TODDLERS ARE PICKY. And they should be. They’re exercising their independence, finding their voice (quite literally) and simply want to be heard. Like all of us right? And like all of us, we love variety in our foods. Sometimes we’re craving something fresh and crisp, sometimes something warm and grounding. What makes mommyhood so tricky with a little one finding their voice is we have to basically read minds. What I’ve found is flexibility is the ultimate answer when it comes to everything. Sometimes they’re simply not going to want what you put in front of them (in which case sourdough or sprouted toast with avocado or a baker sweet potato on hand become your best friends). On those other days the four recipes below have always been a crowd pleaser and yummy enough for the whole fam. Read on!


Quinoa Adzuki Bean Patties

These mini burgers are packed with protein and fiber and are extra easy to digest thanks to the Asian adzuki bean (the most digestible legume) and soaked grains. I love to store them in the freezer for a quick meal and serve them with avocado and steamed veggies.

1 cup cooked quinoa (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup adzuki beans
1 zucchini grated
1 carrot grated
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoons of flax seeds
4 tablespoons cold water
Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a small food processor, blend the adzuki beans with a little water so it forms a paste. In a small bowl, combine flax seeds and 4 tablespoons of cold water to form an “egg”. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add in “egg” and form patties your hands with about 2 tablespoons of the patty mix. On a greased baking sheet, place patties about 1/2 inch apart. Bake until patties are browned for about 30 minutes.

Nut, Gluten and Dairy Free Pesto Pasta

This is one of my favorite go to recipes for my little guy and I always wish I make more for myself. The blended cauliflower and zucchini make this pesto sauce lusciously creamy without an ounce of nuts or cheese, you don’t miss it one bit!

1 cup of brown rice elbow pasta
2 large handful of fresh basil leaves
1 cup of cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Optional: 1 pat of grass fed butter
Cooked peas
Sea salt to taste

Cook pasta as directed. In a small pot boil or steam cauliflower, garlic clove and zucchini. In a food processor or blender, combine basil and cooked veggies. Blend until creamy. You may need to add a little water. Season with sea salt and lemon juice. In large pot, heat the butter until melted and add pasta to coat. Add in pesto sauce, peas and mix until distributed evenly. Serve warm.

Turkey Zucchini Meatballs in Broth

One thing I’ve found to be mostly true about toddler pickiness is texture, texture, texture. If they don’t like the way something feels in their mouth, good luck getting them to eat it. Meatballs are certainly a perfect example of that. Who wants to eat a dried out meatball anyway? Simmering in broth keeps them fluffy, moist and much more palatable for the littles. I love that the grated zucchini here keeps them extra fluffy with a big dose of veggies.

1/2 pound ground turkey
1 large zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1/2 small onion, grated
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
4 cups of bone broth

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well with hands. On a separate baking sheet, form meatballs, about 1 inch thick. In a large pot heat broth until boiling. Bring to a simmer. Using a ladle spoon, gently drop meatballs into the pot. Depending on the size of the pot, you can put up to 12 meatballs per batch so they are not touching. Cover and simmer in broth for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked and the insides are no longer pink. Serve lukewarm with broth.

Red Lentil Dal

 We make this recipe at least once a week in our house and it’s one of my favorites for the whole family. It’s nourishing, warming and has enough spice to awaken those mini palettes to be open to a variety of savory cuisines.

1 cup of red lentils, soaked overnight in water and a splash of apple cider vinegar
1 pat of grass fed butter or teaspoon of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
1 clove garlic
1/2 yellow onion minced
2 cups water
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Sea salt to taste

Drain soaked lentils in a strainer. In a small sized pot on low heat, add cumin seeds and turmeric. Toast for 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Add heat butter or oil to form a paste. Add minced onions and garlic. Sauté another 5 minutes. In a larger pot, add lentils and two cups water. Bring to a boil then simmer until lentils are fully cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Mix in onion cumin mixture and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Season with salt and add lemon juice. Serve warm with rice or quinoa.