Kid Friendly Recipes
There’s just something about salads that — there’s no other way to say it — many kids don’t particularly enjoy. I found that combining small amounts of raw vegetables with starchy comfort foods like pasta, bread, or potatoes, or adding fresh or dried fruit, helped to entice my kids and their friends to give salads a try. As far as tossed green salads, the best way I found to entice them was to offer a very simple homemade Thousand Island dressing with it. more→
If you need fresh ideas for making healthy school lunches, leftovers can save the day. For lunchtime fare for grown-up tastes beyond sandwiches, these ideas are for you. Admittedly, your first-grader may not relish this style of lunch fare (for him or her, see Vegetarian and Vegan School Lunch Recipes and Tips) but your high schooler—or you—might find these ideas appealing. more→
There’s just something comforting and kid-friendly about melted cheese. If the kids in question are vegan or lactose-intolerant, or, if you’re just trying to cut back on dairy based foods, there are many wonderful options these days. Here are just a few:
Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet is soy-based and comes in cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and nacho- style blocks; for recipes that call for grated cheese, the grating is Do-It-Yourself, and you can do so in a food processor or by hand. more→
What happens when one parent is vegan and the other one isn’t? Will the children be raised vegan or not? If you are a vegan but your spouse or partner is not, and you have or are planning to have children, then you are in what I call a mixed marriage. Families in this situation have some challenges to overcome and some difficult decisions to make. The good news is that it is entirely possible to raise your children vegan even if your partner is not a vegan. But it’s not easy. more→
True or False: It’s really important to feed our kids nutritious foods.
Of course every parent agrees on the importance of feeding our kids well—at least on an intellectual level. It’s putting principle into practice that’s so disagreeable. Consider this scenario: It’s late, you’re driving home from soccer (or basketball, piano, day care, or wherever) and Ronald McDonald beckons with fun and social acceptance for the kids and convenience and respite for the parents. more→
If you’re feeding teenagers, especially the male variety, you know that they go through mountains of food, and your grocery bill mounts alarmingly. Here are a handful of hearty, filling dishes that won’t break the bank. Now I’m not saying that young women won’t like these hearty dishes, but in my experience, at least, they don’t eat in nearly the quantity of their male counterparts. more→
Many vegan families struggle with explaining to their children why they are vegan. When children inevitably begin to ask questions about their diet, the harder question to answer is “Why are we different”? more→
Why make your own baby food? By making your own baby food you can have total control over what you feed your baby and you will know that what they are eating is free from salt, sugar, additives and fillers which are sometimes found in store-bought food. more→
Here is a sampling of easy fruity treats for kids that are a bit more exciting than plain fruit on a plate. For another nifty idea for using fruit, see Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits. Recipes adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.
Shown at top this is the perfect thing to make after you’ve gone apple-picking or to celebrate the first crop of apples at local farmers’ markets. Please, use organic apples!
Serves: 4 to 6
- 6 to 8 large sweet cooking apples, such as Cortland or Rome,
peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar, agave nectar,
or maple syrup, or to taste
- Cinnamon to taste
Combine the apples and juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Add sugar and cinnamon to taste, and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Young children often balk at dishes in which ingredients are “touching.” However, I served this often when my sons were younger and had friends visiting. I found that if kids decide for themselves what’s touching what, they don’t seem to mind a mixed dish. In fact, most kids loved creating patterns in their yogurt with the other items, and often asked for seconds.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 1 to 2 medium bananas, sliced
- 1 cup (about half of one 16-ounce can) unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1 large pear, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup small seedless grapes
- 1/2 cup dark or golden raisins or dried cranberries)
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional
- 1 cup granola, optional
- 2 to 3 cups vanilla soy yogurt
Place all the ingredients except the yogurt into separate, small bowls.
Divide the yogurt among 4 to 6 individual serving bowls. Let everyone take a little of whichever ingredients they’d like to dress up their ambrosia.
CLASSIC STRAWBERRY OR BLUEBERRY-BANANA SMOOTHIE
If you’re looking for just one fruit smoothie combo to fall in love with, this strawberry and banana is a classic for good reason! It’s a good way to start the day
Makes: Two 12-ounce smoothies or three 8-ounce smoothies
- 1 large banana (freeze banana ahead of time if you’d like)
- 1 heaping cup sweet strawberries, hulled, or 1 cup blueberres (use frozen off season)
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond or other nondairy milk
- 1/2 cup orange, mango, or berry juice
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, optional
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smoothly pureed. For a thinner smoothie or more servings, add more nondairy milk or juice. Serve at once.
- Explore the entire Veg Kids and Teens page on VegKitchen for lots of easy, healthy recipes for vegetarian and vegan kids and teens.
Halloween used to scare me. My kids coming home with all that junk food sent shivers through my spine. But with a selection of healthy Halloween treats and snacks, it’s a joy, a chance to play dress-up with the kids, and parade around the neighborhood at night, greeting friends, nibbling on healthy, all natural candies, marveling at carved candle lit pumpkins and houses decorated with creepy masks and hanging skeletons. more→
Instead of loading up on store-bought snacks, which are high in sodium, sugar, and fat (nearly all supermarket snack foods contain unhealthy partially hydrogenated fats), try these simple home-made healthy snacks for kids.
Americans are a snack-crazed culture. And for better or worse, our children seem to be born with this passion for snacking. From the time you become a parent until you pack the kids off for college, snack foods will constitute a sizable portion of your food budget, and the interior of your car will be blanketed with crumbs and wrappers.
The key to successful school lunches is variety. Finding healthy school lunch recipes and ideas for vegan and vegetarian kids adds to the challenge. Here you’ll find lots of ideas and tips, with links to other VegKitchen posts on creating easy, tasty school lunches. Many of the recipes and tips in this article have been adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.* more→