My goal is to make plant-based eating easy for everyone. Transitioning a family to a plant-based diet is more difficult than transitioning one person. I decided to create a meal plan that will be fool-proof for most families. The Ultimate Plant-Based Meal Plan for Families is also a short guide to walk you through what you need to know to adopt a plant-based diet, including recipes that your whole family will love!
While I can’t really guarantee that every person in your family will love every recipe, these are my most loved recipes that are family-friendly and easy to adapt for individual tastes.
What to Eat on a Plant-Based Diet
When people switch to a plant-based diet, they usually wonder what they should be eating. The answer is as diverse as the person asking. Different people like different food.
I looked through all the recipes on this website and thought about all the foods we typically eat and made a list of our most loved recipes.
We typically eat a lot of beans, rice, and pasta along with an assortment of fruits and veggies. We keep it simple and eat the same basic things, branching out occasionally to try new recipes.
If you loved pasta and Italian dishes before going plant-based, you’ll probably love plant-based versions. If you loved spicy foods, or Asian foods, or Mexican foods, etc. you’ll likely love healthier versions of your favorites.
However, it can take time for your palate to adjust to a diet without meat, dairy, eggs, and the other things you cut out. Sometimes it could take a while before your favorites are your favorite again.
Switching to plant-based breakfasts are the easiest part of transitioning to plant-based eating, at least for me. We liked oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, etc. before making the switch. Choosing plant-based milk was the biggest change for us.
Invest in a few plant-based milks to try, once you find one you like, it will make breakfast easy peasy. I like soy milk and almond milk the best but rice milk is the over all family favorite so it’s what we keep on hand.
We usually eat the same breakfast every day. Cereal, oatmeal, toast or bagels. They are all quick and easy! Here is a sample of our favorite breakfasts.
Toast with peanut butter and fruit
When we have company or more time on the weekends I might make my Breakfast Hash or Breakfast Tacos. They are more time consuming than I’ll normally spend in the mornings but they are both delicious savory breakfast options.
I usually eat dinner leftovers for lunch. It’s easy and saves time. My work day is busy and I don’t like to take time off to make food and eat so I stick to foods that I can heat and eat or just graze on throughout the day.
If I don’t have any leftovers available for lunch, I’ll eat something easy like a sandwich, hummus with veggies and maybe crackers or pretzels, beans with chips and salsa. In the summer when we have a lot of fresh veggies prepped, I might make a quick salad or my Mediterranean Bowl. Baked Potatoes are easy lunches but depending on where you eat lunch, it may not be an option.
I feel like plant-based dinners are the most difficult transition point for families. Often, this meal was full of meat and dairy before switching to a plant-based diet. For some families, it may be the only meal they are eating together and they want it to be peaceful.
These are our absolute favorite family friendly meals.
Our 8 year old loves these more than our 10 year old. If they don’t like our dinner, we will let them having something else. Usually they choose one of their normal breakfasts like oatmeal or cereal, sometimes it’s a PB&J. Sometimes they will have other leftovers.
Often they will have the meal but pick out what they don’t like. This is normal childhood behavior, it doesn’t mean they won’t eat healthy foods. My son might eat the Minestrone but leave the tomatoes and celery. They both love the nachos but only the chips and beans, they don’t like the peppers or salsa.
When encouraging my kids to eat well, I’m not interested in a power struggle. Some kids will never be happy with their meals! Kids age, disposition, and preference all plays into it. It takes time to get used to eating healthy, it may take your kids longer than it takes you.
Would you like to be able to print off the dinner meal plan with an easy to follow shopping list?
I created a Dinner Only version of this meal plan that includes step by step recipe instructions and a shopping list. It takes some of the work out of clicking through the links, printing the recipe and painstakingly creating your list.