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For every child out there, there’s a frustrated parent at mealtime. Okay, maybe not every parent, but many more than we think, and it can be quite daunting to “get it right” when it comes to feeding your kids. Some are very picky and will only eat certain veggies, or leave out certain colors or textures, others won’t eat anything that’s not familiar to them already. I’ve been a parent for more than 10 years, and trust me, I’ve seen it all. Having some easy-to-make Kid-Friendly Dinners Under 30 Minutes is a lifesaver!

Often, I hear parents complain about their kitchens being like a restaurant because what one likes the other one doesn’t. Mealtimes can also feel endless because even though there are those little ones who basically inhale their food in seconds, there are also others who eat very slowly and need more time. At times, it feels like feeding your children is a complex science, but we do have a few tips and tricks which might make your life (a little) easier:

  • Try to go for easily customizable dishes: this will help you with the issue of different tastes. For example, you can remove the tomatoes for those who run at the sight of them or add more rice for the ones who can’t get enough of it.
  • Let your little ones help: I know this may sound impossible when you’re rushing to get food ready for the family during a busy day of school runs and work calls, but you can start doing it on those slower days like the weekend. Kids love to get involved in the process and are much more likely to eat what they helped prepare.
  • Keep it simple: in my experience, the fewer ingredients you use in your meals the less likely you are to find yourself in a dinnertime war. Too many ingredients, flavors, and textures can be overwhelming for kids so keep that in mind.
  • When possible, opt for finger (or hand-eaten) foods: Things like burritos, pizza and tacos are always more fun to eat than a steaming soup.
  • Try to choose fast-food favorites and give them a healthy spin: Like the point above, creating dishes that remind kids of the fun of eating restaurant meals outside the home makes food more exciting (yes, sometimes they can be too bored to eat).
  • Introduce one new ingredient at a time: Don’t go crazy on the new healthy foods and throw them all in at once. If you’re keen on your child eating kale, then add it to a few recipes a few times a week and see how it goes. This smoothie is a great option and was designed specifically for kids!
  • Try eating with them when possible: I know this is not easy to accomplish every day of our busy lives, but when you can, try sitting at the table with them and talk about your day. Mealtime is a moment to slow down and connect with your loved ones.

We all want our children to eat healthily and enjoy it at the same time, but remember, nobody is perfect and we can only try our best. This is why we are thrilled to compile a list of Plant-Based on a Budget Kid-Friendly Dinners under 30 minutes. You can use this list as trial and error but I’m pretty sure you’ll find a couple of them you can work with.

Rainbow Veggie Bowl

Bowl of colorful veggies with a small bowl of green tahini dressing

This gorgeous and colorful Veggie Bowl is the perfect example of those customizable recipes we mentioned above, you can use what you have and whatever your child loves the most. It’s also a great way to mix whole grains, veggies, and plant-based proteins in a fun way. It might be a good idea to make the dressing without the cilantro or to add a bit less. A creamy dressing makes every veggie taste better! One of the true kid-friendly dinners!

Beans & Rice Burrito

Three halves of Bean and Rice Burritos on a wooden board with chili sauce on the side

This one might become a family favorite, both adults and kids will end up requesting it several times a week! It has it all, the protein in the beans, the whole grains of the rice, and the healthy fats from the avocado, plus it tastes amazing! Make sure you always have a good supply of wraps in your pantry because this Bean & Rice Burrito might be a lifesaver!

Sweet & Salty Tofu Bites

Sweet & Salty Tofu Bites on a white round dish

Although not technically a full meal, these Sweet & Salty Tofu Bites can be a great companion to some simple brown rice with veggies. While you prepare these bites, you can have your brown rice cooking on your instant pot (or you might have some ready from your Sunday meal prep!), and voila! You can add some steamed peas and you have yourself a simple and VERY kid-friendly dinner.

Sweet Potato Burritos

Sweet Potato Burrito | Easy Lunch Recipe | Plant-Based on a Budget | #lunch #burrito #sweetpotato #mexican #vegan #guacamole #avocado #plantbasedonabudget

Burritos, again? Absolutely! These are a great option for the classic beans and rice burrito and the best part is they can be ready on your table in 30 minutes or less. The sweetness of the sweet potato and the softer textures all around, make these burritos a perfect dinner for the little ones (or not so little ones!). Give them a try and add it to your kid-friendly dinners repertoir.

Rapid-Rise Pizza

Homemade Pizza on a Wooden Board

Ok, this recipe takes 40 minutes instead of 30 but it is a perfect choice for the weekend or when there are friends and family over so we just couldn’t leave it out. Plus, it is a perfect recipe for the kids to get involved in the process, right? As if those are not enough reasons to go for this Rapid-Rise Pizza, it also has the perk of being entirely customizable when it comes to toppings. Bring on the weekend baking!

Perfect Pasta Salad

Bowl of Pasta Salad

This Perfect Pasta Salad recipe is such a great option when it comes to kids’ meals! You can have it prepped in advance and can focus on using seasonal ingredients. Plus, it is the ideal picnic meal and we know how much kids love to eat outside in the sun, right? Bring along a large ripe avocado and slice it right before serving it, meal sorted.

Pumpkin Curry

finished bowl of pumpkin curry against a white marble background

Creamy and slightly sweet curries are a staple at my house. Don’t be scared of the spices, you can make it very mild and serve it to the kids and add some kick for the grown-ups after. The chunks of tofu and the sweet pumpkin make this curry recipe an excellent choice for kid-friendly meal times. Enjoy!

Crockpot Four Bean Chili

Crockpot Four Bean Chili | Plant-Based on a Budget | #chili #beans #crockpot #instant #pot #vegan #dinner #plantbasedonabudget

This Crockpot Four Bean Chili is another hit with the kids, plus it has all the bean protein and fiber goodness and pairs perfectly with some simple white basmati rice. To make it amazing and even more child-friendly, I like to add chunks of avocado on top (or mashed is even better!) with a few tortilla chips on the side. So good!

We hope these simple plant-based kid-friendly dinners help you find some mealtime staples that make cooking for the kids a little less stressful! Rotate them throughout the week and see which ones resonate with your children best and don’t hesitate to make a few modifications in order to make them work for your family.

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