18 Kid Friendly Vegan Recipes That My Toddler Loves (2024)

Every vegan parent finds themselves searching for kid friendly vegan recipes from time to time. That’s why I decided to share 18 recipes from the blog that my 2 year old vegan toddler can’t get enough of! This collection of kid friendly vegan meals includes breakfasts, snacks, main courses and side dishes that are healthy and flavorful enough for picky eaters to love.

18 Kid Friendly Vegan Recipes That My Toddler Loves (1)

NOTE: This post started as a list of 15 recipes, but over time I’ve been adding more recipes to reflect my daughter’s new favorites. Currently this list shows 18 recipes.

When planning kid friendly vegan meals for baby J, I try to stick to wholesome, not overly processed foods, with plenty of carbs, healthy fats, and protein. See a sample of her vegan toddler menu on a typical day.

Also see: 40 vegan snacks for kids that even picky eaters will love.

I try not to overthink the nutritional content of every meal and snack: as long as she eats a healthy variety of foods, she’ll get everything she needs.

For nutrients that are hard to find in adequate amounts in vegan diet (vitamins B12 an D3) we use supplements. See my kid-friendly vegan vitamin picks in my Amazon store.

We are lucky that our toddler isn’t overly picky – I’m knocking on wood as I’m writing this 🙂 Baby J is pretty adventurous in her food preferences. She always wants to try whatever Rob and I are eating. She doesn’t always end up liking those things, but at least she learns what they taste like.

By the way, you can see what I put into her daycare lunchbox in my post about vegan lunchbox ideas for school or daycare (I’m showing 20 actual lunchbox examples!).

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you make a purchase through my blog, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Also see: 8 tips for eating out with kids every vegan parent needs to know.

One rule Rob and I have stuck to since baby J first started eating solid foods: If she tries something and doesn’t like it, we react neutrally and don’t force her to eat that.

We will offer that food to her again in a little while – more often than not she’ll end up eating it the second or third time around.

If you’ve found this post while searching for vegan meals for picky eaters, I highly recommend trying this approach. It is considered that children sometimes need to try a food ten or fifteen times until they develop a taste for it. I have more tips for this in my post about how to get toddlers to eat veggies.

I can’t guarantee that Brussels sprouts will happen in your kid’s immediate future, but who knows?

See my 7 plant-based baby food recipes that baby J’s solid food journey began with when she turned 6 months old. I also have a post about what our vegan breastfeeding experience was like (I nursed her until she was almost 18 months).

If you know any vegan parents who would find this post useful, please share it with them!

18 Kid Friendly Vegan Recipes from the Blog


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3-Ingredient Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal

This simple steel cut oatmeal is my daughter's go-to breakfast on busy mornings when I don't have time to make anything more elaborate. It's healthy, filling, and really easy to make in the Instant Pot.

I usually make a big batch of these oats once a week, and then reheat single serving portions with a splash of almond milk for baby J's breakfast.


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Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Blueberries

These delicious vegan chocolate chip pancakes with blueberries are made with simple ingredients that you probably have in your home right now! Dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, and easy to make.


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Easy 5-Ingredient Vegan Banana Pancakes

My daughter loves these easy 5-ingredient vegan banana pancakes so much that I've been making them almost every weekend. They call for just 5 simple ingredients, and have no refined sugar. Better yet, you'll only need one bowl to make the batter! My daughter loves these pancakes so much that I've been making them almost every weekend.


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Simple Roasted Butternut Squash - Curried or Italian-Style

Butternut squash is usually a safe bet as a vegetable side for baby J. She's had it roasted both with Indian and Italian spices, and liked both equally. I usually serve it with lentils, avocado, and whatever vegetables I have in the fridge that day.


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Easy Vegan Mashed Potatoes - Ready in 20 Minutes!

Few kids - or adults - would ever turn down mashed potatoes. My quick and simple vegan mashed potatoes recipe calls for only 5 ingredients, and comes together in about 20 minutes! Better yet, these potatoes are made with no butter or oil, and are naturally gluten free.


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Smoky Roasted Vegan Brussels Sprouts

I know what you're thinking - there's no way a toddler would ever eat Brussels sprouts! That's what I thought too until one night I put a few roasted Brussels sprouts in baby J's dish along with other foods, and by the time I made my own plate, she scarfed down every last piece of her sprouts!

This is the recipe I've been using to make my toddler-adored Brussels sprouts. Even if you're not usually a fan of sprouts, I'm sure you'll enjoy them roasted this way just like my daughter does.


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Healthy Vegan Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Rice

Once baby J became proficient with utensils, I started serving her various soups. This simple vegan soup with lentils, rice, and cauliflower quickly became one of her favorites. It's a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy carbs.

I often mix in some chopped avocado to make its fat content a little higher (kids need more fats in their diets than adults because fat is used for a variety of growing tissues and organs including brain).


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Healthy Instant Pot Vegan Minestrone Soup

This vegan minestrone is another well-enjoyed soup in baby J's diet. She loves picking out pieces of potatoes and pasta with her hands, and dips bread in her bowl to soak up the broth (of course she uses her spoon too).

I have instructions to make this minestrone soup both in the Instant pot and on stovetop - click the button below to see how it's done.


The BEST Vegan Zuppa Toscana (Instant Pot Recipe)

This is a later addition to this post, but it absolutely deserves to be here. My daughter loves this hearty Tuscan soup with vegan sausage, potatoes, and kale so much that she always asks for seconds.


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Easy Vegan BBQ Chickpeas and Rice

These BBQ chickpeas and rice are a delight both for baby J and me: they are flavorful, which she likes, and very easy to make, which I find helpful. I usually make them with a homemade barbecue sauce using a recipe in this post, but if you want to make things even easier, feel free to use a store-bought sauce.


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Eggplant Rollups with Black Bean-Potato Filling

Baby J wasn't immediately sold on these eggplant rollups, but eventually she warmed up to the familiar flavors of tomato sauce and potatoes. As for the eggplant, sometimes she eats every last bit, while other times she won't touch it. Just what you'd expect from a two year old 🙂


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Vegan Fajita Filling with Soy Curls, Peppers and Onions

This fajita filling with soy curls is another dish that took a few tries before baby J started eating it regularly. Since she's been vegan from birth, she's never had meat, so the meatiness of soy curls wasn't anything special to her.

She does like vegan "chicken" nuggets, so once I told her that the soy curls were "just like nuggets", she eventually gave them a try. These days she'll eat a good-sized serving of this fajita filling every time I make it.


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Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Any kid has a soft spot for mac and cheese, so it was only natural for baby J to enjoy my version of it. She's also a big fan of broccoli, so its presence isn't a turnoff for her. If your kids (or you) aren't into broccoli, feel free to skip it, and just add a bit more pasta to make up for the volume difference.


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Vegan Stuffed Shells with Spinach and Cashew-Almond Ricotta

This is hands down baby J's favorite recipe from the blog as of today. When her speaking skills started getting better at 18-20 months, she would point at boxes of jumbo shells at the grocery store and exclaim, "Stuffed shells!"

I usually give her a couple of these cut up into quarters when we sit down to dinner, but lately she's asked to keep the shells whole. That gives me lots of opportunity to practice my patience as I watch her make a mess of the spinach-ricotta filling 🙂


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Easy Vegan Bruschetta Pasta

This vegan bruschetta pasta is one of the quickest recipes from the blog, taking only about 10 minutes to make. It's also one of my earliest recipes, hence the less than stellar pictures 🙂

Anyway, baby J likes the simplicity of angel hair noodles (which I usually cut up for her to make them shorter) tossed in a simple tomato-based sauce. I try to serve these with some extra veggies on the side.


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Vegan Instant Pot Jambalaya

You're probably surprised to see a spicy Cajun classic like jambalaya on a toddler-friendly vegan recipe list. Believe it or not, baby J enjoys spicy food, so as long as I don't jack up the Cajun seasoning to the max, she'll eat it just fine.

If your toddler isn't a fan of spicy foods, you may want to skip this recipe for now - although you never know, they may surprise you.


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Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Aquafaba

For a while baby J wasn't very proficient with eating hard cookies or crackers, so these lovely vegan oatmeal-raisin cookies became one of her favorite sweet treats. Raisins are a hit or miss with her: sometimes she picks them out, while other times she eats every last bit.

If you've always found oatmeal-raisin cookies underwhelming, I suggest that you try this recipe - it's gotten rave reviews both from kids and adults.


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Healthy Vegan Chocolate Muffins

I don't think I need to sell you on chocolate muffins, and it's probably safe to think that you trust me that baby J loves these. In fact, our whole family is a fan: not only do these muffins taste heavenly, they are also quite healthy, made with no oil and hiding an entire grated zucchini in every batch (but you'd never tell that zucchini part, of course).

So if you'd like your kids to eat more vegetables, I can't think of a better way to do it than by offering them some chocolate muffins. Yum!

I hope my list of kid friendly vegan recipes gives you plenty of ideas for vegan meals that your whole family will enjoy!

Question for you: What are your kids’ favorite vegan recipes? Please share below!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, share it with your friends on social media! And stick around for more awesomeness – subscribe to Vegan Runner Eats to receive the latest posts (I’ll send you a free copy of my vegan dinner recipe e-book as a thank you), or follow the blog on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats

Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Eventually she embraced veganism as a way to be kinder to fellow living beings and the environment. Alina hopes that this blog helps its readers on their path to becoming vegan and making this world a better place.

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18 Kid Friendly Vegan Recipes That My Toddler Loves (2024)


What are plant based foods for kids? ›

Protein needs can easily be met if children eat a variety of plant based protein foods such as pulses (peas, beans, lentils, soya), grains (quinoa, wheat, oats, rice, barley, pasta, bread, millet, buckwheat, etc), ground nuts, nut butters and meat substitutes such as quorn or soya products. Variety is the key!

What do picky vegans eat? ›

36 Easy Vegan Dinner Ideas That Even Picky Eaters Will Love
  • 01 of 36. Spiced Rice With Crispy Chickpeas. ...
  • 02 of 36. Fish-Free Ceviche. ...
  • 03 of 36. Slow Cooker Black Bean Posole. ...
  • 04 of 36. Tofu Asada With Caramelized Onion Refried Beans. ...
  • 05 of 36. Vegetarian BLT With Shiitake Bacon. ...
  • 06 of 36. Chickpea Salad Sandwich. ...
  • 07 of 36. ...
  • 08 of 36.
Mar 15, 2024

Can a toddler thrive on a vegan diet? ›

This does not mean vegan diets are inappropriate for infants and toddlers. It simply means that when constructing a vegan diet for young children, growth and development must be priority number one, and the caloric density of the diet must be high. Provide three meals per day plus snacks between meals.

Do vegan children grow slower? ›

Children on vegan diets had about 5 per cent lower bone mineral content and were on average 3cm shorter in height. This is important, as the higher the bone mineral content, the higher the bone mineral density.

What whole food is plant-based for toddlers? ›

Young Eaters: 1-4 years old

The good news is that many of the foods that children commonly enjoy in early childhood are plant-based. Foods like oatmeal, pasta, rice, fruits, crunchy veggies like carrot sticks can all be boosted with extra plant power through adding beans, seeds, or chopped vegetables.

What is a plant-based diet for toddlers? ›

“Babies and toddlers need diets high in fat and protein and low in fiber, the exact opposite of many vegan diets,” Dr. Panchal says. “You will need to make sure your baby gets foods like cooked beans, lentils, tofu, avocados, soy yogurt and nuts.”

What are the 30 plant-based foods? ›

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, apricots, sweet potatoes, peaches, plums, melons, eggplant, lemons, lettuce, green beans, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, corn, Swiss chard, celery, beets, onions, cauliflower, cherries, bananas, mushrooms, parsnips, turnips, ...

What junk food can you eat as a vegan? ›

  • 1 Daiya's Cheeze Lover Pizza. Pizza is one of the world's most loved foods, but it doesn't have to be loaded with dairy cheese to be tasty. ...
  • 2 Dino Nuggs. ...
  • 3 Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili. ...
  • 4 Oreos. ...
  • 5 VGAN White Chocolate. ...
  • 6 Moving Mountains Hot Dogs. ...
  • 7 Skittles. ...
  • 8 Non-Dairy Magnums.
Apr 17, 2023

What is surprisingly not vegan? ›

Honey. Honey is a controversial food for many vegans. Bees do produce it, and it is also a food source in the hive. Because bees produce it, and bees have died to make it, honey is not considered vegan.

What does 100% vegan eat? ›

A vegan diet is based on plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants. Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals, including dairy products and eggs.

How do you explain veganism to a toddler? ›

You can make a vegan meal with your child, for example, a vegetable stir-fry with tofu as the protein source, and explain to your child that by eating this meal, you are not using any animal-based products, and how it is an alternative to a meat-based dish.

Should a 7 year old be vegan? ›

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US for example states that well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets are appropriate for all life stages, including pregnancy, infancy and childhood. But it also adds that vegans need to ensure they take vitamin B12, be it in the form of supplements or fortified foods.

Should a 14 year old be vegan? ›

A vegan diet can offer complete nutrition for anyone at any age and can be easy to follow. As a growing teen it is safe to switch from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. To stay healthy, it is important that you eat a variety of foods daily and focus on specific nutrients that help teens grow.

What does a day of vegan eating look like? ›

Try to stick to mostly whole, unprocessed foods — and steer clear of mock meats and other highly processed vegan ingredients and premade meals. A balanced vegan diet should include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats.

What do vegan toddlers drink? ›

Soy milk is one of the most long-standing and commonly available non-dairy milk alternatives. In terms of protein, fat and calories, unsweetened soy milk is a nutrient-dense option for toddlers and kids. Depending on the brand, a cup of unsweetened fortified soy milk contains about (1): 7 grams protein.

Is it healthy for a 1 year old to be vegan? ›

After your baby turns 1, it is more difficult to maintain proper nutrition on a vegan diet. “Babies and toddlers need diets high in fat and protein and low in fiber, the exact opposite of many vegan diets,” Dr. Panchal says.

How do vegan children get enough protein? ›

And also tends to be a preferred food for the majority of vegan kids and teens. While legumes are going to offer greater amounts of protein in your child's diet, grains also help meet their daily protein needs. These foods can include quinoa, farro, brown rice, and buckwheat just to name a few.

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