when you have guests over.
Simply load a pre-made pizza base with pizza sauce (the veg sauce above is great for this!) and top with vegan cheese and your favourite vegetable toppings. The kids love decorating their own pizzas and its a fun activity to do when they have their friends over for playdates too.
Pizza swirls are a different take on vegan pizza. BOSH! released the ‘pizza swirls’ recipe during Veganuary. They are super easy to make and sooooo yummy!
Take a sheet of puff pastry and spread on a tablespoon of tomato puree and a teaspoon of mixed herbs. Add chopped peppers, cooked minced mushrooms, spinach, sweetcorn (or whatever vegetable fillings you love!). Top with vegan cheese, roll up and slice into swirls. Bake in the oven. Simple. An added bonus is they keep well in an air tight container until the next day.
You can watch the step-by-step recipe here.
10. PLANT POWERED PANCAKES
Pancakes are a quick and easy breakfast favourite in our house.
There’s so many ways to add yummy flavours…
- Top with a variety of fresh fruit (we love the berry combo – strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with a tiny sprinkle of icing sugar as a treat!)
- Drizzle with nut butter or smother on vegan chocolate spread
- Pour on maple syrup
- Add a pinch of cinnamon to the batter mix
Making ‘faces’ on pancakes is a fun way to introduce new fruits and flavours to your kids. Our favourites are raspberry eyes, blueberry nose and a banana smile!
I hope you feel inspired to grab your cooking apron after reading these vegan recipes for kids. If there’s anything else I can help with, please pop a comment below. And please let us know what you think of any of the recipes you create!