My vegan toddler will be turning three this fall and, as such, this past year has been prime time for tantrums and other challenging behaviors as he matures and finds his balance. People who have been parents longer than me, I know you’re nodding your head in a resounding “YEP” right now. 🙂
Mealtime is often an especially frustrating event, as this is one place where toddlers feel most compelled to exert their desire for independence — may it be by throwing food on the floor, refusing to eat anything green, whining, or demanding something else to eat. But handling the above is a whole different blog post for another day!
Rather, I’d love to kick off a new series to share with you what my vegan toddler eats at home in a typical day. To go along with a long-time trend in the health and food blogger world, we’ll call it “What I Ate Wednesday: Vegan Toddler Edition”.
Raising plant-based kids isn’t always easy, but let’s not pretend that raising children in general is easy either! The bottom line is that kids can absolutely be raised safely on a well-planned vegan (whole foods, plant based) diet. This lifestyle can be incredibly fulfilling, even life-changing, and deserves to be a normalized option for all ages.
As you know, I’m on a mission to normalize veganism as a safe, nutritious, and feasible lifestyle choice for people of all ages. It doesn’t have to be restrictive, complicated, expensive, or (even remotely) dangerous — in fact, a whole foods plant based diet can be the exact opposite, and so much more.
My hope is that by sharing some of the meals and snacks I provide at home, other veg-parents (or parents-to-be!) will feel more confident in their ability to do the same, should they choose to raise a plant-powered family. I promise that it doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to cost a lot or require lengthy recipes that take hours in the kitchen. A vegan diet also does not mean your toddler has to learn to maneuver fancy salads with a fork or love every vegetable on the planet. Your child will go through a “picky eater” phase like every other kid does, and he/she will not necessarily eat everything offered every day. This is normal. Just like everything else in parenthood, we find our tribe and do our best!
So let’s kick this thing off!
Note: The What I Ate Wednesday: Vegan Toddler Edition series is not a meal plan or suggested feeding pattern for your kids. It is solely meant to share a snippet of what my toddler may eat on any given day and offer some ideas for things you could try at home. Please do not make dietary or lifestyle changes for your children without being properly evaluated by your physician and/or registered dietitian.
My son usually eats breakfast with my husband, but he was out of town this week so he ate what I ate for the major meals (aka I looooooove avocado toast). I also received some free snack samples from GimMe Health Foods, and he discovered that he really likes dried seaweed chips – a great source of iodine! Find links to some of our homemade recipes below, too.
1 slice whole grain bread with 1/2 an avocado, mashed
1 container unsweetened applesauce
1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk
2 teriyaki flavored dried seaweed chips
Banana boats: 1/2 a banana sliced into halves, spread with peanut butter and lined with raisins
1 cup water
1 cup vegan mac & cheese sprinkled with nutritional yeast
1/2 a veggie burger on a whole wheat bun
~3 Tbsp trail mix (peanuts, almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds)
1 cup plain unsweetened hemp milk
Beet crackers with hummus
Baby carrot sticks
1 cup water
Foil-grilled “campfire” dinner: corn on the cob, vegan apple-sage sausage, red potatoes, rainbow carrots seasoned with vegan bouillon cube + water
2 servings of green smoothie: spinach, pineapple, mango, banana, orange juice with ground flaxseed, probiotic powder + algae-derived omega 3 supplement added
1 cup water
And there you have it! I’m looking forward to continuing this series and sharing a snippet of what our meals look like. If you’d like to get notice of when a new post is shared, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.