It’s the end of November, which to me means the end-of-term rush to complete the last major assignment for my fall masters’ course. I’m juggling full-time work and part-time grad school right now which has led to me spending less time on meal preparation, wanting to maximize my time at home having fun with my kids. The end is in sight! After my course ends next week, I’ll take a break from schoool from a while and re-focus on work, family life and recipe development!
Most parents are busy-busy-busy these days, juggling multiple activities, especially as we get into the holiday season. So I was pleased to hear from California-based freelance writer and Earthgiven Kitchen reader Virginia Cunningham. She has asked to write a guest post, sharing vegan recipes and tips for quick and easy meal times with kids; sounds like just what we all need! It features recipes from The Post Punk Kitchen, Healthy Blender Recipes, Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking and Earthgiven Kitchen. Thank you, Virginia!
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5 Delicious Kid-Approved Vegan Recipes for the On-the-Go Mom
by Virginia Cunningham
If you are like most North American families, you have probably raised your kids as loyal omnivores. However, if you’re trying to include more meatless meals into your family’s eating schedule and steer them more towards the direction of a vegan lifestyle, you’ll find that getting them to forgo the chicken and beef may be easier than you think, especially when you have a few delicious recipes up your sleeve.
It can actually be pretty simple to get all of the nutrients your kids need with a vegan diet, as a plant-based diet is generally more nutritious than that of the Standard American Diet, and because of that, the popularity of veganism is actually growing in the U.S.
If your family is accustomed to eating meat, pushing them towards a plant-based diet may seem daunting at first, but it’s really quite simple– all you really may need for a supplement is Vitamin B12.
It can certainly be done, but it takes some planning and some kid-friendly vegan food!
A lot of vegan dishes could be tough sells to kids at first, but these ones shouldn’t be a problem for most, as they’re particularly flavorful and meant to be appealing to younger age groups. Plus, if your schedule is tight, they’re easy on prep time as well.
Usually a favorite Asian dish and sometimes made with chicken or beef, this vegan option gets its protein from peanuts and tofu, and is an excellent choice for giving kids a dish they’ll like while keeping their energy high.
The ingredients list is a little long, but you can omit a few of the smaller items like agave syrup, tamari and green onions.
With only 30 minutes to prepare and a simple ingredients list, this is akin to a burrito filling and has a ton of flavor. You can essentially just throw the ingredients in a saucepan and cook everything up — dinner is served!
The avocado flavor will keep your kids hooked, and while it sounds like a “tricky” recipe, creating the avocado spread is incredibly easy if you have a food processor.
It can make a great side dish or you could add walnuts to make it a main course.
Mac n’ Cheese has always been the old go-to for parents with hungry kids and precious little time on their hands.
This recipe gives you a simple way to make a vegan style mac n’ cheese, and Daiya cheese and nutritional yeast work for the recipe as well.
Be warned, it could be a tough sell if your kids have tasted or are used to regular mac n’ cheese, but it’s certainly worth a try. Who knows — they might like the vegan version more!
The flavor from the gnocchi and pesto should be enough to convince your kids.
It has the added benefit of being easy to prepare in bulk with a simple ingredients list, so you can prep this ahead of time and then freeze a few containers of it for a rainy day.
Making Vegan Work for Your Family
Everyone’s family situation is different, so depending on where your kids are at with their own diets, and what they’re willing to eat/not eat will have a lot to say about what you can and cannot cook for them.
But assuming they’re committed to a vegan diet, these recipes should all be pretty easy sells for them, and should be especially good for getting your kids the proper nutrition and energy they need.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health writer and proud mother of three in the Los Angeles area. Writing in collaboration with NorthWest has not only given her the opportunity to share great recipes like these, but it has also given her the chance to share her vast knowledge of personal wellness and fitness.