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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!

Anjali Shah

40 Kid Approved Vegetarian Recipes for Picky Eaters

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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!

vegetarian recipes for picky eaters collage including grilled cheese, pizza, stuffed peppers, black bean tacos, black bean quesadilla, and tacos

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!

forkful of healthy mac and cheese

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.

margherita pizza with tomatoes, basil and cheese

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

collage of vegetarian breakfast recipes for picky eaters including pancakes, chocolate doughnuts, french toast bake, oatmeal with berries,

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!

Oatmeal Recipes

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, served in a white bowl with a spoon.
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!
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Peanut butter overnight oats in a mason jar with strawberries and bananas.
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
This peanut butter banana overnight oats recipe is a game-changer for your busy mornings. A perfect blend of wholesome ingredients like steel cut oats, Greek yogurt, and flax seeds make a nutritious breakfast that's ready when you are. The combination of creamy peanut butter and ripe banana is so delicious, and it will keep you full and satisfied!
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An overhead shot of pan of vegan baked oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon.
Vegan Baked Oatmeal (11 Ways!)
This vegan baked oatmeal with fresh blueberries is naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It makes for a filling brunch or special occasion breakfast! No banana, eggs, or refined sugar!
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Homemade bananas and cream oatmeal in a bowl, topped with milk.
Bananas And Cream Oatmeal
When you’re craving banana bread but want something quicker and healthier, then you’ve got to give this bananas and cream oatmeal a try! It has all of the flavor of rich, moist banana bread, but rolled into a simple healthy morning oatmeal! It's also vegan and gluten-free!
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Pumpkin spice oatmeal with blueberries in a white bowl on a wooden countertop.
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
This pumpkin spice oatmeal is a delicious, healthy breakfast that's full of fall flavors, and can easily be made on the stove top or in the microwave. Ready in under 20 minutes, kid-friendly, with a vegan and gluten free option – it's the perfect start for busy mornings!
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Gluten-Free Chocolate Oatmeal
This gluten-free chocolate oatmeal recipe is a healthy hot breakfast that tastes just like a fudge brownie! Healthy, easy, and ready in just 15 minutes, this is how to start the day right!
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Quinoa oatmeal served with banana slices, nuts, milk and berries in a white bowl with a spoon.
Quinoa Oatmeal
Switch up your morning breakfast with this warm, healthy quinoa oatmeal recipe! Hearty quinoa is simmered with nuts, fresh fruit and your milk of choice to create an oatmeal quinoa porridge that is creamy and satisfying. High in fiber, protein, naturally gluten-free and easily made vegan, it's a great way to start the day!
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Pancake Recipes

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 stacked on a white plate with oatmeal and bananas and nuts and syrup
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!
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Stack of oat flour pancakes topped with chocolate chips, banana slices and maple syrup on a white plate.
Oat Flour Pancakes
These tasty, easy oat flour pancakes make the best breakfast, brunch, or even breakfast for dinner. They're packed with hearty whole grains and a secret ingredient that makes them a little fluffy and cakey at the same time. Made with a blender batter, this healthy pancake recipe is slightly sweet, gluten-free and is the perfect way to start your day!
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A stack of apple cinnamon pancakes on the counter with apple compote and maple syrup on top.
Healthy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
These perfectly sweet, vegan apple pancakes will remind you of an apple cider donut! Made with gluten-free flour, apple juice, warm spices, and a fresh apple compote, this is a healthy, family-friendly breakfast that everyone will love!
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Overhead shot of a santa pancake on a wooden cutting board.
Santa Pancakes
These cute and festive Santa pancakes are the perfect breakfast treat on Christmas morning. With a red strawberry hat, and white banana beard, these pancakes are deliciously fun!
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A Healthy Twist on Traditional Breakfast Recipes

These recipes are a healthy twist on the originals. From healthy cinnamon rolls to french toast to scrambles, we’ve got a guilt-free comfort food fix for everyone in your family!

A pile of chocolate donuts served on a white plate.
Chocolate Donuts
Start your day with these decadent, easy chocolate donuts! They are light, fresh, delicious, and healthier when homemade! Perfect for a special breakfast, brunch or dessert!
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Overhead shot of a white pan of vegan french toast casserole with a serving spatula.
Vegan French Toast Casserole
Vegan French Toast Casserole is a quick, healthy breakfast that tastes like dessert! Made with sprouted wheat bread, apples, soy milk, flax seeds, and maple syrup, you’ll get all the decadence of a bread pudding in a nutritious package. Family-friendly and easy to make gluten-free!
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top view of easy homemade healthy cinnamon rolls recipe with healthy icing
Healthy Cinnamon Rolls
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 easy cinnamon rolls are lower in sugar and calories than traditional cinnamon rolls, and are a delicious recipe for breakfast or brunch, a holiday dessert, a special occasion, or a sweet treat with your tea or coffee anytime of the year!
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tofu scramble recipe topped with tomatoes, salsa, green onions in a blue bowl
Southwestern Tofu Scramble
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! 
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Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

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 the peanut butter sandwich 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.
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reindeer holiday sandwiches
Reindeer Holiday Sandwiches
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. 
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top view of garlic bread grilled cheese on a wooden cutting board
Gooey Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese Sandwich
This Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese with French Onions is the ultimate gooey cheesy indulgent sandwich with a healthy twist. Packed with flavor and done in minutes, it's comfort food at its best!
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Homemade easy falafel wrap recipe on a white plate.
Falafel Wrap Recipe
This delicious falafel wrap recipe is healthy comfort food at its best! These crispy falafel patties are baked instead of fried, then wrapped in a whole wheat pita and topped with spinach, tomato, and a creamy hummus sauce. Vegan, easy to make gluten free, and totally family-friendly!
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Sourdough grilled cheese sandwich with apple and brie cut and stacked on a plate with fresh herbs.
Sourdough Grilled Cheese
This irresistibly delicious sourdough grilled cheese is ready in just 10 minutes. Melted brie, thinly sliced apple, and honey are layered between two slices of sourdough, then grilled until golden. This is guaranteed to be the best sourdough sandwich you'll ever eat! 
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Dinner Vegetarian Recipes for Picky Eaters

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!

collage of vegetarian recipes for picky eaters including mac and cheese with broccoli, lentil pasta, baked potato with cheese and broccoli, black bean burger, vegetarian fajitas, and pizza

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 with broccoli served in a white bowl
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!
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avocado quesadillas with poblanos mangos and black beans stacked on a wooden cutting board
Grilled Quesadillas with Poblanos, Mangos, and Black Beans
Easy, crispy, satisfying Grilled 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!
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spinach ravioli with roasted tomatoes and basil in a blue bowl
Spinach and Cheese Ravioli with Roasted Tomatoes and Basil
Dressed up with a delicious roasted tomato sauce and fresh herbs, this store bought spinach ravioli feels like a gourmet Italian meal you can enjoy on a weeknight!
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cheese quesadilla shaped like turkeys, with bell peppers, beans and cheese
Turkey Shaped Cheese Quesadillas
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!
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Healthy baked potato topped with broccoli and cheese, served on a white plate.
Healthy Baked Potatoes
This healthy baked potatoes recipe combines gooey cheese, broccoli, and cauliflower for a satisfying and hearty meal. With vegetarian comfort food like this, you get the perfect combination of taste and texture. Ready in just one hour, this is a kid-friendly and gluten-free recipe the whole family will enjoy!
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Vegetarian fajitas in a corn tortilla topped with cheese, avocado and cilantro, served in a blue bowl.
Vegetarian Fajitas
The aroma of these smoky vegetarian fajitas will immediately win you over! Every bite is filled with lots of caramelized vegetables, spicy seasonings, protein-packed black beans, gooey Mexican cheese, and a crispy corn tortilla. Ready in 30 minutes and gluten-free, too!
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Easy sweet potato tacos with black beans and a spicy yogurt sauce served on a wooden cutting board.
Sweet Potato Tacos
These hearty and flavorful 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!
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Vegan black bean tacos with beans, avocado, veggies, and cilantro, served on a white plate.
Vegan Black Bean Tacos
These healthy and delicious vegan black bean tacos are great for an easy weeknight meal. Packed with beans, veggies, spices, and toppings of your choice, they’re full of flavor, ready in 30 minutes, and perfect for the whole family!
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Veggie supreme pizza, cut into slices, on a cutting board lined with parchment paper.
Veggie Supreme Pizza
This veggie supreme pizza is as easy as it gets! Made with gooey mozzarella, fresh basil, and tasty vegetables like green bell pepper, roma tomatoes, and kalamata olives, this savory pizza will instantly become your new favorite recipe. The best part? In just 30 minutes, you can have the most delicious pizza to serve as an appetizer or for hosting pizza night!
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Vegan bolognese with lentils on top of penne pasta, on a white plate with a parsley garnish.
Vegan Bolognese
This hearty vegan bolognese has a meaty texture from the lentils, walnuts, and celery! It's simple to make, family-friendly, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Scoop it onto your favorite pasta for an easy weeknight meal. 
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Healthy Stuffed Vegetarian Peppers
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!
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slice of easy hearty italian healthy vegetable lasagna recipe (low calorie, low fat, kid friendly vegetarian lasagna) on a white plate
Hearty Healthy Vegetable Lasagna (Easy, Kid-Friendly!)
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. 
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easy healthy vegetarian layered taco casserole with tortillas in a white baking dish
Layered Taco Casserole With Tortillas
This layered taco casserole makes a quick and easy weeknight meal. Layers of corn tortillas, salsa, refried beans, and veggies transform this Mexican-inspired casserole into a hearty meal! Taste-tested and kid-approved! 
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veggie quesadilla recipe - vegetarian black beans tomato corn quesadilla served with cold beer salsa and yogurt dip sause on dark wooden background.
Veggie Quesadilla Recipe
These easy healthy veggie quesadillas are packed with black beans, gooey cheese, and crunchy veggies, and are ready in under 30 minutes!
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Margherita flatbread on a wooden cutting board, topped with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella.
Margherita Flatbread
This easy Margherita flatbread recipe is a delicious take on the classic pizza, with fewer calories! Topped with gooey mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, this flatbread is loaded with flavor in every bite! It’s naturally vegetarian and can easily be made gluten-free, too!
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whole wheat pasta recipe topped with spinach, pasta sauce, parmesan cheese on a white plate, with a fork
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe
This homemade whole wheat pasta recipe is a healthy twist on your regular pasta. Made with whole wheat flour, this pasta not only tastes great but also packs a nutritional punch.
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Healthy baked spaghetti squash casserole, in a casserole dish topped with fresh herbs.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
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.
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Instant Pot chili mac and cheese served in a white bowl.
Instant Pot Chili Mac (Vegetarian!)
Instant Pot 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.
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Baked Vegan Pasta
This cheesy, healthy, Baked Vegan Pasta 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!
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Loaded veggie nachos piled with veggies, jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, olives served on a white platter.
Loaded Veggie Nachos
Making loaded veggie nachos has never been easier! Layers of chips, melty cheeses, and the best toppings come together to make the perfect side dish or main dish. These nachos are easily customizable making them great for the whole family. Enjoy them for cinco de mayo, game day, or movie nights – this no meat nacho recipe is delicious any time of year!
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I hope you were able to find some inspiration to encourage your picky eaters to eat a variety of healthy and delicious foods! These are some of our favorites in my family!

Check Out These Other Healthy Vegetarian Recipe Round-Ups!

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 FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

18 responses to “40 Kid Approved Vegetarian Recipes for Picky Eaters”

  1. Yay! So glad I’ve found this list! My kids love the vegetable lasagna and pizza. Looking forward to trying your pancake recipes 🙂5 stars

  2. I’ve got two super picky eaters and was getting desperate as I was tired of making the same three things that they will actually eat. This compilation is life-saving!5 stars

  3. Oh I see so many recipes on here my nephew and nieces will love! I’ve made them the whole wheat pasta and they loved it!5 stars

  4. These all look so delicious – we are looking to include more vegetarian recipes into our diet, and this will help with our weekly meal plan a lot!5 stars

  5. I just had weight loss surgery (gastric sleeve) on Friday and am trying to compile a list of healthy recipes for once I am able to start introducing regular food. I was pointed in the direction of your blog and my mind is BLOWN. I think I’m going to make some of the stuff this week just to test it on my family! Thank you for doing this and sharing it with the world. I can’t wait to try your recipes!

    • Hi Megan! I’m so glad you found my blog and it’s so wonderful to “meet” you! I can’t wait to hear how your family likes my recipes (and how you like them once you start introducing regular food again!) I wish you a speedy recovery and a wonderful path to better health! 🙂

  6. Wow! These all look incredible. As I scrolled by every photo I thought, “I should make that!” Can’t wait to whip up some of these over the Christmas holidays!

    • Thank you so much Rachel!! I’m sure you will love all these recipes — keep me posted on how they turn out! 🙂

  7. Hi Anjali! I just have to say that I cannot wait to try out some of these recipes… and I’m not even vegetarian! I’m going to make that lasagna, and I don’t care what my steak-eating housemates say. Chances are, they’ll probably want a slice, and who knows: maybe I’ll give in, or maybe I’ll just keep it all for myself! Thanks again, and keep up the great work. I’ll definitely be back!

    • Thank you so much Matt!! I can’t wait to hear how you and your housemates like the lasagna recipe (and any others you try from this list!) Keep me posted on how it goes! 🙂

  8. Great list, Anjali! I can totally see why these are your most popular recipes. I love your vegetarian chili. And that mixed berry smoothie, and those cinnamon rolls look yum too!

    • Aw thank you so much Olivia!! I’m so glad you like some of the recipes on this list 🙂 You’ll have to let me know if you try the cinnamon rolls — they are delish!

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