It can be difficult to strike a balance between healthy and tasty snacks for toddlers, particularly when they are prone to fussiness. It can also be easy to fall into the trap of convenience foods, even if they aren’t the best choice.
Check out some of these toddler recipes that will help you to maintain your sanity whilst keeping the kids happy and healthy.
1. Healthy Banana Pancakes
What child doesn’t love the word ‘pancakes?’ This delicious recipe contains a mere four ingredients, which makes it super easy and fast. As an added bonus, there isn’t a speck of flour required.
2. Frozen Yogurt Covered Strawberries
The effort required for this recipe is basically zero, which means I’m totally going to make them just for myself. Your little ones will lose it over these tasty treats.
3. Pesto Pasta
Just because they’re toddlers doesn’t mean they can’t have their palates expanded! Plus, they’ll probably love throwing something so green all over themselves. Remember, you can adjust the cheese options and quantities however you like. You can even omit the cheese entirely if you want, but then I’ll be forced to call child protective services. Kidding!
4. Salmon Fish Cakes
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to a healthy body, so it’s a good idea to get the children started early on fish which contains high levels of it. If you’re not a fan of salmon, both tuna and mackerel are decent sources of omega-3.
5. Gluten- and Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Biscuits
That was a mouth full.
This is a great recipe if you’re afraid that gluten is going to break into your house at night and steal your children. Also, it’s a good recipe if your kids are genuinely allergic to gluten. This recipe is really versatile, so you can switch out ingredients when you need to. For example, if you’re like me and had to Google ‘xanthan gum,’ feel free to replace or omit it. Personally, I’m a fan of savoury biscuits (also known as ‘scones’), and don’t feel like much sweetness is necessary.
6. Turkey Meatballs
These lean meatballs can be a tasty snack on their own, or made into a meal with pasta and sauce.
7. Onion Bhajis
Not only is this recipe simple and able to disguise lots of hidden vegetables, it’s a fantastic gateway food. If you don’t want your children to be restricted to “normal” kid food misconceptions, start them on these. The turmeric, garam masala, and mild curry paste will help condition them to new, delicious flavours. Also, this is completely vegetarian, and no wheat flour is needed! I would also recommend using cold pressed olive oil to make them healthier.
8. Red, White and Blue Popsicles
A healthy summertime treat that can be easily change to incorporate any fruit you like. I love it when kids don’t know they’re eating healthy.
9. Savoury Mince
This recipe offers yet another opportunity to hide lots of vegetables in their food.
10. Baked Broccoli Cheese Patties
The kids will love making a mess with this one. As a bonus tip, if anyone in the family suffers from egg allergies, you can use chia as a replacement.
11. Pumpkin Toast
Who said toast had to be boring? If you don’t want to buy or make the butter, I recommend roasting off some pumpkin and blending it. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, mashing will also work.
12. Green Eggs and Ham Recipe
Dr. Seuss in the house!
Bring this classic favourite alive in your child’s breakfast! Although this recipe doesn’t call for the ham, I’d simply tear some up and mix it in for extra flavour and fun. I would also recommend adding more pesto, if you want some extra flavour and greenness.
13. Baked Vanilla Custards
Don’t waste money on store bought baby custards. These easy alternatives are not only cheaper, but you can control the sugar content. If you don’t want to add any sugar at all, I suggest honey or maple syrup as healthier alternatives. I’d personally also add some strawberries or blueberries, for added deliciousness and nutrients.
14. Shaped Sandwiches
Add some fun to boring old sandwiches by simply cutting them into fun shapes!
15. Banana and Berry Smoothie
Smoothies are just like milkshakes, only much healthier. Again, this is a versatile recipe, so feel free to mix it up by adding whatever fruit you like. I drink smoothies every day, so here are a few pro-tips:
- Freeze the fruit so the smoothie is extra cold, thick, and delicious.
- For extra nutrients, hide a little kale or spinach in there.
- For extra protein, add some chia seeds. Also, if you let the seeds soak in the milk for 10-15 minutes before blending, they will help to thicken up the smoothie. This will also help your child feel full and satisfied.
Featured photo credit: Small child sits at a table and eats bread via shutterstock.com