Meal Plan Monday: Feeding Teenagers is Hard


A few weeks in and I’m still attempting to feed my teenagers. I say attempting because they are not super enthusiastic about our plant-based eating. I take my hat off to all of you who have successfully transitioned your teenagers (or unwilling husbands) to a healthy diet. Since we only have 6 weeks with our “big kids” and they are not really on board there is only so much I can do.

I think a lot of it is a mental game with them. I have cooked a few not so healthy meals that they think are healthy so they don’t like them. Does that make sense? The older kids are definitely more open to healthy eating than the youngest of the teenagers. I used to make spaghetti with ground beef in a red sauce (often I’d add veggies too); I made a delicious meal of organic pasta and red sauce with mushrooms, onions, and diced tomatoes. I don’t care what they say it was delish!

Some of the time I try to cater to their taste too much then I find myself not eating as well as I should. I have decided to fuel my body with nutritious food that I enjoy and if they don’t want it they can probably find something they can eat. I have been buying a lot more cereal than normal and even some granola bars.

There have been some successes too. Today our oldest said they broccoli I steamed was the best he had ever had. Our daughter enjoyed some broccoli in a millet based casserole and she doesn’t usually like broccoli. I expect more of these instances along the way.

When we eat out we try to find places where we can all get something we like. That is tougher than it sounds especially when we are in a hurry and need to feed my gluten-free toddler. The places I like to eat are a little more expensive than I’m used too, of course I’m not used to feeding 7 people for each meal. We got take out from one of my favorite places, Pita Jungle, one evening and the big kids didn’t like it. Lucky for me my daughter ordered the Spicy Black Bean Burger which I love! One son ordered nachos so we had to toss them because they had cheese and I don’t touch that stuff. We have also gone to Chipotle which worked out well because I got a meatless meal and they were able to order what they wanted.

I hope I don’t sound like a whiner because I am really HAPPY that they are here. I just want to be real with you all because I’ve had several people write to me about the difficulty they have feeding their kids healthy food. You are not alone my friends, you are not alone.

Meal Plan

Breakfast will be cereal (I refuse to buy cow’s milk), oatmeal, cream of wheat, or toast.

Lunch is often leftovers (I cook extra for this), an easy pasta dish, or sandwiches.

Snack is fruit, hummus and veggies, or other quick items that will tide us over until dinner.

Dinner is where I try to focus on more veggies and whole grains. This week we will have Pasta, a Rice and Veggie casserole, Lentils either as part of a bean burger or perhaps Mexican food and Chickpeas that I cooked this morning. I know of three busy nights already this weeks so I don’t have an official plan. I also have tomatoes, Portobello’s, and cauliflower that I need to use soon.

Do you have trouble keeping everyone happy in the food department?

Meal Plan Monday: Feeding Teenagers

Our big kids have been here for almost two weeks and I know my plant-based cooking is taking a toll on them,especially the fiber. When my husband and I went for our weekly grocery shop this weekend our 13 year old asked if we could pick him up some Doritos. We told him the place we shop doesn’t have Doritos, he was taken aback. No we didn’t make another stop.

Our oldest is flying in this evening so there will be one more mouth to feed. I don’t think he will be as hard to please.

I took out my Happy Herbivore cookbooks and asked the big kids to look through them and pick some meals they would like to eat this week. I was hoping to get buy in. They picked a few recipes but I’m not sure how well they will go over. I decided that pasta is usually well received and it’s easy so we will have pasta a few times.

When we go out to eat the teens can order anything they want but I’m only going to cook healthy, plant food. I did buy them some junk food for movie night, that moved earned me a couple of big hugs.

Meal Plan

Breakfast has been oatmeal, cream of wheat, and cereal lately and that seems to be working out easily enough. My husband has also requested Breakfast Quinoa and Breakfast Rice.

Lunches will be leftovers. Our fridge is full of leftovers right now; pizza, Lentil Fetoosh Salad, hummus and pita, and a black bean burger. I’m sure the teenagers will continue to eat PB&Js as well.

Snacks will be fruit, smoothies, crackers, chips and salsa, and other random things

Dinner is a little tougher to plan because I never know exactly what we have going on. Here are a few items I plan on making:

Macaroni and Cheeze*

Happy Herbivore Arroz Amarillo* with Black Bean Soup and soft corn tortillas

Spaghetti with Mushrooms and red sauce

Brown Rice, Steamed Broccoli, with Happy Herbivore Brown Gravy or some other creamy sauce


Baked Potatoes

*item’s the kids picked out

How do you please your omnivore teenagers? Do you have any tips for me?