Kids Plant-based Food Swaps

January 2023 - Family Wellness

So you want to try going plant-based, but not sure what to do about the kids? The good news is that feeding kids satiating plant-based foods they’ll love is 100% possible and not nearly as tricky as one might think. Of course, loads of kid favourites are just naturally plant-based… apple sauce, PB&J sandwiches and baby carrots with hummus. But what about the “classic kid foods” that usually contain meat, dairy, eggs or gelatin? Do they have to go without? Absolutely not. Try these tried-and-true, actually delicious plant-based swaps for some of the most classic kid foods.

Chicken Nuggets
Impossible Chicken Nuggets Made From Plants
Serve with ketchup or whip together a mustard maple sauce using two parts vegan mayo, one part mustard, one part pure maple syrup and a tiny pinch of salt.

Fish fingers
Gardein Fish-Free Golden Filets
Serve with ketchup or use to make incredible fish-less tacos by popping them into tortilla shells with cucumber slices, avocado chunks and a little sea salt.

Cheesy popcorn
NoochPOP! Kinda Cheesy Popcorn
This popcorn is in a blend of avocado, olive, and coconut oils, flavoured with nutritional yeast and sea salt, and is out of this world delicious.

Fruit snacks
Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks
Made with naturally plant-based pectin. They’re also gluten-free, coloured with fruit and veggie extracts, and come in a couple of different flavours.

Crispy rice squares
MadeGood Vanilla Crispy Squares
While most crispy rice squares contain gelatin, these are made without and you won’t miss it in the least! They’re also certified gluten-free and safe for kids with peanut and tree nut allergies. Win-win!

Hot dogs
Yves Veggie Cuisine Jumbo Veggie Dogs
Grill these in a little olive oil, pop them onto a delicious bun and top with all of your favourite condiments. Yum!

Cheesy crackers
FreeYumm Cheezy Cracker Bites
Super crunchy and generously salted, these are dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and super tasty. One serving also includes a significant amount of B12.

Bagels & cream cheese
Violife Creamy Alternative to Cream Cheese
This is creamy, spreadable and tastes delicious with no coconut taste. Many bagels are naturally plant-based, but if you don’t already have a favourite, a great option is Silver Hill’s Sprouted Grain Bagels.

Dandies Vegan Mini Marshmallows
They’re very bit as good as traditional marshmallows and made without gelatin! These melt, roast and are perfect generously sprinkled into hot cocoa. Plus no artificial colours or flavours.

Chocolate dipped granola bars
MadeGood Birthday Cake Drizzled Granola Bars
Truly delicious and quite possibly the prettiest bars you’ve ever seen! They’re also gluten-free and safe for kids with peanut and tree nut allergies.

Drinkable yogurt
Maison Riviera Coconut Milk Kefir
Comes in two perfectly sweet flavours and tastes just like drinkable yogurt. If you prefer to control your own sweetness, go with the plain variety and blend with fruit or add your own sweetener of choice.

Mac & cheese
GoGo Quinoa Mac & Vegan Cheese
The pasta is made of rice and quinoa but you’d never know, and the finished product is much more reminiscent of a homemade mac and cheese than a boxed version. It’s certified gluten-free and packed with vitamin B12 too.

Ice cream
Nora’s Non-Dairy Ice Cream
There’s a huge variety of really delicious plant-based ice creams to choose from. This one is exceptionally smooth and creamy, flavourful and delicious with lots of flavour options.

Gelatin dessert
Simply Delish Jel Dessert
Your kids will never know this isn’t the gelatin dessert they’re accustomed to. It’s delicious, super wiggly and jiggly, made with natural colours and flavours and comes in several different flavours.

Grilled cheese sandwich
Swap: Earth Island Cheddar Style Slices
Grab your favourite bread, a vegan butter and these plant-based cheese slices. Start by grilling the non-buttered sides of your bread first. When the bread is good and hot, flip the bread buttered side out, pop the cheese inside and grill as usual. Your plant-based grilled cheese will be super melty and delicious—promise!

Freezer waffles
Swap: Nature’s Path Frozen Waffles
Delicious and certified gluten-free, these are made without milk and eggs. Your kids won’t miss their old freezer waffles even for a second. They also come in a variety of yummy flavours.

Swap: Maison Riviera Coconut Milk Vegan Delight Vanilla
It’s smooth, it’s creamy, it tastes exactly how yogurt should taste, and it comes in vanilla plus several fruit flavours, all of which are delicious.

Jen Kossowan is a kindergarten and grade one teacher and mama of two gorgeous kiddos. She’s passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, and can most often be found in her kitchen whipping up recipes that taste delicious while meeting her crunchy mama criteria. She started Mama.Papa.Bubba. on a whim in 2010 while living in the Middle East and has been sharing her recipes and activities there ever since.
Learn more: | IG: @mamapapabubba

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