Feeding a toddler. Anyone who has tried knows that it can be difficult to find healthy recipes that toddlers will eat. My main motivator in trying out new recipes is ease. If it has too many steps or it’s too easy to mess up, forget it! I don’t have time for that, Emeril! The following five recipes are major hits with my two-year-old daughter and her friend who comes over daily for daycare. I hope they will provide you with more ideas in the kitchen!
Ham n Cheese Polenta
I like to put frozen corn in this polenta casserole, but any frozen veggies will be delicious!
Yield – 8 pieces
– ⅓ cup yellow cornmeal
– 1 cup whole milk
– ¼ cup frozen corn
– ¼ cup diced ham
– shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees
- Bring the cornmeal, milk, corn, and ham to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until mixture thickens, 5-7 minutes.
- Pour mixture into oven-safe dish and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, slice, and serve!
Red, White, and Green Quinoa
Quinoa salads like this one offer a variety of food groups and are fun to eat! My recipe was a hit with my kids, but quinoa is a great way to put together miscellaneous pantry items on the fly.
Yield – 6 toddler servings
– 1 cup quinoa, washed
– 1 ½ cups water
– 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
– 1 avocado, diced
– 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed
– 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Bring the quinoa and water to a simmer and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, about 20 minutes
- Allow quinoa to cool for 10 minutes, then combine with remaining ingredients
This is an all-in-one breakfast that will satisfy the whole family!
Yield – 3 smoothies
– ¾ cup greek yogurt, plain
– ½ cup milk
– 1 banana
– ½ cup berries (frozen mixed berries have the best flavor for smoothies)
– ½ cup uncooked oatmeal
– ¼ cup pecans, or other soft nut
– 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
- Add all ingredients, in the order listed above, to a blender
- Blend until smooth*
*If you would like to adjust consistency, add milk to make smoothie thinner and oatmeal to make smoothie thicker.
This recipe comes from the minds at vegkitchen.com. This delicious smoothie is packed full of nutrition with apples, spinach, cucumbers, and more! Follow the link for the recipe.
Ham and Bean Stew
You may recognize this slow cooker dish as something your grandma made when you were a child. That’s exactly the comfort food feel you and your children will get when you dig into this delicious (and filled with heart healthy beans!) meal.
Yield – 8 adult servings
– 1 package of ham hocks/shanks (a package should have two or three of each)
– 1 ham steak (these come in standard sizes), diced and bone removed
– 1 pound great northern beans
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Rinse and soak beans for at least 6 hours (good to do this overnight, the night before cooking)
- Saute onions in oil over medium heat until translucent, 3 minutes
- Add diced ham and saute until starting to brown, about 5 minutes
- Add onions and ham with all other ingredients in a slow cooker
- Cover mixture with water until just covered
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until beans are mushy
- Remove hocks/shanks and other bones and enjoy with cornbread (and strawberry jam!)
Please share your tried and true toddler recipes!