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What kinds of things do you feed your vegan toddler? and preschooler?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So I have been vegetarian for a bit and am newly vegan. I am also transitioning my family over to a vegan diet. Dh is welcome to have meat/dairy if he would like but I won't cook with it it. (he is very open to veganism though) I did buy him some organic chicken thighs the other day but had a hard time putting them in the cart. Anyway... I digress.

So I have a 12 mo old and a 4.5 year old and I want to make sure they are getting all their nutritional needs met. I plan on child-led weaning with the baby so I suspect that he will still be nursing for awhile. Right now he nurses 3-4 x a day and all night long. He also is a decent eater when it comes to table foods. Ds1 is a bit pickier. I am trying to switch him off of dairy milk but he does not really like soy. He likes vanilla almond but I would prefer that it have more protien. I also have a tough time packing his lunch for preschool (2x weekly) he does not like pb and j, He will eat a tofurky sandwich w/ ketchup and mustard. He will eat a hardboiled egg, yogurt, cheese, all things I am trying to eliminate. Lunch at home is easier because I can cook/heat up his food and serve it warm like he prefers.

 

So what are good milk options for both to drink? Snacks, lunches?

 

Thanks in advance, Jess :)

post #2 of 7

My kids are nearly vegan.  I serve them a lot of fruits, vegetables and nuts.  Some soups, smoothies, and veggie casseroles.  These are all portable.  Have you tried hemp milk?  Its similar in taste to the others and has more protein too.

post #3 of 7

Yes, hemp is a good one!  We do hemp, coconut, and almond.  I often add flax oil to my dds milk or something else to give a little more nutrition.  

 

My DD is gluten free and vegan, so fixing real meals is a bit of a challenge, especially a few years ago when we made the switch.  So a lot of times I don't give her a traditional meal.  For instance, lunch yesterday was sliced apples with almond butter and cinnamon, carrot sticks with hummus, and a small bowl of raw nuts and seeds.  It was a very nutritious meal, full of calories, but not something you'd think of as a meal.  Breakfast today was a green smoothie, dry cereal in a mug, and breakfast pizza- http://ohsheglows.com/2010/09/08/peanut-butter-jam-banana-breakfast-pizza/

 

Kids love to eat things in unusual ways- try making his vegan lunch in a muffin tin, bento box, or several measuring cups. I give Dd lunch in bentos a lot and she likes to eat things out of mugs.  

 

Good luck! 

post #4 of 7

Marking- I also have a veggie toddler and am always looking for new things for him to try : ) Although we are not entirely vegan- we do raw organic cows milk, soy milk and almond milk. DS also LOVES eggs... which is good because we have tons : P 

 

My DS loves garlic and ginger seasoned tofu cut into cubes- I fry it in our cast iron pan with a little bit of olive oil and Braggs 

 

Basil tofu stuffed shells, baked in the oven with pasta sauce and shredded cheese 

 

Homemade mac and cheese with peas 

 

Tempeh with veganaise or ketchup and sweet potato fries 

 

I try and sneak lentils into everything (soups, burgers, mashed potatoes, casseroles,) - he prefers red over green 

 

We also do smoothies (when I can manage to keep the blender clean long enough...) lots of peanut butter and fresh fruit and veggies. He likes almond butter ok but it's so expensive, we don't get it very often 

 

He LOVES raw, whole carrots. When we go to the store, I wear him on my back in the Ergo and bring a carrot for him to munch on while I shop-  it makes me laugh because folks get the biggest kick out of it- like they have never seen a kid eat a carrot before : P 

post #5 of 7

I'm looking for ideas too.

 

We're transitioning to vegan now. My kids (3 and 1) eat pb sandwiches, most any fruit, and some veggies. Sometimes they eat beans and rice.

 

Before we went veg we did a lot chicken nuggets, fish sticks, cheese sticks, and hot dogs because it was easy. I'm looking for other options now. Raw veggies are still hard for my littlest one to chew up, and my older one is extremely picky. She doesn't like anything that's mixed together (casserole-y) or with "things" in it (pepper, spices, specks of anything). So I try to keep the foods simple, which is good anyway. I need a little variety and I'd love to find more simple things.

 

Hoping I can get my kids to eat hummus eventually.

 

what else?

post #6 of 7

I can't stand peanut butter. Neither can my 2 year old. But we LOVE almond butter. It's more expensive, but oh so good. If you have a Trader Joe's near you it is about $5 a jar. Much cheaper than the regular grocery store. I hear it's even cheaper at Costco and will check that out the next time we go.

post #7 of 7

 

DD (28 months) is vegan, and she tends to graze during the day. We have porridge with dried fruit (usually figs or apricots) in the morning, and I can sneak all kinds of good stuff in there, ground flax seed, nuts, quinoa, blackstrap molasses, coconut oil, cashew butter...

 

During the day she snacks on fresh fruit and veg and nuts. She also loves hijiki and beans, but particularly butter beans and black beans. And she'll have a small lunch of leftovers from the night before and or something like steamed green beans or spinach with tahini. She likes green beans and left-overs cold, too, so I can pack them with us when we are going to be out all day. Cucumber, hummus and grated carrot makes a great sandwich, and I'll add some fresh grated beetroot if I have any. She also loves steamed or roasted beetroot and sweet potatoes, asparagus, kale...she loves roasted aubergine but it gives her a slight rash around her mouth so we are taking a break from it.

 

Dinner is usually a grain, like quinoa, rice or couscous, with some legume and sauteed vegetables, maybe with some chopped olives or sun-dried tomatoes. She loves tomato sauce and tahini on anything and nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. Risotto always goes down well, too. And I second the cast iron pan.

 

I try to make sure she's getting a good variety of veg, fruits and grains and enough good fats each day, but if one day isn't so great I try to compensate the next day. Nutrition is a long game.

 

I make various nut and/or seed milks fresh every three days so she gets a variety. We'll use alone or in combination: almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and hazlenuts. I want to try pecan hazelnut soon. And she's still nursing loads. Adding nutmilk into her diet did not seem to slow down her nursing at all as it's just another food, not a mama substitute.

 

No idea if any of this is remotely useful, so I'll stop...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGranolaMama View Post

He LOVES raw, whole carrots. When we go to the store, I wear him on my back in the Ergo and bring a carrot for him to munch on while I shop-  it makes me laugh because folks get the biggest kick out of it- like they have never seen a kid eat a carrot before : P 



:yeahthat This is us too. We always have carrot sticks and red pepper slices in our bag and people are amazed that there's a toddler on my back and she's not eating crisps.

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