Une famille de quatre personnes cuisine de la nourriture végétarienne, notamment des hamburgers et du quinoa.

It’s not easy being green in any household. So, if you’re struggling to instill a love of vegetables in your kids, don’t feel discouraged. Little ones have more taste buds than adults and tend to like sweeter flavours over bitter foods.[1] This fact means that helping your kids acquire a taste for vegetarian recipes may take some strategic thinking, persistence and patience.

First off, keep serving the greens! The secret to loving new foods is exposure on repeat.[2] Don’t let up and offer a variety of fresh, colourful vegetables. You can start by serving raw veggies with creamy yogurt-based dip or store-bought hummus.

Getting kids involved is also key. Want them to love vegetarian food? Let them have a say in grocery shopping and help with meal prep and cooking. These nine healthy and vibrant vegetarian recipes for kids are full of tips for how your wee ones can participate, learn and have fun along the way.

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Roasted vegetable béchamel pizza. Image source: theHUB from Walmart.ca

Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: Pizza is the great equalizer—a fan favourite for kids and parents alike. And this classic Italian trio of zucchini, red onion and red bell pepper really shines when roasted to bring out the natural sweetness. The béchamel (a.k.a. white sauce) is also the perfect alternative to tomato-based pies for tomato-phobes and allergy sufferers.

How kids can help: Dough mastery is fun! Let kids dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough (let them have a go, then mom or dad can finish) and brush it with olive oil. You can then demonstrate how to spread the béchamel sauce evenly with a spoon and let the little ones take a turn, leaving a border. It’s a good lesson in spatial awareness, artistry and dexterity.

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TIME-SAVING TIP
Store-bought pizza dough offers the relief all parents need. It cuts down on prep time because your only task is to rest it at room temperature—covered with a kitchen towel—while prepping and roasting your veggies. This step will relax the gluten, making it easier to stretch onto the baking sheet.

Missing any ingredients? Order zucchini, dried herbs, skim milk and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Ready in: 35 minutes

Why we love it: Batch cooking has never been easier than with breezy make-ahead burgers. Double this vegetarian recipe for kids and freeze it in resealable bags for three-to-five weeks. You’ll have juicy veggie burgers ready for any day of the week—and who doesn’t love that?

How kids can help: Little hands love to squish and pat, which makes forming veggie patties a fitting job. (Just make sure they wash their hands before!) As a quick math exercise, let kids divide the mixture into eight equal portions.

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HEALTH HIGHLIGHT
Rich in protein,[3] the humble and affordable chickpea will convert the pickiest eater to the meatless lifestyle. Mash it into patties, bake it for snacking, add it to soups or even sprinkle it on salads and reap those health benefits.

Missing any ingredients? Order quinoa, flaxseed or cremini mushrooms and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Chilled tofu with ginger sesame sauce Image source: theHUB from Walmart.ca

Ready in: 20 minutes

Why we love it: There’s no cooking required! Imagine punchy flavours with little effort and you’ve got this refreshing salad pegged. It’s an effective way to introduce soft tofu to kids as you’re exploring the small-yet-mighty soybean in all its iterations—from soy milk to edamame. Plus, the tangy vinaigrette is pretty much all you need to season the spinach and convince the family.

How kids can help: Tofu is easy to handle, so let kids cut the block into manageable slices. (They can even use a butter knife.) Afterward, let them design their plate, adding more green onions, bonito and sesame seeds if you have them on hand.

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TIME-SAVING TIP
Drizzle the dressing over top and refrigerate until chilled for those balmy, hot days. You can also double the dressing and have it on hand for salads, grain bowls or slurpy cold-noodle recipes.

Missing any ingredients? Order soy sauce, ginger, baby spinach and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: This is a quick vegetarian recipe that you and the kids can whip up in just 30 minutes. It’s also super tasty served with Greek yogurt for dipping or an easy avocado salad (see the recipe link for details). Plus, who can resist the pint-sized quarters? Adorable.

How kids can help: Kids can help to spiralize the sweet potatoes and shred the cheese. They can also measure their portions of sweet potatoes and beans and add avocado or salsa to the quesadilla.

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BUDGET WATCH
Instead of purchasing spiralized veggies, make your own at home with a spiralizer, Japanese mandoline or julienne peeler.

Missing any ingredients?: Order black beans, tortillas, cheese and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Grilled potato salad with green onion dressing. Image source: theHUB from Walmart.ca

Ready in: 20 minutes

Why we love it: Whether you’re on team oil or mayo when it comes to potato salads, this vegetarian recipe doesn’t take sides. It has a bit of both for the best combo! Choose small potatoes for easy prep and to make it easy for little ones to navigate the pieces onto their forks.

How kids can help: With your supervision, let kids use a small paring knife to halve potatoes and chop roasted peppers. You can also let them use kitchen shears to safely cut the green onions into small pieces. Don’t forget to get their help measuring the yogurt and mayo! Plus, stirring is a fun treat for anyone.

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BUDGET WATCH
You’ll need a small grocery shop to nab roasted red peppers and green onions, but the remaining ingredients are pantry staples you’ll likely have on hand!

Missing any ingredients? Order potatoes, roasted red peppers, green onions and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Ready in: 25 minutes

Why we love it: Wow, this Bolognese is one of those vegetarian recipes for kids that’s so over-the-top delicious, you won’t miss the meat. (We promise.) You can also easily swap out the pasta shape for whatever you have on hand and trade the veggies for zucchini and eggplant.

How kids can help: Meaty without the addition of ground beef, this vegetarian recipe offers an excellent opportunity to show kids how to chop mushrooms, since uniformity won’t affect the cooking time. (Just make sure you keep a watchful eye.) Also be sure to let kids taste the pasta during the cooking stages to educate about doneness (al dente, anyone?) if desired.

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Health Watch
Super affordable, versatile and low in fat, lentils are an easy recipe add-on to boost protein and fibre.[4] Fun fact: Canada is the world’s largest grower and exporter of lentils—specifically in Saskatchewan.[5]

Missing any ingredients? Order mushroom, tomato paste, lentils, vegetable broth and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Baked Broccoli Cheddar Tots Image source: theHUB from Walmart.ca

Ready in: 55 minutes

Why we love it: The traditional tater tot gets a healthier makeover with the addition of broccoli and cheddar—a genuinely classic duo. This vegetarian recipe for kids is baked, not fried, and loaded with all the tasty qualities of a beloved broccoli-cheddar soup. And did we mention the pieces are pocket-sized for dipping?

How kids can help: Let kids cut the broccoli florets with a small paring knife and pulse the food processor. They’ll love to watch the magical whirling! Next, demonstrate how to scoop the mixture and form the shape—then let kids try. Their little hands are kinda perfect for this job. So cute!

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BUDGET WATCH
A head of fibre-rich broccoli will cost you just a few dollars and you can keep the stem (the sweetest, crunchiest bit) for stir-fries, salads and snacks.

Missing any ingredients? Order panko, old cheddar, broccoli and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Ready in: 30 minutes

Why we love it: A saucy vegetable stir-fry is a classic Asian take-out dish you can make at home—really, you can! Be open to swapping out the veggies with whatever you have on hand, making this dish a winner when you need a fridge cleanout. It’s also a great team-builder recipe where every family member can be in charge of a vegetable. Ready, set, go!

How kids can help: Have kids stir the sauce directly in a measuring cup to teach organization skills and measuring. Then let the little ones trim the sugar snap peas by snapping ends with their hands—easy-peasy, no tools required.

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TIME-SAVING TIP
Plan ahead! Measure and chop the ingredients and organize them on a baking sheet until your wok or skillet is ready to go. (A hot wok is the secret to tender-crisp vegetables!) The cooking itself will only take a few minutes.
Mediterranean quinoa bowl. Image source: Erik Putz (Chatelaine)

Ready in: 40 minutes

Why we love it: Family-friendly grain bowls have become a trendy dinner choice—and we’re not mad about it! Healthy and fun, they provide the chance for a mix-and-match game where kids can DIY their bowl from a small choice of veggies, proteins and grains. For this recipe, store-bought hummus is a lifesaver if you’re short on time and patience.

How kids can help: Let kids choose their grain—from quinoa to brown rice—one or two days ahead, as well as their favourite legume and cheese. Kids can shred or crumble cheese, portion hummus and spoon out the avocado, then slice it with a butter knife.

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Health Watch
Gluten-free and full of protein,[6] quinoa is a powerhouse grain that can be served hot or cold, in salads or in soups. Always rinse quinoa in a sieve under cold water to remove impurities and bitterness, just as you would with rice.

Missing any ingredients? Order quinoa, chickpeas, cucumbers, avocados and more through Walmart.ca Grocery Pickup & Delivery.

Shop Vegetarian Recipe Ingredients

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