5 Easy Nutritious Toddler Foods
Oh toddlers, toddlers, toddlers. These rambunctious human beings that were once babies calmly nestled into our chests. Now they run around screaming, leaving a trail of mess and destruction along the way. But wait, who is that behind them? Momma with a forkful of broccoli. Momma wants what’s best for her baby and that includes nutritious toddler foods. Now, broccoli may not be the way to accomplish it, though certainly worth trying. But here are 5 toddler foods that are much easier to convince your child to get their nutrition from.
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Smoothies are one of the best toddler foods because they are portable and you can put anything in there
Smoothies are my absolute favorite when I need to sneak some nutrition into my son. They are quick. Usually takes about 5 minutes to put together. You can switch up what you put in there and they can double as a healthy dessert. I don’t have a specific recipe I follow for my smoothies. For me, it’s usually a dump of whatever fruits and veggies I have on hand. I try to make sure that it’s fairly sweet, so as to appeal to my son’s palate but I achieve that sweetness without any added sugar.
My smoothie staples include: a nut milk, half a banana, 2-3 dates, a handful of spinach or kale. Then I add whatever I have. Some of my favorites include: frozen mangoes, frozen pineapple, frozen cherries, fresh or frozen berries, cauliflower, carrots, beets, and avocado. I just make sure that I pour enough nut milk to make it pretty liquidy and easy for my son to drink. Voila, healthy snack is served! Bonus that it’s portable because my son loves running around with his food.
Hummus is an easy and cheap option in toddler foods
My son eats hummus by the spoonful. He doesn’t need anything to go along with it except a spoon. This makes my life easy. On those days that I don’t have anything prepared for him and need to put food on the table stat, I give him organic hummus with some baked lentil chips and avocado. He happily chows down.
I love hummus because it provides plant based protein, iron and healthy fat for him. If you’re feeling creative, you can make your own hummus. Here is a quick and easy recipe. And once you master the basics, you can add different things to spice up your hummus. I personally like roasted pepper, beets and different spice combos.
Homemade Pasta Sauce – A surprisingly delicious toddler food
It’s not secret that kids love carbs in all iterations. They love bread, crackers, pasta, cookies. You can’t blame them, carbs are my favorite foods too. But I like to make sure that I’m eating something healthy along with my carbs. That’s how the homemade pasta sauce was created. (Not really, it was created because I had some tomatoes going bad). It’s so easy you won’t believe it!
I used 3 tomatoes roughly chopped, 1 onion roughly chopped, 3 zucchini roughly chopped, 4 carrots roughly chopped, 1 carton of organic vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon italian seasoning mix, 1 teaspoon of himalayan pink salt (add more later if needed). Put all this in a pot, let it come to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes. Once the mixture is cooled, use a hand blender or pour into a food processor, blend and there you go, sauce/soup is done. You can freeze it for up to a month and pull it out when needed.
Cookies (but the healthy kind) – make the list of every toddler, when it comes to toddler foods
What kid doesn’t like sweets? So what is a mom to do when your child is begging for cookies? Get them the healthiest ones you can find. My son loves Larabars. They are sweet and delicious and full of plant based goodness. Bonus: they are available at any grocery store or on Amazon. When a Larabar simply won’t do, I turn to Bitsy’s Brainfood Cookies and Crackers (available at Amazon, unfortunately won’t find it inside a store anymore). They are delicious and lack a lot of unhealthy ingredients a traditional store bought cookie is filled with. And they have also expanded their selection into delicious crackers. They’re packaged into serving sizes, so they make a great portable and mess free snack. Both of my kids love Larabars and Bitsy’s Cookies for a snack or a quick breakfast.
Full Fat Yogurt with Fruit — A filling and delicious toddler approved food
This little combo can go either way. It can either make for a great breakfast, snack or treat. Kids love yogurt but most premixed yogurt contains way too much sugar and not much fruit. But when you put fruit into the yogurt yourself, you control the sweetness and the ingredients that go in. I love doing this for both my son and myself. If one of us is desperately lacking in sweetness (usually me), I can add honey or maple syrup to it. So still nothing processed going into the food. Also, if you start your kid on eating plain yogurt, they won’t crave the sweeter kind. The less sugar you introduce to them, the less it becomes a part of their life. And they will thank you in the future for it, since they will be much healthier than their peers.
Bonus – Plant Based Snack Option that Toddlers Love
My kids are just like all the other toddlers out there – they LOVE crackers. And my friends introduced me to The Real Food From the Ground Up brand that has amazing plant based crackers. They have a variety of options that are gluten-free and food allergy safe. So it’s a huge bonus for so many families out there. And they mimic popular crackers like Cheez-Its, without all the nasty ingredients. They go well with the homemade hummus, I know you’ll be making all the time for your kids.
Quote of the day
“If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food.” -Errick McAdams
Tip of the Day
It’s easy to stress out about your child not having a well rounded diet. It might seem like they’re eating the same thing every day. Just keep offering them new foods and present foods to them in different ways. Someday, something will click and they’ll try it and might even like it. And don’t make it a chore or a battle. You can’t force them to eat but you can certainly create a bad relationship with food.