5 Minute Vegetarian Snacks and Meals for Toddlers

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5 minute snacks for toddlers

Coming up easy little to no prep vegetarian snacks for my kids isn’t always easy when you’re running on very little sleep. Half of the time I open my fridge and just stare wondering what I can make my three-year-old and one-year-old that they can both eat. My one-year-old only has 6 teeth at the moment so finding foods that he can easily eat by himself is not always an easy task.

Meal time is so much eaiser than snacks because I get so tired that I can’t even remember to put the coffee I just ground up in my pour over before I pour the hot water into it. (Oops!).  And many times I give into something that I don’t want them to eat because the snack is easy instead of filling and healthy.

And sometimes I have all my ducks in a row but most of the time my ducks are scattered all over creation. So instead of beating myself for not being “the perfect mom” (if such a thing exists) I have this little list to help keep me sane.

So let’s simplify things, shall we?

What I love about this list is that the food listed here is soft and easy to chew. Obviously you never leave a child alone while they are eating but I like that most of the food on here probably won’t pose as a choking hazard.

This list is also nice if you are leaving your kids with a baby sitter. Just print it out and have it hanging on the refrigerator for a quick reference. Then you don’t have to sit there and explain which foods your child can or cannot have.

Another thing I like that about this list is that the simple foods encourage self feeding and helps them with fine motor skills. This then frees up my hands to read to both my kids during lunch time (or check Facebook).

So here is the free printable list that helps me prepare quick meals and snacks on the fly that will keep your toddler full and satisfied! 18 Vegetarian Snack Ideas!

Thanks for reading! Did I miss something? Comment below what you would add to the list!

P.S. If you’re wondering if Vegetarins get enough protien click here!

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Do Vegetarians get enough protein?

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Someone asked me the other day how much protein we get in a day and I couldn’t give a very detailed answer. I felt like we probably get enough but wasn’t exactly sure how much we get in any given day. So I set out to track the amount of protein my family gets in a day.

If you are wanting to try a vegetarian diet but are concerned that you won’t get enough protein or feel “full” enough after your meals, you’ve come to the right place. We are almost vegan in that we don’t drink cows milk or eat yogurt but we will eat cheese. I’m not a huge fan of eggs but will eat them on occasion. I have gotten to the point though if I don’t have them very often I get horrible stomach cramps after I eat them. So I tend to stay away from them. While they are many reasons why we don’t eat meat or most other animal products it’s more of a personal preference than anything else.

I don’t like to buy the soy “meats” either because 1 they look gross. 2 the “meat” looks nothing like its original state. 3 it’s…gross. Ha ha, I don’t have very many good reasons but since one of our reasons for being vegetarian is to have less processed food so why would I think that soy substitutes are any healthier? Besides, since most soy is genetically modified that makes it is hard to believe that there is completely organic soy.

Anyway, moving on…

Men (ages 18-70) on average are supposed to get 56 grams of protein and women (18-70) are supposed to get 46 in a day. Toddlers (age/s 1-3) are supposed to get about 13. Depending on your weight, sex, gender, and the amount of exercise you get makes it different for every person. You can use a protein calculator to figure out how much protein you should get for yourself.

Since I don’t want to disclose my weight *wink* I will use my older son as an example for the protein that he gets in a typical day. Usually I am eating the same thing that he is having because it is easier than making myself something completely different, I just make more to meet my daily needs.

Let’s get to the grub!

Breakfast

Breakfast, protein, vegetarian, oats, oatmeal, thebeamingbrunette.com do vegetarians get enough protein?

We usually have oatmeal for breakfast. It’s cheap, it’s filling and there are so many ways you can prepare oats! My mother-in-law showed me how to make instant oatmeal. Just blend half of your oats in a food processor and add the other half of whole oats to the blended. Then add your dry ingredients to it and when you want to prepare it, just add hot water and let sit for a few minutes. I like to add cinnamon, nuts and hemp seeds to our instant mix. We also eat whatever fruit we have at the moment as well.

  • 1 oz. of pecans – 3 grams
  • 1 cup cooked oats – 6 grams
  • Hemp seeds – 1 tbsp – 3 grams
  • Fruit – 1 gram

Total = 12 grams

Lunch

Lunch, peanut butter, jelly, strawberries, snap peas, thebeamingbrunette.com, do vegetarians get enough protein?

Most of the time when I ask my son what he would like for lunch he will ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And if you give him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chances are he will ask for some milk to go with it. Sorry had to. Okay, back to lunch. So this is usually what I give him plus some fruits or veggies to go with it.

  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter – 7 grams
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread – 8 grams (Other half not shown)
  • A cup of fruits and veggies – 1 gram

Total = 16 grams

Dinner

Dinner, peas, beans, rice, thebeamingbrunette.com, do vegetarians get enough protein?

We are a mexican food family. Most every dinner consists of some latino style food. Beans and rice, tacos, burritos, enchiladas…*starts to drool*. The main dish I usually make is beans and rice with veggies on the side. I make a big pot of beans in the pressure cooker and make the rice on the stove. This will last us at least a week.

  • 1/2 cup of beans – 8 grams
  • 1/2 cup of rice – 2 grams
  • 1 cup of peas – 6 grams
  • Handful of shredded cheese – 3 grams (not shown here)

Total = 19 grams

And for the grand total! Drum roll, please…

47 Grams!

That is just what my toddler gets! Not to mention other snacks he might have that day. My husband and I get a way over this amount because we can consume more. It’s really quite easy to get a good amount of protein with a vegetarian diet.

Other ways to get extra protein…

  • Add chia or hemp seeds to baked goods. These little power houses keep their nutritional value even when baked at high temperatures.
  • Protein powders are great because you can use them as a flour in muffins, cookies, waffles, pancakes, cakes and more! You can’t completely substitute for flour but can add in the place of up to half a cup of flour because it will make it more dense in the end.
  • Surprisingly, nutritional yeast has 2 grams per tablespoon. It has been fortified with all the B vitamins, including B12, which is important for vegetarians and vegans to take since it is not produced by plants and folic acid. I like to add it to pasta sauces, enchilada sauces, mac and cheese. It has a cheesy flavor to it so I don’t usually put it on anything that is a sweeter dish.
  • Quinoa is another one of my favorites but my son is repulsed by the texture for the time being so I’ll come back to it in the future. One cup cooked is 10 grams! We usually have about 2 1/2 cups.

I feel better knowing that we easily get the recommended daily amount needed for our bodies to be healthy.

How much protein do vegetarians get? thebeamingbrunette.com

Have questions about becoming a vegetarian? Have other suggestions to add? Feel free to share below!