Kid Friendly Recipes

School Lunch in a Bento Box: Fun and Earth-Friendly

Laptop Lunches school bento box

How I wish these contemporary bento boxes were available when my kids were growing up! I stood there in the kitchen at 6:30 a.m. every school day for 14 years, packing healthy, but for the most part boring lunches. My kids were vegetarian until ages 10 and 12, then vegan, and never wanted to buy lunch at school. They would have loved today’s bento-inspired lunch kits, and packing them would have been a lot more fun for me. more→

Pumpkin Juice

pumpkin juice

There’s more to pumpkin juice than just breaking into a haunted pumpkin patch, fending off the zombies, and juicing a pumpkin. This Harry Potter-inspired version simmers spices, fresh ginger and vanilla bean – with apple juice to infuse it. Then it’s blended with soaked dried apricots, pumpkin purée and a little nutmeg. It’s sweetened only with dried apricots. Reprinted with permission from The Ghoulish Gourmet: A Bewitching Collection of Vegan Halloween Recipes by Kathy Hester © 2016 printed with permission. more→

Creepy Bats and Cats Chocolate Graham Crackers

Vegan bat cookies for Halloween by Kathy Hester

If you’re looking for a healthier treat for Halloween, Kathy Hester has got you covered with these easy, devilishly creepy “bats and cats” chocolate graham crackers. They’re vegan and better for your kids (and you!) than all the sugary candies. Reprinted with permission from The Ghoulish Gourmet: A Bewitching Collection of Vegan Halloween Recipes © 2016 printed with permission. more→

Cacao Crispies

Cacao Crispies

Here’s a super-simple snack that will please kids of all ages! These chocolatey crispy rice cereal balls make a perfect snack for evening or after school. Recipe Vicki Marquez. Photos by Jennifer Kathryn.  ©2016, reprinted by permission. more→

Quick And Healthy Vegan Food Ideas For Kids and Teens

Fruit and yogurt parfaits with granola

As a parent, making sure your children choose healthy foods can be a Herculean task. Young children as well as tweens and teens don’t just need variation, they want foods that are visually appealing and will tickle their taste buds. You have to think creatively and come up with new ideas to make sure they eat healthy. If your child is a vegan, it can be even more challenging to make healthy but delicious foods. However, there is a lot you can do with plant-based ingredients without having to compromise on the taste. more→

8 Fun and Healthy After-School Snacks

Easy vegan hot bean dip

Kids often come home hungry after school. Give them a boost of nutrition and energy with these healthy after school snacks. They’re not much work, and are filled with flavor and nutrition. These choices range from savory to sweet, so try them all!

Easiest Hot Bean Dip (above) is so simple it barely qualifies as a recipe. But it’s so tasty that it hardly matters. Serve with plenty of good-quality natural tortilla chips. more→

Fruit and Yogurt Ambrosia

Fruit and Yogurt Ambrosia

Bowls of nondairy yogurt, dried and fresh fruit, and granola can be a quick light lunch or nutritious snack. It’s great for kids — especially young children who balk at dishes in which ingredients are “touching.” But if they decide for themselves what’s touching what, they don’t seem to mind a mixed dish. When my kids were young and had friends over, they created patterns in their yogurt with the other items, and often asked for seconds. This is great for adults, too. Why let kids have all the fun? Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

4 Easy Back-to-School Nutrition Tips for Children

Lunch box fruit salad

As you prepare your kids for the school year ahead, what to pack for lunch and snacks for your little darlings is a top priority. If your child is a fussy eater, deciding on good food options can be more difficult. You know your little one needs his or her daily nutrition, but how do you ensure that they don’t turn up their noses at healthy choices? Preparing or at least planning nourishing meals for the morning and lunchtime meals in advance cuts down on last-minute hassles and poor choices. Here are are a few ways to ensure that your children are happy with the meals that start their day, as well as the foods you send with them. more→

Well-Crafted Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Mix

Vegan mac n cheese mix by Miyoko Schinner

Unless you were raised by macrobiotic hippies, you’ve had it. I’ve had it. And there’s no shame in saying it— we’ve all had macaroni and cheese out of the box. My kids would plead with me to buy it, and I was thrilled when the vegan stuff came on the market. Maybe you don’t crave it anymore, but it sure is convenient to have some on hand for the kids or the babysitter. But there’s no need to buy it, because you can make the instant cheese sauce mix yourself in just a few minutes! It makes enough to coat the equivalent of 5 store-bought boxes instant macaroni and cheese.Reprinted by permission from The Homemade Vegan Pantryby Miyoko Schinner, © 2015. Photographs by Eva Kolenko, © 2015 Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. more→

Macaroni Salad with Vegetable Confetti

Macaroni confetti salad

This mild and creamy vegan macaroni salad is reminiscent of the kind sold at deli counters, but with more going for it — namely, lots of veggies. Kid- and picky eater-friendly, it’s a nice change-of-pace from sandwiches to pack for school or office portable lunches. For this recipe, we used Tolerant gluten-free organic green lentil pasta, just one of several such high-protein, legume-based pastas.  Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Kid-Friendly Peanut Butter Noodles

Kid-friendly Peanut butter noodles

Though this basic recipe for peanut butter noodles is designed for kids whose preference runs to milder flavors, adults can enjoy this as well, by spicing up their portion hot sauce such as Sriracha, or dried hot red pepper flakes, and a sprinkling of scallion. This is good at room temperature as well as warm. Photos by Lori Maffei.
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Nourishing Your Independent Toddler

Applesauce with cinnamon

Somewhere between 12 and 18 months, your easy-going infant becomes a toddler striving to take control of his or her activities. Mealtimes are a challenge, so here we’ll explore not only what to feed a toddler, but how to make healthy foods more enticing. While your baby ate anything you put in front of her, you may now have a finicky eater on your hands. Don’t let the table become a battleground. Here are a few ways to make meals enjoyable for the whole family and to help your child develop a healthy attitude toward food. more→

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