I'm just starting on the whole vegan idea and I'm wondering if you all could share with me some great toddler friendly meals... My little man is 17 months old and he is faily picky... he won't eat meat (all on his own! YAY) and he doesn't like beans either and the rest of the food world he changes from day to day. His main dishes up til now have been grilled cheese with fruit and veggies (mainly carrots and green beans) but I've never liked that but i didn't know how else to get him protein and now I'm just wondering what I can make for us (i don't like cooking 2 meals! HA who does) that he will eat, mainly lunch. Something easy for him to pick up on his own (he uses a fork a little bit but not very well) because there are times when he will not eat if he can't feed himself....
My son naturally doesnt like meat either. He used to only like veggies but is now 3 and very picky. I cut him up fresh fruit for a snack and he also like eating carrots plain. You can make your son grilled cheese with vegan cheese. You can make vegan pizzas. My son likes rice so i will make him some and add in veggies. You can make smoothies.
great thanks! What kind of vegan cheese do you use? I have tried the veggie slices (i believe that was the brand) and did not care for it at all, of course i didn't grill it, that might make a difference... plus I'm really trying to change this time and when I tried it last I was just looking to make small changes here and there...
ive actually never tried it. right now we are just vegetarians. when my next pay check comes in im gonna look into it. Ive seen veggie slices before. that name looks familiar. it did not look tastey. it reminds me of that very processed american cheese. I know in the kind diet it has a list of vegan alternatives so im gonna try some of those.
We like Daiya cheese, its not soy or dairy based, its made from tapioca (sp?) and I believe its the cheese that Alicia recommends. Did you try seitan for your toddler? My daughter ate it like MAD! Also, you can mash the beans and make "meat balls" and bake them in the oven. I do avacado, mild salsa, and black bean mash, roll them into balls, and bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes @ 350F. My daughter loves it because she just picks up the ball and takes bites. Presentation is everything with these little ones!
Also quinoa is a full fledged protein that is a grain. Make that and chop (finely) some kale. Add some nutritional yeast on top :-).
Keep in mind whole grain pastas have protein as well. Will he eat mac and cheese, there are some great cashew cheese recipes, using nutritional yeast flakes that taste great in mac and cheese! I also make my kids smoothies everyday. Our fave is bananas, frozen blueberries and strawberries, almond milk, and a handful of kale (they have no idea it's there) I still use honey to sweeten but you could use agave. You can add a scoop of hemp or soy protein powder. I often add a big scoop of peanut butter, but you could use almond/cashew or whatever. I have even made it with a chunk of tofu. Just play around with it though, you don't want to overdo the tofu and kale to much.
love the bean ball idea! i will try that for sure... he loves salsa (that would be the mexican side of him!) I don't know about seitan... I'm trying not to give him too much soy stuff (thats what it is right? sorry still learning) and o yes he loves mac and cheese! i love mac and cheese! so i will definitely try that! and i use agave nectar already just because i heard it was better for you than honey a long time ago so thats that! lol I have to be sneaky with the hubs and the little man! got my work cut out for me!
The Veggie Slices and Veggie Shreds (name brand) that you see in the stores are not vegan. They still contain casein. Alicia recommends Follow Your Heart, which come in blocks. I have also heard about Daiya and can't wait to try it.
The bean balls sound awesome! I definitely want to try that with my kids.
ASB - seitan is made from wheat gluten, and should only contain soy if it's marinated in soy sauce.
Keep in mind, too, that vegan cheese is not going to taste like milk cheese. So, if you haven't tried it yet, and you are still vegetarian or haven't been vegan for long, you may not like it at all. Some people find that after they have been vegan for a while, then they start to like the vegan cheese. I only like Daiya of the ones I've tried, but it is very, very occasionally - like every few months. Also, someone mentioned pizza - try making pizza without the cheese. If you eat nightshades, use tomato sauce, sliced tomatoes, onion, garlic, spinach or other green,olives, pile on the mushrooms, as a start, and add any other veggies you might like, and you might be surprised at how yummy it is and realize that you don't even need cheese!