Vegetarian Meals that Keep Toddlers and Parents Happy

We’ve taken the Baby Led Weaning approach ever since Alexis started solid food at 6 months. Basically, she eats what we eat. No special “baby food” and she feeds herself. This has meant I’ve needed to work harder to make healthier meals for us (somehow, I was okay with feeding myself enchiladas overloaded with cheese, but not the baby. Go figure.) It also means making sure I make meals that are baby-friendly… such as leaving out nuts, and serving cooked spinach instead of raw, since little molar-less babies can’t really chew the raw stuff.

One of our favorite family meals is vegetarian tacos. For Alexis, we simply skip the shell and give her a plate full of taco fillings: brown rice, black beans, avocado slices, shredded cheese, cooked strips of red pepper. Sometimes, I make guacamole. I think Alexis would eat the entire bowl herself if we let her. But of course we don’t, because we love it, too!

The internet is full of delicious vegetarian recipes, many of which are kid-friendly. Some of the meals we’ve all loved recently:

  • Vegancognito’s General Tao’s Tofu – This one is delicious. I served the broccoli without mixing it in to the sauce. Alexis had a plate of rice, little pieces of broccoli, and small cubes of tofu in sweet sauce. She ate it all, and signed “more” for seconds. Even when I served her a little pudding for dessert, she went back to finish all her broccoli.
  • Everyday Reading’s Spinach Quiche – Spinach is a great source of iron, and this quiche makes it easy for everyone to eat. Even better, this recipe is so easily modified. I am lazy and use a store-bought crust with this one. I was an egg short one day, so I added some extra cheese and the whole thing still came out delicious. In addition to spinach, I like to add whatever other fillings I have on hand. Sauteed mushrooms, red onion, and swiss cheese are all nice additions. The last time I made this, Alexis loved it so much she had three platefuls. (If you are feeling like putting in the effort, try making Broccoli, Mushroom, & Gouda Quiche. It is so good. And don’t cheat, make the crust they recommend.)
  • Once a Month Meals’ Southwest Rice and Beans – Served with sliced avocado and a side of green beans. For grown ups, roll it up in a warm tortilla and eat it like a burrito. Simple and satisfying.
  • Zucchini Herb Casserole – This is a good way to use up excess zucchini. I add in a can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained), and even my husband, who doesn’t care for kidney beans, doesn’t mind them in this casserole. Serve with warm buttermilk biscuits.

Those are a few of our favorites. I’m always looking for delicious new recipes we can all enjoy. Do you have any vegetarian family favorites to share?

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