Strawberry Applesauce

Strawberry Applesauce (2)

This chunky applesauce is a great homemade alternative to store-bought pouches, and a nice way to introduce berry flavor to toddlers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apple
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 12 minutes, until the fruit is very tender.
  2. Mash with a potato masher and cool before serving.

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Split Pea Curry

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This protein-packed vegan curry introduces your toddler to new flavors and spice without overwhelming little taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split peas
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  1. In a large pot, combine the split peas, potatoes, carrot, cauliflower, and garlic.
  2. Add the water, tomato sauce, and curry powder, stirring to combine.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then continue to cook for 1 hour, or until the split peas are very tender. Let cool before serving.

Split Pea Curry

Toddler Chick’n Dinners

 

Chickn Pea Potato (1)

Here are two ways I love to serve vegan chick’n strips to my Baby Led Weaning toddler for a full meal.

Parsnip & Chicken Dinner

Chicken Parsnip (1)

Peel and chop 4 small parsnips. Cover with water and bring to a boil; continue to cook for 20 minutes, until very soft.

Drain and return to the pan, then add 1 teaspoon Earth balance butter and mash until smooth. Serve with finely chopped Gardein chick’n strips.

Chicken, Sweet Pea, & Sweet Potato Dinner

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Microwave 1 sweet potato for about 6 minutes, or until very tender. Let cool slightly, then scoop the flesh from the peel and mash to desired consistency.

Serve with finely chopped Gardein chick’n strips and cooked green peas.

 

Tomato & Orzo Soup

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I love this hack for making a hearty family dinner: Start with a canned creamy soup, add a few ingredients for added nutrition, and dinner seems gourmet in minutes flat.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups creamy tomato soup
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 2 cups cooked orzo
  • Plain non-dairy yogurt
  1. Heat the soup in a saucepan until warm. Add the beans and cooked pasta, stirring until combined.
  2. Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each with about 1 tablespoon yogurt.

Orzo with Creamy Tomato Spinach Sauce

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Relying on jarred marinara sauce as the base of this recipe makes it a cinch, but it sneaks in extra nutrition for your little ones!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup frozen spinach
  • 2/3 cup uncooked orzo
  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and heat until warm.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Stir the orzo into the sauce, and let cool slightly before serving.

Orzo with Spinach Sauce

Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole

Broccoli Casserole (2)

I’m trying to work more quinoa into my toddler’s diet, but when I prepare it plain she just makes a mess with it. This creamy casserole dish is a flavorful way to introduce the food to your little one. For the soup, look for a nice base like a smooth corn, broccoli, or leek soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy soup
  • 1/2 cup shredded non-dairy cheddar
  • 1 small bunch broccoli
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  1. Heat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat, until warm. Stir in the cheese and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into tiny florets and steam until tender.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the soup mixture, broccoli, and cooked quinoa. Let cool slightly before serving.

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Split peas are a fantastic protein source for vegan kids… or any kids! Make them appeal to little tots with this soup. I keep it thick so my toddler can scoop it up by hand, but big kids love spooning into a hearty bowlful, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 russet potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon savory
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Peel and finely chop the onion and potato. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the split peas, broth, savory, cumin, and bay leaf. Simmer for 50 minutes, uncovered, until the split peas are very tender. If you need to, add additional broth or water as the split peas cook so they don’t stick to the pan.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and let the soup cool slightly before serving.

Apple-Roasted Carrots

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A little apple juice adds just the right hint of sweetness to these carrots, perfect for toddlers.

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Peel and thinly slice the carrots, and toss with the apple juice in a large bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet coated with the olive oil.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes, until very tender.

Lentil Stew

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Thicker than a traditional lentil soup, this recipe is great for babies practicing with a spoon, so they don’t spill too much broth!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion; saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the water, bouillon, carrots, celery, lentils, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes. Uncover and simmer a final 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Chances are that sweet potatoes were one of your baby’s first foods, eagerly gobbled up with no embellishments. If your budding toddler is becoming a bit pickier about vegetables, this buttery update should land sweet potatoes back on the menu!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Continue to cook or for 25 minutes, until very tender.
  2. Drain and return to the pan, along with the butter. Mash to desired consistency.