Plant-based meal ideas (child-friendly)

I aim to involve my children in meal planning and preparation as much as possible. I not only love to work with my children in the kitchen, it often gets them excited about trying new foods and flavour combinations. My daughter specifically loves to plate up food, as you will see examples of this below as she gets really creative with it. Often we look at recipes together and plan what we would like to try and make together.

At main meal times- we either plate up straight into a bowl as you will see below, or we put food on 1-2 platters onto the table for everyone to share depending on the type of food we are making. When my husband is away for work or we have had a busier week, we will keep dinners really simple, that may only take 10-15 minutes to make. I don’t stress over diners as long as I know we have all eaten well enough during the day. For the most part I keep dinners to 30 minutes or less because I do some food prep over the weekend to make meals during the week a little easier. It may be as simple as chopping up a bunch of raw vegetables or oven roasting some vegetables and storing them in the fridge, pre-cooking grains and putting them into the fridge or freezer, or making up soup/stews/curries or vegetable broth all in advance.

I have mentioned before that I use the Simplicity Parenting book suggestions as a guide for meal planning to give me a base to work on- so for example; Monday- Pasta, Tuesday- Soup, Wednesday- Rice or Quinoa. I change my meal plan approx every three months (seasonally). I aim to stick to a food budget and follow a set shopping list of the main food items we eat. Choosing seasonal and localย  produce also helps the food budget.

Here are some meals made over the last two weeks;

Breakfast ideas;

plant-based breakfast 3
Meal Plan breakfast (Toast)– Almond butter, banana and blueberries
plant-based breakfast 2
Meal Plan breakfast (Oats)– Overnight oats with berries, banana and coconut flakes. Sometimes we add chia seeds and sprinkle with almond meal.
plant-based breakfast 4
Meal Plan breakfast (Smoothie)– Blended (frozen) mango, with DIY muesli which contains nuts and seeds, coconut flakes, berries, passionfruit and coconut yoghurt.
Plant-based breakfast 1
Meal plan breakfast (Sunday hot breakfast)– This was breakfast I made myself the other day- toast with smashed avocado, cooked mixed mushrooms, red onion, wilted spinach and rocket topped with Dukkah and a squeeze of fresh lemon and some steamed cherry tomatoes on the side. My 5 year old had a version of this but without the onion and wilted spinach and rocket. She preferred raw spinach leaves.
plant-based breakfast 5
Meal plan breakfast (Sunday- hot breakfast)– Turkish bread with olive oil and dukkah, cooked mushrooms and red onion, tomato, raw cucumber and scrambled tofu and fresh lemon.

Lunch/Dinner ideas;

plant-based dinner 2
Meal Plan diner (Pasta night) -Steamed vegetables (broccoli, Brussel sprout, carrots, beans, snow peas, edamame, corn, mushrooms, kidney beans and rissoni which has been cooked in home-made vegetable broth.
plant-based dinner 1
Meal plan dinner (pasta night)– Organic spaghetti with a tomato, zucchini and mushroom and lentil sauce sprinkled with savoury yeast flakes (nutritional yeast) with a side salad. My youngest (3 year old) only wanted beetroot and grated carrot and apple for his salad.
plant-based dinner 4
Meal plan dinner – (soup night) Left over vegetable soup with lentils cooked in DIY vegetable broth, multi-grain bread, baked sweet potato, raw cucumber and tomato.
plant-based dinner 3
Roast sweet potato with a chopped tomato, avocado and cucumber guacamole with fresh lime.
plant-based dinner 5
Meal plan dinner (noodles/rice night)- Stir fry with Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles). Sometimes we add toasted sesame seeds or marinated tofu.
plant-based dinner 6
Meal plan dinner (noodle/rice night)– Basic mild curry on rice (usually use quinoa or brown rice but in this pic I’ve used basmati rice). The basic sauce is usually a combination of tomatoes, almond butter and coconut. I just added left over vegetables as well as some roasted sweet potato. For crunch I add almond flakes and on the side raw tomato and some fridge chilled banana slices in coconut which just adds a little sweetness. I also added a little bit of coconut yoghurt on the top.

Edited May 3rd 2018- you can now see more food pics over on my new Plant Based with kids Instagram account.


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