Ultimate Plant-Based Meal Plan for Families

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!

plant-based meal plan for families

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.

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Plant-Based Breakfast

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.

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Toast with peanut butter and fruit

Banana Nut Oatmeal

Strawberry Banana Muffins or Banana Bread

Overnight Oats

For more ideas, check out my Plant-Based Breakfast Page or my Ultimate Oatmeal Guide!

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.

Plant-Based Lunch

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.

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup may just be the perfect plant-based soup! Veggies, beans, broth and pasta create a hearty and healthy soup!

Plant-Based Dinner

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.

Minestrone Soup

Mexican Casserole

Veggie Pad Thai

Veggie Pasta

Lentil Tacos with Mexican Rice

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.

This Dinner Only version of the Ultimate Plant-Based Meal Plan for Families is available for $5.00!

November 13, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

It’s been a while since I shared a new plant-based meal plan but today’s will be worth the wait. It will be full of our plant-based favorites and easy recipes that are perfect for busy days.

I’ve been trying to find a balance between making some foods ahead and relying on super simple meals. I love using real, fresh ingredients but I always have a backup plan when the days get away from me. For us, that looks like frozen gluten-free waffles when I don’t have time to make oatmeal, a box of gluten-free pasta I can toss with frozen veggies or sauce when I don’t have time to prepare fresh veggies.

I always love using fresh veggies though. I recently updated an old recipe using all fresh farmers market veggies and it tasted so good! Even the leftovers were better!

Try this Plant-Based Meal Plan full of easy and delicious meals!

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Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Instant Pot Apple Oatmeal

Bean Burritos

Chickpea Noodle Soup

Tuesday

Pumpkin Spice Granola with dried cranberries

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup (see stove top version here)

Wednesday

Oatmeal or frozen waffles with fruit

Leftover soup

Shepherd’s Pie (new recipe coming soon)

Thursday

Baked Sweet Potatoes (I actually make these in the Instant Pot)

Leftover Shepherd’s Pie

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole (See non-IP here)

Friday

Vegan yogurt and Pumpkin Spice Granola

Mexican Casserole Burritos

Plant-Based Nachos


I like using my Instant Pot as much as possible. It allows me to walk away from the kitchen and come back to a fully cooked meal. If you’ve been wondering about getting an Instant Pot, feel free to reach out and I’ll try to answer all your questions! Until then, check out the 10 reasons I bought an Instant Pot!

If you have family asking what you want for Christmas or your birthday, tell them an Instant Pot!

Before we get to Christmas don’t forget Thanksgiving! My weekly Plant-Based Tips email went out last Saturday with tips for Thanksgiving! If you need more help, be sure to grab my Holiday Meal Plan and Cookbook from Amazon or as a PDF.

Eat Within Your Means Meal Plan

Eating healthy and on a budget takes effort; it won’t happen by accident. I try to stick to basic ingredients and use them in different ways to make our budget stretch further.

I met another blogger who shared my passion for creating budget-friendly recipes the whole family would enjoy. Beth from Eat Within Your Means also knows a thing or two about meal planning. When she unveiled her new Plant-Based Comfort Food Meal Plan, I asked if I could share it with you! She said YES!

Eat Within Your Means Meal Plan

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This meal plan is My Plant-Based Family APPROVED! 

The Plant-Based Comfort Food Meal Plan is perfect for this time of year! It features five comforting meals that your family will love! Yes, even the pickiest in your family!

What’s in the Meal Plan?

Your meal plan has:

  • Vegetable Bolognese with Protein-Packed Marinara Sauce
  • Easy Vegan Taquitos with Guacamole
  • Veggie Meatloaf Cups with Protein-Packed Mashed Potatoes
  • Vegan Mac & Cheese
  • Pizza Night with salad

Easy Ingredients and Instructions

Part of what makes this meal plan so easy is that the shopping list is organized for easy shopping. Or in our case, easy online ordering; we order a lot of our groceries online then go pick them up.

I love that Beth uses regular ingredients in this meal plan. She also lays out exactly what to do!

You get step-by-step instructions to prep and cook five dinners. The prep work takes place on a prep day so the meals come together quickly each night. If you can follow a recipe and follow directions you can do this! 

Beth went a step further and gives you two options for the meal plan. The first option gives you everything you need to follow this meal plan in a printer-friendly PDF and mobile-friendly format.

The second option also gives you video for a few dollars more! 

I don’t know about you but I’m most excited about the Taquitos!

A few last notes

This meal plan is designed for a family of four (two adults and two children). Beth estimates it will cost an average of $12 per meal but that will depend on what you already have and prices in your area.

You will need a food processor to make the meals in this meal plan. I’ve had this one for over 5 years and love it!

If you try Beth’s Plant-Based Comfort Food Meal Plan, let me know! I think it’s perfect for families who are new to plant-based eating or who just want a little more guidance while they try new recipes. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Get your Plant-Based Comfort Foods Meal Plan as a PDF and mobile-friendly format HERE!

Or get the PDF, mobile-friendly format and video HERE!

September 25, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

Soups, coffee with banana bread, pumpkin granola…these are all signs of cooler days. This week’s plant-based meal plan is embracing the slightly cooler temperatures and my cravings for fresh baked goods!

Last week I shared my recipe for Pumpkin Granola and I’ve been snacking on it ever since. It’s fueled a new pecan addiction. I never really liked pecans until I made this granola. Too bad too because growing up, I always had access to pecan trees. I plan to add pecans to other favorites like my Banana Bread!

This Plant-Based Meal Plan is full of delicious comfort foods your family will love. Soups, casseroles and freshly baked goods whisper fall is here.

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Fall also has me thinking about Thanksgiving! It’s still a while away for me but my friends in Canada will be celebrating soon! If you are already looking ahead to holiday planning, take a look at my Plant-Based Holiday Meal Plan! It was designed with all my Thanksgiving favorites!

Plant-Based Meal Plan

This weeks meal plan is all about comfort foods! Don’t worry, comfort foods don’t have to be unhealthy! I think you’ll love this week’s collection of soups, casseroles and baked goods!

Monday

Breakfast Cookies with fresh fruit

leftover Taco Soup

Chickpea Noodle Soup and freshly baked bread (I use the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method, there is a gluten-free version of the book too)

Tuesday

Pumpkin Granola topped oatmeal

Soup and salad with Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

Tofu and Stir Fried Brown Rice

Wednesday

Instant Pot Oatmeal with diced apples or fresh blueberries

Baked Potatoes

Instant Pot Mexican Casserole

Thursday

Blueberry Muffins or Banana Bread with added pecans

leftover casserole

Potato Broccoli Soup

Friday

Oatmeal with dried cranberries (and pecans)

Soup and baked potato

Enchilada Casserole


Moment of truth! What are your favorite fall flavors? I’ve been thinking of sharing more pumpkin recipes but don’t want to miss other fall favorites!

September 18, 2017 Plant-Based Meal Plan

Are you happy that it’s almost fall! No matter the temperature, once pumpkin spice takes over it’s time to give up on any ideas that summer is hanging on.

I don’t mind fall, that means Thanksgiving, spiced apple cider, and all my favorite soups are on their way! Also, apples get really inexpensive so you can buy all you want. That means apple oatmeal, apple bread, applesauce and more!

This plant-based meal plan is perfect for fall. Your family will enjoy hearty breakfasts and warm dinners.

When it’s fall, practically all my food is eaten out of a warm bowl! I love cradling a warm bowl of soup in my hands and enjoying every last bite, then going to scoop at least one more cup! If you also love soup make sure you try my Dry Veggie Broth Mix this year! Don’t let apprehension of making something new and different, keep you from missing out on this game changer.

Plant-Based Meal Plan

Monday

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Leftover Soup and Salad

Green Chili, Cilantro, and Lime Soup

Tuesday

Toast with peanut butter (or alternative) and fresh fruit

Big salad and baked potato

Broccoli and Tofu Teriyaki and Oil-Free Stir Fry Rice

Wednesday

Apple Muffins and fruit

Chickpea Noodle Soup

Brown Rice and Broccoli Casserole in the Crock Pot

 Thursday

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Leftovers

Quinoa and Lentil Salad (I also make this with rice instead of quinoa)

Friday

Breakfast Hash and fruit

Soup and Salad

Busy Night Pasta


Over the weekend, I sent out my weekly email with Plant-Based tips! It was all about fall but I have more fall tips coming. I’ll also share about how we do Thanksgiving while being plant-based!

If you haven’t signed up to get this weekly email you can do so today. It’s a great way to get weekly plant-based encouragement delivered directly to your inbox. Most of the emails contain practical tips but it’s always great information that I think will help you on your plant-based journey!

Do you have favorite fall recipes? I’d love to hear your favorites!