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Finding vegetarian meals that please the meat-eaters and picky eaters in your home can be a challenge. Fear not! We’ve rounded up 20+ vegetarian meals for kids that are nutritious and everyone will like. (Be sure to try the Tomato Bisque, Cheese Calzones, and Egg Fried Rice!)
Why Vegetarian Meals for Kids?
Let the record show, we aren’t vegetarians.
There are so many benefits to eating a more vegetarian diet.
It’s Budget Friendly
A 2015 study in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition found that a vegetarian diet could save Americans about $750 a year!
Vegetarians are less likely to be overweight, have high blood pressure, or get type 2 diabetes.
Regularly consuming a diet that contains fruits and vegetables is strongly associated with a reduced risk of some cancers.
There are many other perks to eating more veggies and less meat, but you get the point. While adults may be convinced, kids may have a harder time simply because the meals don’t taste as good to them.
We’re here to help!
20+ Vegetarian Meals for Kids
I serve this decadent yet veggie-rich soup with what we call “Grilled Cheese Dippers” (i.e. grilled cheese sandwiches cut into sticks). This soup freezes well, so make extra. If you want a gluten-free version, try our Instant Pot Tomato Soup.
Pizza Quesadillas are a filling snack or light meal that parents can feel good about feeding their kids. This tasty pizza snack comes together fast and can be customized so easily!
Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Spinach Lasagna Rolls are a variation of traditional lasagna where the ingredients are rolled up instead of layered. This variation is vegetarian and filled with a mix of cheeses, marinara, and spinach.
Make Ahead Lunch Wraps
With just a few simple ingredients, these easy and tasty wraps work for lunch or dinner. Make a big batch of them to have on hand in the freezer.
Instant Pot Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese
This recipe takes just 18 minutes from start to finish, dirties only one pot, and tastes creamy and delicious! Plus, it’s made with all real food ingredients. Don’t have an Instant Pot? Try our Mac and Cheese with Sneaky Sweet Potato instead. Kids love it.
This one may bring back fond childhood memories! Egg-in-a-Hole is a cheap, simple and fun meal idea that the whole family will enjoy. Serve with fresh fruit or one of our smoothies.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Filled with beans, tomatoes, chiles, corn, and more, our Vegetarian Tortilla Soup only gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. It’s a “one-pot wonder” that I’ve been making and freezing for years for my family.
Egg Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce
This fried rice is full of flavor and is filling even without meat. My husband and some of my kids (there’s always a picky one, right?) love it. Plus, it’s packed full of fiber, good fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
These healthy pumpkin pancakes are packed with irresistible fall flavors. Although they’re made with 100% whole wheat flour, these flapjacks retain their light, fluffy texture. Make extras to freeze or refrigerate for later while you’re at it. Serve with scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs for more protein.
Instant Pot Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Only 4 ingredients make up this nutritious Instant Pot Spaghetti recipe that your family will love. You’ll have Pot Whole Wheat Spaghetti done in about 15 minutes and will only dirty up one pot! Now, that’s my kind of meal.
This easy, protein-rich main dish can be customized to fit your vegetarian needs. Serve along with our Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes or Smoothies (see below) for an delicious breakfast-for-dinner night.
Learn how to save time and money and eat healthier by prepping frozen smoothie packs ahead of time. Use our 7 different delicious smoothie pack recipes to start filling your freezer today.
7 Must Have Smoothie Recipes
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The BEST Cheese Calzones
Our Cheese Calzone recipe is simply the best! This portable pizza pocket has been tested over and over and is made with a blend of creamy ricotta, gooey mozzarella, and savory Parmesan cheese. In case they aren’t devoured on the spot (doubtful!), we’ve also included freezing instructions.
4-Ingredient Baked Tortellini
Need a super easy 4-ingredient dish for dinner that everyone will love? Baked Tortellini (with sneaky spinach to up the nutrition) is it. This comforting casserole is the perfect weeknight meal!
Pull back just a little on the spice in this delicious chili when cooking for the kiddos. Top with all their favorite chili toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, and oyster crackers.
Pile on the veggies (and avoid the meat) when making this super simple fake out “pizza”. Easy enough for older kids to make!
Here’s a fun and delicious way to get more veggies into the kids. Toddlers to adults love these hand-held, freezer-friendly veggie bites.
Easy Cheesy Baked Pasta
A simple, comforting, vegetarian baked pasta that feeds a crowd. I use whole wheat penne pasta to make it just a little healthier.
Eggs, cow’s milk and cheese, beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and quinoa are all good sources of vegetarian protein.
According to St. Louis Children’s Hospital dietitian Tara Todd, “It’s OK to be a vegetarian as long as kids choose a healthy substitute for meat and will eat enough fruits and vegetables,” Todd says. “But kids need to fully understand what’s involved with being a good vegetarian. If they’re not doing it well, they should see a dietitian.” (source)
We hope you found a few keepers in our list of vegetarian meals for kids. If you’re looking for vegetarian side dishes to go with these mains, check out these favorite sides and salads recipes.