Toddler Recipes

Toddler Recipes

When I was running the pre-preschool, I was making more than 100 toddler meals or snacks a month (not including what I feed my own child). So I am always in search of HEALTHY but delicious foods.

This page is a compilation of my favorite recipes to feed the most pickiest of eaters. Hopefully it will be of some use to others in similar situations. I will be constantly adding new recipes, so keep checking back in!

I have a couple guidelines that I follow.

1) The food must be real food, not ridiculously processed.

2) It must be as fresh (and local) as possible. I never serve canned fruits or vegetables…although in the interest of time I do serve frozen vegetables, usually organic yummy kinds. Although, I will choose something local over organic, especially if the organic food has been shipped from far, far away. Our family tries to support local farmers as much as possible.

3) Don’t disguise the food. I like kiddos to know that we are eating, for example if kale is being added to a muffin mix (see kale muffins below) I will involve the kiddos in throwing the kale into the blender so they know exactly WHAT made that muffin GREEN!

4) I am not a short order cook. I don’t cook special things for Darwin, or the kiddos at the pre-preschool. When we sit down to eat, everyone is eating the same thing. Thus, these recipes be enjoyed by all ages.





We are big fans of popsicles since we live in such a hot climate. They are the perfect dessert or after nap time snack (the hottest part of the day). These ones were a hit with little kids and big adults….I served them during a football game to some pretty tough guys who all started licking and smacking away. Maybe better than beer. Maybe.


  • 2 avocados
  • juice of one lime
  • ~1/2 cup coconut milk
  • agave syrup to taste
  • dash of salt


Freeze in popsicle forms or dixie cups with popsicle sticks. Delicious!

CUCUMBER DIPcucumber dip

This cool, refreshing dip could not be easier to make. It requires very few ingredients but goes with anything you can dip into it: veggies, crackers, bread…

We add yogurt because we eat a lot of yogurt but you could easily substitute sour cream if that is what you have on hand.


  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 large seeded cucumber
  • flavorful additions: dill, mint, garlic, cumin, etc, etc…any spices you love


Throw all ingredients into a food processor, blend until smooth. And done. What could be easier?? You can view us making this here.


We made these for Spencer’s birthday. They are a bit on the sweet side so adjust according to your personal taste. The recipe comes from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers cookbook: a go-to book for me on busy days. We decorated them with cream cheese frosting (recipe follows).


  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3-4)
  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cupes white or combo wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 and prepare two cupcake pans. Mix wet ingredients until smooth. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl, add to wet ingredients. Spoon batter into cupcake pans filling 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.



  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter at room temp
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of flavoring such as brewed coffee or cocoa powder (completely optional)


Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Wait for cupcakes to cool before frosting.


Presentation is everything, serve a boring old egg and it just might not get eaten. BUT! Add a piece of cheese and story about sailing away in an egg gives snack time that much more excitement. Deviled Eggs are also a simple snack that kiddos can take part in cooking.


We love, love, love Kale. It is something that is easily grown here in Hawaii so it seems that it is always available from local farmers. These chips are something that I’ve been making for years, many eons before I thought I’d be serving it to my child! I think I originally got the recipe from a Bon Appetit magazine…I use the Tuscan Kale, not the Curly Kale for this, but I bet you could use any variety.


  • One bunch (or more!) Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, center ribs and stems removed
  • olive oil
  • salt


Preheat oven to 250°F. Toss kale with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange leaves in single layer on large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.
Kiddos love the salty, crispy goodness as much as I do. I can eat a whole bunch in one sitting…by myself. Yummy!


This recipe came from one of my standard places to turn to for little people food, weelicious. I tweeked her recipe and added Kale instead of Spinach. You can find the weelicious recipe HERE! I especially love this muffin recipe because it uses applesauce to cut down on the volume of sugar.


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh KALE, packed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Place the liquid ingredients and the sugar in a food processor and puree (we used a blender and it worked just fine).
3. Place the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and combine.
4. Pour the spinach puree in a large mixing bowl.
5. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
6. Scoop batter into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 of the way.
7. Bake for 12 minutes.
8. Serve.

They turned out a lovely shade of green. Miss K, a super picky two-year-old ate a ton of them! Must mean they are delicious…and good for her too, teehee. You can see pictures of us making these here.


I make muffins, a lot. They are a quick and portable snack, they are also easy to cram in nutrient building ingredients, such as molasses, wheat germ, flax seed, kelp, etc. Oh, and they taste darn good- hence, they are ‘magical’.

My favorite recipe book of all time is from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Although we are not vegetarians, we don’t eat a lot of meat. This book is basically like the Joy of Cooking for me. She lists every vegetable and grain imaginable; the how, what and when to use that ingredient. Love it.

This is Deborah Madison’s Basic Buttermilk Muffin recipe (abbreviated)


  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil, or butter melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375, butter muffin pan.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, combine the two bowls with a few swift strokes.
  3. Fill muffin tins.
  4. Bake for 25 mins.

This recipe lends itself to much tweaking:

  • Throw in a cup of fruit
  • Add random spices (nutmeg is a favorite of mine)
  • Add less flour and throw in ground flax seeds or wheat germ
  • Add pumpkin instead of the oil…..

And I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Quick TIP: no buttermilk on hand? Use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, add enough milk to make one cup, let it sit for five minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. For this recipe I use a generous tablespoon of lemon juice and add milk to make 1 1/3 cups.

PUMPKIN (or sweet potato) MUFFINS

Yep, another muffin recipe. This one also comes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Pumpkin might be my favorite thing about fall, I can eat it in all shapes, sizes and preparedness.


  • 1/3 cup chopped candied ginger, fresh pineapple, dates or raisins
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato or pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375, oil muffin pans (makes about 12 muffins)
  2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another.
  3. Combine the two, mixing well.
  4. Spoon into muffin tins, bake for 25 mins.

Note: I’ve actually forgotten to add the sugar and they turned out just fine. It’s up to you as to how sweet your tooth is 🙂


I am really trying to embrace dips. Personally, I’m not much of a dipper beyond salsa and guacamole….but kiddos love the activity and motion that goes along with dipping. This dip is a HUGE hit with Darwin, the last time we served it he had all ten fingers in the dipping bowl…

peanut dip


Dipping is serious business. In a fun and messy way! Did you know you can dip blueberries into peanutty dip? Yep, you can.

This recipe is tweaked from many different recipes, it only has 5 ingredients so it’s easy. Plus, I LOVE molasses….


  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, the real kind
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 6 T vinegar (cider or rice works best)
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 3 T molasses


  1. Mix hot water and peanut butter in a bowl until mixed
  2. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients

You can freeze leftovers into ice cube trays and always have this one on hand.


This (abbreviated recipe) comes from the Cuisinart Instruction Booklet. I know, impressive huh? But it’s yummy and, so far, fail-proof.

This makes one pound of dough, approximately two 12 inch pizzas.


  • 1 1/2 t active dry yeast
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/3 flour (I always substitute about 3/4 of all flour for whole wheat)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t olive oil


  1. Let yeast and sugar dissolve in warm water, until foamy.
  2. Prepare food processor for dough mixing, or don’t if you are mixing by hand 😉
  3. Combine ingredients and process dough until it forms a ball.
  4. Coat evenly with olive oil and let rest in a covered bowl until it doubles in size.
  5. Roll, stretch or throw into desired pizza shapes.

PUMPKIN PANCAKESpumpkin pancakes

Food stylist, I am not. …but maybe as my 16th career  🙂

Yet another recipe from Weelicious…honestly, if you haven’t checked that site out yet, do. I have used so many recipes from there. And it’s such a cute and aptly named site too.

We made these for Halloween, but I’m going to add them to my regular rotation of recipes because I loved them, and all kiddos did too. AND they include a vegetable in the pancakes…add some fruit and an egg and you have a complete dinner…or breakfast…or whatever. Here is an abbreviated recipe but you can find the complete one here. She adds chocolate filling to hers but I thought that was just a little over the top. But that is me.


  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned


  1. Add dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another.
  2. Mix until combined, lumps are ok.
  3. Cook like you would normally cook pancakes…if you need help with that do go to the complete recipe.

I added some fun fruit faces, since it was Halloween and all.


I am a HUGE fan of roasting- it’s the easiest way to cook anything….prep it, throw it in the oven, pull it back out. The major malfunction that I encounter is I frequently forget to put on a timer and things get burnt…but that just means extra crispness. Roasting also is wonderful because the vegetables are left in their naked, beautiful selves- one of my guidelines (do not disguise the vegetable). They are also great for any type to dip from hummus to the peanutty dip listed on this page.


Our favorite vegetables to roast:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Daikon
  • Turnips
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Any and all squashes (zucchini, kabocha, etc.)
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Onion

You get the point, right? Any and all vegetables…except maybe leafy greens but you could try to adapt them to the Kale Chips recipe listed above.


Preheat oven to 425. Chop, slice, cut into your favorite shape, but keep in mind that the smaller they are cut the shorter the cooking time (duh, you know that already!). Toss with olive oil and salt, if you wish. You could also throw in some whole peeled garlic cloves. Arrange veggies in single layer (very important!) on large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes…beautiful, delicious, and caramelized. Perfect! Excellent as leftovers too 🙂


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