Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!
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If you’re wracking your head trying to come up with vegetarian recipes for picky eaters, you’ve come to the right place! These 40 recipes are not only kid-approved, but mom approved too! Healthy, simple, and delicious, these recipes will make everyone in your family happy!
When it comes to preparing healthy meals for your picky eaters you may find yourself in a rut!
I know I’ve been there! There have been weeks when we’ve done the same rotation of recipes, like cheese quesadillas, pasta with butter and parmesan cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.
After a while, everyone is tired of eating the same thing!
But it’s a challenge to find new recipes that your picky eaters will actually eat, and that you too will enjoy!
Sometimes in our house we run into the challenge that the kids want meals that don’t have onions, or very many spices. They just want something plain and simple.
While my husband and I want the flavor!
Coaxing your picky eaters into trying new things can be a challenge.
The goal is always to be able to prepare one meal that everyone will eat and enjoy without any complaints.
While all kids have their own preferences and dislikes, I find that these recipes are usually kid approved!
You can also easily make substitutions if your kids don’t like a particular veggie, or spice!
There’s no need to have boring meals to satisfy your picky eaters. Use this helpful meal planning template to make weekly meals a breeze!
What Do Picky Vegetarians Eat?
If you or someone in your family is a picky eater and a vegetarian, you may feel like your options are limited. However, there truly is a great deal of variety you can enjoy!
Vegetarian recipes for picky eaters does not need to be complicated.
What you can eat really depends on what you like and dislike. If you or your child are they type of picky eater that does not like many different vegetables, it’s all about finding the 5 or so vegetables you do like.
My kids love carrots. They are slightly sweet, and have a nice crunch. They’re also crazy about bell peppers, broccoli, corn, spinach, peas, and cauliflower. These might not be the same vegetables your picky eaters enjoy, but find a few. Keep trying until you hit upon a few that they will eat. Then use those over and over again.
Tastes change, so as your child grows and matures, you may find they like things they didn’t used to.
I also encourage the same sort of effort when it comes to fruit, although fruit doesn’t seem to be as much as a challenge as vegetables. Introduce fresh fruit at breakfast, lunch, snacks, or as a dessert after dinner.
My kids really will eat all fruits, but bananas, apples, pears, berries, and all types of melon are their favorites.
As far as main dishes are concerned, I’ve found that picky eaters will usually go for carbs. Instead of opting for white carbs, introduce whole grains that are high in fiber.
Consider serving whole wheat pasta, whole grain flour tortillas for quesadillas, whole grain bread for sandwiches.
Nut butters are also a great option to use, and are high in nutrients, protein, and fat.
Picky eaters also usually enjoy eating cheese. While cheese is fine to use, make sure that you feeding your picky eaters cheese in moderation.
What Vegetarian Recipes For Picky Eaters Can I Cook?
I find that not all picky eaters are picky about the same thing. Some kids are picky about vegetables, while others are picky about textures.
You might be surprised to find that your child will reject raw broccoli, but will happily eat it roasted or sautéed. The trick is finding the preparation of the vegetable that works well for your child.
You really have to continue to introduce new foods to your picky eater to help encourage them to try new things.
However, I’ve found that there are a few universally popular recipes that you can make that most everyone will love and enjoy.
Pizza: It’s a known fact that kids love pizza, right? You can make homemade pizza that is healthier and more nutritious, yet will still satisfy the kids. Use whole wheat pizza dough, reduce the amount of cheese, and sneak in a few veggies. I suggest slices of tomato, diced peppers, and fresh spinach.
Nachos: Who doesn’t love nachos? They are also simple and versatile to prepare. Use baked tortilla chips, and less cheese to make these healthier. Then load up on black beans, and veggies. I like to add chopped bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, and scallions for color.
Quesadillas: Kids love quesadillas, but add some additional nutrients by using whole grain tortillas, adding in some beans for protein, and a few chopped vegetables.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: A universally kid friendly recipe, use whole grain bread, add try to sneak in some finely chopped leafy greens!
Macaroni and Cheese: Macaroni and cheese is always a hit! Use whole grain macaroni, and add in some leafy greens, peas, or other veggies to sneak in some vegeables.
Tacos: My kids love tacos, and I love them too! I love taco night because everyone can add their favorite toppings, and we’re all happy! Start with a base of black beans, or even sautéd vegetables, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower. Then allow the kids to add their favorite toppings such as sour cream, avocado, cheese, or salsa.
Breakfast Vegetarian Recipes for Picky Eaters
When it comes to breakfast, it can be a little easier to satisfy your picky eaters. But how about something they will love, and you will too! These healthy breakfast recipes are high in fiber, rich in vitamins and nutrients, and low in sugar!
It’s a win for everyone, and the kids will think you’re the best chef!
I’ve been able to encourage my kids to eat more oatmeal by changing up the add-ins. Adding ingredients like fresh fruit adds natural sweetness. Then I sneak in some chia or flax seeds for their added nutritional value.
Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal is a brilliant way to start the day! This healthy and satisfying breakfast is filled with rolled oats, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, coconut sugar, milk, and naturally sweet strawberries. It's hearty, vegan-friendly, ready in just 20 minutes, and sugar-free!
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats are so delicious they taste like dessert. This easy to grab and go breakfast is packed with nutritious ingredients like steel-cut oats, yogurt, nut butter, flaxseed, fruit, cinnamon, and nuts. Prep time is just 5 minutes the night before, making this the perfect breakfast for busy mornings!
This Warm Berry Quinoa Oatmeal is a great way to start the day! Switch up your morning breakfast with added this delicious and creamy dish, filled with fresh berries, nuts, quinoa and your milk of choice. High in fiber, protein, naturally gluten-free and easily made vegan!
What kid doesn’t love pancakes? These pancake recipes use whole grain flour, and are low in sugar! They always put a smile on my kids face when I surprise them with pancakes in the morning.
Healthy Pancakes with Oats and Sprouted Wheat
These healthy pancakes made with oats and sprouted wheat are light, fluffy, slightly sweet, and so good for you! The combination of the two whole grain flours helps keep you full much longer than white flour thanks to their fiber and protein. Kid-friendly and parent-approved!
These perfectly sweet, apple cinnamon pancakes will remind you of an apple cider donut! Made with whole wheat flour, apple cider, warm spices and a fresh apple compote, this is a healthy, family-friendly breakfast that everyone will love!
French toast bread pudding is a healthy breakfast casserole that tastes like dessert! Made with sprouted wheat bread, apples, low-fat cream cheese, egg whites, and a touch of sugar and spices, you’ll get all the decadent goodness of a bread pudding in a nutritious package.
If you’ve been on the hunt for Healthy Cinnamon Rolls, you have come to the right place. This is the best ever ooey-gooey cinnamon roll recipe! Made with a few healthy swaps, these cinnamon rolls are healthy and comforting, and you’ll want to use this recipe time and time again!
This incredible Tofu Scramble is loaded with lots of healthy veggies, beans, warm spices, and cheese. It's the perfect 30-minute breakfast, brunch or dinner idea that the whole family will love. If you're looking for a vegan friendly alternative to scrambled eggs, this easy tofu scramble is for you!
Sandwiches are always a simple way to get something healthy on the table for lunch in a hurry. When using nutrient rich ingredients you’ll get your fiber, protein, veggies or fruit rolled into one simple-to-make meal!
Gourmet Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich
Who said that peanut butter sandwiches had to be 1) boring 2) just for kids and 3) the same every time? Sometimes reinventing a classic is just what you need to get out of a rut.
These super cute and healthy Reindeer Holiday Sandwiches are filled with peanut butter and fresh fruit. Whole wheat bread is cut into a heart shape to make a reindeer face, with pretzels for antlers, and chocolate chips for the eyes, and M&M-style candies for the nose.
Melted brie and taleggio cheese, sliced pear, arugula, and honey are sandwiched between a whole wheat baguette and pressed to perfection to create this gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. Ready in just 15 minutes and kid-friendly too!
Dinnertime can be the most challenging time of the day to get a meal on the table that the whole family will eat and enjoy! It’s especially challenging when you have picky eaters in the house. These recipes are sure to please!
If your kids like tacos, pasta, pizza, or quesadillas, then these recipes will make them smile. I’ve snuck in some veggies, and substituted the traditional white carbs for whole grains, but I promise they won’t even notice!
Healthy Mac and Cheese
Healthy Mac and Cheese is the comfort food you have been craving! It’s so creamy and decadent, and is filled with whole wheat macaroni, veggies, and a rich, cheesy sauce. It's lower in calories and fat than your typical mac and cheese recipe, but still super satisfying and absolutely delicious!
Avocado Quesadillas with Poblanos, Mangos, and Black Beans
Easy, crispy, satisfying Avocado Quesadillas are filled with creamy avocados, protein-packed black beans, gooey cheese, spicy poblanos, and sweet mango. Ready in 30 minutes and the perfect weeknight meal!
These absolutely adorable, Thanksgiving inspired cheese quesadillas are shaped like little turkeys but are completely vegetarian! Not to mention, they are mind-blowing delicious and super kid friendly. Each tasty quesadilla is filled with black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and bell peppers sandwiched between two whole wheat tortillas. Fun, festive, and perfect for the holidays!
This healthy broccoli baked potato recipe is loaded with cheese and fun toppings, is easy to make, and is totally satisfying! It's vegetarian comfort food at its best, and is a meal that the whole family will enjoy.
The aroma of these Smoky Vegetarian Fajitas will make you smack your lips and your stomach growl. Every bite is filled with lots of caramelized vegetables, spicy seasonings, protein-packed black beans, gooey Mexican cheese, and a crispy corn tortilla.
These hearty sweet potato tacos are loaded with refried black beans, veggies, and topped with a spicy Greek Yogurt taco sauce. They're gluten-free, easily made vegan, healthy, delicious and super family-friendly! The best part? They're ready in just 30 minutes!
These healthy and delicious vegan tacos are great for an easy weeknight meal. Packed with black beans, veggies, and spices, they're full of flavor, ready in 30 minutes, and perfect for the whole family!
This healthy homemade pizza is loaded with veggies, made with a whole grain crust, and topped with gooey mozzarella and fresh parmesan. Ready in 30 minutes and guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters!
Vegan Bolognese with Lentils
This hearty and healthy vegan bolognese has great texture with the addition of walnuts, lentils, and celery. It's an easy family friendly weeknight meal that's done in 30 minutes!
These stuffed vegetarian bell peppers are full of Mexican flavors and are perfect for a weeknight meal. They are gluten-free and can easily be made vegan too!
Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Lasagna
This super satisfying veggie lasagna is a hearty, healthy version of the classic Italian recipe. Made with whole wheat noodles, fresh herbs, packed with veggies and a mixture of cheeses, this is a one dish meal that will soon become a favorite among your family and friends.
This healthy main dish has all the comfort and flavor of a pasta bake, without the pasta! This spaghetti squash casserole is easy to make and packed full of nutritious ingredients for a delicious family meal.
Healthy Vegetarian Chili Mac (Instant Pot Friendly!)
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac is the perfect recipe when you need dinner in a hurry. Healthy and full of flavor, this hearty meal can easily be made vegan or gluten-free! Recipe also includes stove top instructions.
This cheesy, healthy, Vegetarian Pasta Bake recipe is so easy to make and packed full of tasty, nutritious ingredients. Lightened up with roasted veggies, paired with a rich tomato sauce, it's a meal that the whole family will enjoy!
If you have tried any of these vegetarian recipes for picky eaters or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!