I want part of my blog to remain lifestyle focused. As in, a little peek into our daily life as a vegan family, just to show you the reality of what it looks like with a toddler!
As I have mentioned, my husband and I are long time vegans. We had to unlearn some unhealthy habits formed as omnivores and still have cravings or inclinations towards some non-vegan comfort foods at times. We occasionally have a Beyond burger or fake bacon or cheese.
What I have found since introducing food to our 20-month-old daughter, is that she doesn’t have those same bad habits (won’t touch any “fake” meat or cheese). She is kind of a blank slate when it comes to taste, but clearly has her own preference. Luckily, she loves pretty much any fruit, will drink a green smoothie and likes vegan yogurt.
But other than that, she can be pretty picky and does not like a lot of our previous ‘go-to’ vegan convenience foods or even beans. We keep trying to introduce foods to her that we know are healthy – like beans and veggies – but she would rather stick to pasta and rice!
I will talk more about toddler nutrition in an upcoming post. I’m sharing this with you to show you that even with your best intentions and introducing foods in a certain order or by the trendy ‘Baby-Led Weaning’ method, you can still have a toddler who shuns broccoli. And that is OK.
BUT, teaching our own little vegan to eat HAS forced us to try to eat more simply and more cleanly.
I’m going to share here two simple things I made this week to try to give our ‘picky’ girl some variety and nutrition while sticking to unprocessed whole plant foods.
SNACK: BABY “TRAIL MIX” – nut free
Only three ingredients! I used puffed kamut ($2.50 a bag from local natural food store), a naturally sweet grain, but you could use any other puffed grain too. To that I added diced apricots, but you could use other dried fruit and coconut chips (not flakes).
Fun Facts about Kamut: This grain from the wheat family is high in Magnesium, Selenium, Iron and other essential minerals.
That’s it. The fat and fiber helps to keep her full, since small kids can’t have whole nuts usually found in “trail mix”, and these are all textures she is OK with right now.
DINNER: “THAI” PASTA
I got this idea for a quick weeknight dinner from Mayim Bialik’s book Mayim’s Vegan Table, which has many easy family friendly vegan recipes. I changed her recipe a bit by using edamame instead of mushrooms (husband is not a fan of mushrooms). It’s basically stir-fry veggies (carrots, peppers, spinach), cilantro, green onion and edamame added to spaghetti (we used angel hair, $0.79 for 32 oz. at Aldi) with an agave-sweetened sesame soy sauce. We topped it with chopped peanuts.
This was probably our cheapest meal with week, costing under $5 with leftovers. Bonus, my daughter will eat any noodles! I only think the sauce was a bit too oily and not salty or spicy enough, but that was easily remedied with Sriracha and soy sauce. Can’t beat the ease of pasta and veggies for dinner!
Other dinners this week:
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos w Guacamole
Chickpea “No-tuna” salad sandwiches – there are many recipes and variations on this simple lunch staple
Hummus, Violife, and Spinach melt
I hope that gives you ideas for quick cheap meal or snack you can make with ingredients you probably have on hand!
I’ll be sharing more posts like this in the future so thanks for reading!