We all know that nutrition is incredibly important, yet getting the right nutrition during the prime years of growth can affect our health for a lifetime.
This is why childhood nutrition — from infancy all the way to our teens — is vitally important!
Compound this with the fact that the human body can’t create 100 percent of the vitamins and minerals that it needs. Instead, we get these from our diet.
So, as a plant-based eater, how do you make sure you’re child is getting the right nutrients?
Working with a nutritionist, dietitian, or doctor is an excellent idea and it doesn’t hurt to have a good child-friendly plant-based nutrition book on hand for reference. With that said, a great place to start is making sure you’re including what’s called the big nine nutrients in your kiddos diet every day. The big nine include protein, healthy carbohydrates, healthy fat, calcium, iron, folate, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
While there are definitely more nutrients that are important for a child’s diet, the big nine refers to a group of vital nutrients that are necessary for proper growth and bodily function.
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!
1. Sleepy Sunday Avocado Pasta
Source: Sleepy Sunday Avocado Pasta
This Sleepy Sunday Avocado Pasta recipe by Natasha Condie is a healthy version of the traditional child-friendly mac and cheese. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats sourced from avocado and nutritional yeast.
2. Crispy Seitan Fingers
Source: Crispy Seitan Fingers
Chicken fingers are a classic kid-friendly food! These Crispy Seitan Fingers recipe by Casey Muir Taylor source protein-rich seitan, along with nutritional yeast and mixed greens for an optional side salad.
3. Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups
Source: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups
4. Turmeric Granola with Goldenberry
You may think this will be hard to sell to your kids, but this nutrient-rich Turmeric Granola with Goldenberry recipe by Elsa Brobbey is actually naturally sweet and great for snacking on! Throw a handful in a plastic baggie and keep on hand for those moments when your kiddo needs a boost.
5. Orange Chia Yogurt Bread
Source: Orange Chia Yogurt Bread
Chia is a wonderful source of protein and calcium, while orange offers that much-needed dose of vitamin C making this Orange Chia Yogurt Bread recipe by Jessica Bose a great way to start the day. Its naturally sweet, yet savory flavor also makes it a kid-approved food!
6. Breakfast Bowl With Oats, Pistachios, and Grapefruit
Alright, if we’re being honest, you might have to nix the grapefruit for this one, but the rest of this Breakfast Bowl With Oats, Pistachios, and Grapefruit recipe by Steph McKercher is perfectly kid-friendly. Rich in healthy fats, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, this oat bowl will energize without sugar and nourish a growing body.
7. Sweet Potato Pecan Baked Oatmeal
Source: Sweet Potato Pecan Baked Oatmeal
Another oatmeal recipe that will do your kid right! This Sweet Potato Pecan Baked Oatmeal recipe by Taavi Moore sneaks in a dose of nutrient-rich sweet potato before your child has even left the house. Plus, you’ll also get a dose of fiber and magnesium from those oats!
8. Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
Source: Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
You can’t have a kid-friendly recipe list without pizza! Instead of going with the refined carb white flour pizza dough, try this Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza recipe by Harriet Porterfield. You’ll not only sneak in some nutrient-dense cauliflower, but this recipe is also super versatile to fit any child’s palate.
9. Raw Hemp Chia Seed Bars
Source: Raw Hemp Chia Seed Bars
Looking for that perfect snack bar for your child’s lunch? This Raw Hemp Chia Seed Bars recipe by Emily von Euw may seem like it won’t make that kid-approved cut, but these bars are wonderfully sweetened with raw coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, and applesauce. Plus, they’re nutrient-rich from almond butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and oats.
10. Millet, Dried Figs, Cinnamon, and Orange Porridge
In order to make this Millet, Dried Figs, Cinnamon, and Orange Porridge recipe by Julie West truly kid-friendly, you may need to chop those figs up real small. With that said, if you make it work, this recipe is ultra-nutrient rich sourcing protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals from gluten-free millet, almond milk, dried figs, cinnamon, and ginger.
11. Pistachio Avocado Ice Cream
Source: Pistachio Avocado Ice Cream
Along with seitan fingers and cauliflower pizza, this Pistachio Avocado Ice Cream recipe by Karielyn Tillman is yet another kid-friendly staple with a healthy and nutrient-rich twist. Sourcing healthy fats, fiber, protein, and a slew of vitamins and minerals from pistachios and avocado, this ice cream will tickle the tongue and nourish the body.
12. Whole Wheat Vegan Biscuits
Source: Whole Wheat Vegan Biscuit
Watching carbs may be an adult practice, but getting the right amount of healthy carbohydrates in a child’s diet is incredibly important. This Whole Wheat Vegan Biscuit recipe by Caroline Doucet is a nutrient-rich alternative to store-bought, white flour bread. Opt for vegan butter over margarine to really make this recipe shine!
13. Meatless Meatloaf
Source: Meatless Meatloaf
Searching for that super easy, super quick, super tasty yet truly healthy dinner recipe? This Meatless Meatloaf recipe by Alison Corey sources its “meat” texture from protein and fiber-rich chickpeas and ground flax, along with vitamin and mineral-rich green peppers and onion.
14. Sweet Broccoli Juice
Source: Sweet Broccoli Juice
Alongside those morning oats, try serving up this Sweet Broccoli Juice recipe by Ashley Smyczek. Yes, it’s rich in the high-fiber, high-calcium dreaded kale and broccoli (for kids at least!), but they are craftily hidden with naturally sweet oranges, apples, pineapple, and banana. Incredibly nutrient-dense, this juice will fuel and nourish your kiddo for the day!
15. Pumpkin Chickpea Blondies
Source: Pumpkin Chickpea Blondies
Time for a fun little splurge? This Pumpkin Chickpea Blondies recipe by Hannah Sunderani is the perfect balance between treat and healthy. Protein-rich with a base of chickpeas and oats, this recipe also sources healthy fat from almond butter and vitamins and minerals from pumpkin!
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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