Plant-based dips and sauces for kids! Sometimes a little sauce goes a long way when it comes to flavor, nutrition, and helping your kids warm up to new foods. Some of our favorite vegan dips and sauce recipes for kids.
No matter what age you are, dips and sauces make everything better!
And homemade sauces can be really easy. We like experimenting with our own recipes because not only can we control the ingredients, but adjust the flavors and textures as well.
Sauces and dips can also offer an extra boost of nutrients alongside your child’s meals.
Plus, they can occasionally help encourage the consumption of foods that your child may not be super excited about trying.
So without further ado… give these a try!
6 Plant-Based Dips and Sauces (Kid-Friendly!)
1. White Bean Alfredo Sauce
A tasty white bean and cashew-based sauce, seasoned with garlic, oregano, and nutritional yeast, this is a great recipe for tossing over pasta or serving with broccoli florets.
Beans are a wonderful source of protein, fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals. White beans offer a neutral-flavored creaminess that works perfectly in this alfredo sauce.
We’ve shared the whole recipe here.
2. Green Hummus
This is a great recipe for kids who are averse to leafy greens but will eat hummus.
It’s super simple. All you do is pour your favorite store-bought container of hummus (or a homemade one, if you have one hand!) into a high-speed blender.
Then, grab a big handful of spinach or kale leaves and combine into a beautifully green hummus.
Spread green hummus on a slice of toast or serve it as a dip for baby carrots.
As you know, we’re not about hiding veggies in foods. BUT, this can be a great way to serve veggies in an entirely different form, which can be helpful for some children struggling with food acceptance.
We recommend having your child help with the recipe creation, so they can see exactly what’s going into their food.
3. Kale Spaghetti Sauce
When you want a nutrient-packed green sauce for pasta, try this simple kale blend!
In a food processor or blend, combine:
- 6 ounces blanched kale
- 1/2 large lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup garlic oil
- splash of cooked pasta water
Toss with 8 ounces of cooked pasta of choice. Then season to taste with salt/pepper and maybe some dairy-free parmesan!
Blanching the greens helps to retain the bright green color. You can skip this step, but the pasta won’t be as bright. To blanch, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the greens for 1 minute, then place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Don’t skip the lemon! Not only does it add flavor, but Vitamin C also helps to increase iron absorption.
I make my own quick garlic oil. Just simmer 2 cloves of smashed garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes to infuse flavor, then discard the garlic. This makes the garlic flavor less intense. Or- you can skip & add garlic straight to the blender!
While you can make this oil-free, remember that kids (especially infants and toddlers) need 35-40% calories from fat, which can sometimes be limiting on a WFPB diet. We don’t shy away from fat or oils, especially for this age group!
4. Pumpkin Hummus
Ready for a creamy, beany, ever-so-sweet twist on hummus for your little? Try this one.
In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine:
- 1 can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
- 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée
- 1/4 cup nut/seed butter of choice (cashew or tahini would be great)
- 2-3 pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt (optional)
This spread goes great on an open-faced sandwich or served with crackers or fruit slices.
You may be thinking, pumpkin when it’s not autumn? But if you can find it at stores, unsweetened pumpkin puree can be used all year round.
Pumpkin is a great source of fiber as well as beta-carotene, which acts as an antioxidant and supports eye and brain health.
5. Dairy-Free Ranch Dip
Ranch dressing is a family favorite, and you can make it without dairy if you prefer!
Try this way.
Whisk together 1/2 cup vegan mayo of choice, 1/4 cup soymilk, a handful of finely chopped parsley, 1 tsp. dried dill, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and freshly ground pepper + salt to taste.
Use as a dip for fresh veggies, like bell pepper strips, broccoli florets, and cucumber slices, drizzle over leafy greens for a salad, or use as a dressing for a veggie wrap sandwich.
6. Upgraded Veggie Marinara
If your toddler isn’t too keen on eating veggies, try using them to upgrade a marinara.
In a high-speed blender, combine your go-to marinara sauce with whatever veggies you like, blending until smooth.
We like to use spinach, baby carrots, tomatoes, and cauliflower. But anything you have on hand works!
Have your child help by tossing the veggies into the blender.
Then, pour the upgraded marinara over your family’s favorite pasta.
Sometimes, it’s all in the sauce, especially when little kids are involved. Give these plant-based dips and sauces for kids a try!
Chime In: Have you made any share-worthy plant-based dips and sauces for your babe? Share more ideas below?
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