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.
Here are a few healthy food ideas that are not just easy to make, but are also great in taste and high on the health meter. Try these quick vegan food ideas that your children will just love to try at home on school days for breakfast or after-school snack, as well as more leisurely weekend meals:
Fruit Pops: Insert ice cream sticks in peeled bananas. Mix some granola and vegan yogurt in a bowl and coat the bananas with it. Add toppings, place it on a parchment and freeze overnight. You can serve it the next morning as breakfast instead of cereal.
Rolls With Greens: Your kids most likely turn up their noses at the mention of sprouts, but try this snack idea and they just might love it. Combine a handful of green sprouts in a bowl with a little chili powder and lime juice. Spread it all on a meatless luncheon "meat" like Tofurky slices. and Top it with a slice or sprinkling of grated vegan cheese, and melt in the oven or microwave. Roll up, secure with a toothpick and serve.
Crumbly Yogurt Parfait: Add a twist to the regular version of vegan yogurt by mixing and matching ingredients to layer. Grab a handful of cereal, nuts, dry fruits, oats, crumbled cookies and such and keep adding layers in a small glass. Separate each layer with vegan yogurt and top with fresh fruit pieces. You don't need to follow a recipe for this one, but if you want more direction, see Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits.
Eggless Tofu Scramble: Cook some bell peppers, zucchini and other vegetables of choice along with tofu to make a quick and healthy scramble. Add some garlic and salsa for a Mexican twist. You can either serve it on an open bread slice or wrap it in a tortilla. Once again, if you want a recipe, try Scrambled Tofu Burritos.
No-Meat Balls: Here’s how you can convince your kids to eat spinach balls instead of meatballs. Mix a variety of ingredients with spinach, such as cashews and almonds, seeds and nuts, oats, onion, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Blend it till the seeds are ground. Use the dough to make small balls and bake till brown. You can serve them as it is or add them in pasta.
“Cupcakes” in a Fruit: Cut an apple in half and remove the seeds to prepare the base for the cupcake. You can use any choice of topping that your kids love, such as peanut butter, vegan cheese, fresh chopped fruits, dry fruits and such. Add a swirl of chocolate sauce on the top and your kids will be clamoring for more!
As more people are moving to a vegan lifestyle, the options and ingredients available in the market too are on the rise. Look for substitutes and interesting twists that will help maintain the taste and also keep health in priority.
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health & lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Elephant Journal and www.MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.
- Here are lots more recipes and tips for Veg Kids and Teens.