Veggie Cheese Poppers

Fried foods are always a craving at my house. But we all know how unhealthy it is for you.As usual, I came up with a way to make a family favorite a little healthier. These veggie cheese poppers  are packed with vegetables and is a better alternative to your restaurant bought mozzarella stick. It’s an easy way to get veggies in!

It’s not deep fried, and you can also bake them at 375F for about 15-20 minutes. Just make sure you grease your muffin tin and spray olive oil over them before baking. I personally prefer browning in  a pan with a little olive oil. The texture is great for younger kids too!

And when you bite into it, you get a pleasant surprise. The kids at them all!

Veggie Cheese Poppers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sweet potato (peeled and steamed)
  • 1/2 c. broccoli (measured raw, steamed)
  • 1/4 c. baby carrots (measured raw, steamed)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • String cheese
  • 2 tbs. Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Steam all vegetables
  2. Using a blender, blend vegetables, egg, and seasonings until smooth
  3. Mix in bread crumbs. Note: depending on breadcrumbs used, you may have to add a little more until pasty consistency
  4. Cut string cheeses into one inch pieces
  5. Using a cooking scooper, place sweet potato mixture onto palm of hand
  6. Add cut string cheese in the middle and form into a ball
  7. In a pan, add about 2 tbs. of olive oil
  8. Brown on all sides, on LOW heat
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/07/veggie-cheese-poppers/

Cream Cheese Veggie Shrimp Baked Wontons

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I came across wonton wrappers. The flour wrapping paper may be foreign to you, but  it’s very similar to an egg roll.  I mean even my spell checker is seeing it as a typo. ;).

Most Asian restaurants like Panda Express or others use it to make crab rangoons.  The best way to describe it is a crispy stuffed ravioli. Since most kids love anything crunchy. I  wanted to make a healthier version and as always I try to add all the food groups in one bite.

Give this recipe a try it only takes about 15 minutes. The video includes several ways to shape and fill your wonton. The easiest way is to just fill it and form a triangle. Use water or egg to seal the ends.

Take a closer look at the inside.. there’s vegetables in there, but you can’t hardly taste it or even see it.

This recipe makes about 10, depending on how much you fill it. Don’t overfill you may not be able to close it.  Double it for a larger batch!

Cream Cheese Veggie Shrimp Baked Wontons

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Grated Zucchini
  • 1 Tbs. Mayonaisse
  • 1 C. Cooked wild caught shrimp
  • 2 Oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder (To Taste)
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Peel, grate, and drain zucchini using a paper towel to squeeze excess liquid
  3. In a bowl mix all ingredients
  4. Peel Individual wonton and place on a clean surface
  5. Add combined filling on the middle of the wrapper
  6. Fill and shape to desired wonton shape (see video)
  7. Grease a baking sheet or muffin tin
  8. Place prepared wontons on sheet and spray cooking spray over the wontons
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown) I'd check it around 12 min since ovens vary
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/07/cream-cheese-veggie-shrimp-baked-wontons/

 

BACK IN SUMMER by Nicolai Heidlas Music https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas
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No Cook Veggie Marinara Dip

The art of dipping. I think my three-year old could win a medal if dipping t was a sport. He, like so many other kids,  loves to dip everything and anything into anything and everything. Why not make their dipping sauce a bit more healthy and veggie packed? This no cook veggie marinara is especially great for picky eaters.

The sauce is homemade, and doesn’t need cooking. It doesn’t get easier than that!

We paired it with one of our favorite breads, Brazi Bites. It’s a cheesy bread made  with simple wholesome ingredients. It’s also gluten free. Best of all, it tastes great. and goes from freezer to your table in 20 minutes. Huge disclaimer friends, you can’t eat just one! It’s that good.

Veggie Packed Marinara Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 slice bell pepper (add more to taste if desired)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 pitted date

Instructions

  1. Prepare all ingredients
  2. Blend and serve
  3. Enjoy!
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/05/no-cook-veggie-marinara-dip/

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you Brazi Bites for sponsoring this post. 

 

Corn Dog Donuts

My oldest son recently discovered corn dogs at Disneyland. I considered it a fun treat for him to have. Problem is, he wanted two and then when we got home, he wanted more! I decided to make my own and made them healthier by baking it. I also chose no nitrate hot dogs and organic corn bread mix.

Furthermore, did you know corn dogs are choking hazards? By cutting it thinly or in small pieces, you can make it safer. There is a way to cut it (lengthwise), that you can easily google.

Hope you enjoy this recipe. Remember if you don’t have a donut pan, you can always make corn dog  muffins. Also, for those of you not wanting to buy box cornbread mix (recipe below homemade mix), here’s a homemade recipe.

HOMEMADE CORNBREAD

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbs agave nectar (you can use sugar, or honey)
  • 3 tbs melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 hot dogs (we used nitrate free organic)
  • Olive oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 375F

2. In a bowl whisk butter, agave, and egg

3. In the same bowl add milk, sour cream, salt and baking soda and mix

4. Add flour and corn meal last and combine well.

 

Corn Dog Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Cornbread mix (we used organic)
  • Ingredients per box instructions
  • 1-2 hot dogs, sliced thin slices or small tiny pieces
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Per box instructions, mix corn bread mix with recommended ingredients
  2. Grease pan
  3. Either fold in hot dog in mix or save to place on top
  4. Fill pan with corn bread mix, top with hot dog
  5. Bake per box instructions
  6. Serve with mustard and/or ketchup
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/05/corn-dog-donuts/

Hidden Veggie Egg Salad

Veggies. These fiber rich foods are oh so good for you, but oh so hard to get your kids to eat it. At least that’s what I gather from the dozens of messages I get from all of you. If you’ve followed my blog or social media you’ll see I try to offer my kids veggies at every meal.  I came up with this hidden veggie egg salad recipe while trying to fulfill this goal. It was one of those days where I knew we would be home late for lunch and I had to prepare something quickly. I boiled some eggs in the morning with the plan of making egg salad. Then, as expected when I got home, had not much time before nap time. I looked in the refrigerator, combined a few things and voilà, almost all the food groups in one bite.

Tip: You can also just steam some cauliflower and smash it, or cook some rice cauliflower with a little olive oil.

Hidden Veggie Egg Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, boiled
  • 1 tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs. avocado
  • 1-2 tsp. riced cauliflower, steamed
  • Paprika to taste
  • Bread
  • .

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mash the boiled egg
  2. Add mayo, avocado, cauliflower and mix
  3. Sprinkle paprika and combine
  4. Top on bread and serve with chips and fruit
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/02/hidden-veggie-egg-salad/

P.S. If you have a super picky toddler with texture issues, you can cut the cauliflower amount to 1/2 tsp., but honestly you can’t hardly taste it! You can also just use avocado only, that in itself has much more nutrients than just mayonnaise.

Sweet Potato Banana Bites

Mornings are always rushed at my house. Whether it’s because I have to run to work, or if I’m in a hurry to get my youngest down for his nap. The start of our mornings are always challenging. Making these baby friendly muffins ahead of time saves me a ton of time. And yes, you can have veggies for breakfast!

Best of all, you can add toppings to these muffins like chocolate chips, or sliced almonds. I just choose to make it simple for my 10 month old. We don’t offer sugar quite yet, unless it’s non refined. But for my 3-year-old chocolate chips are fair game.

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. sweet potato (steamed)
  • 1/2 c. banana (mashed)
  • 4 tbs. wheat flour
  • 2 eggs (scrambled)
  • 2 tbs. almond butter/nutbutter
  • Dash of cinammon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 375F
  2. In a large bowl, scramble eggs
  3. Mix in the mashed sweet potato, mashed banana, flour, nut butter, and dash of cinnamon
  4. Combine until well incorporated
  5. Pour into greased muffin tin
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes
  7. Serve with butter, or drizzle honey for a sweeter variety (no honey before age 1)
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2017/01/sweet-potato-banana-bites/

P.S. See that super cute ring I’m wearing? It’s from Emma J. Company.  Part of the proceeds go to No Kid Hungry with each purchase from the Emma J. Dawn McCoy Collection, $6 goes to NKH. Here’s a closeup, it’s so lovely!

Chickpea Snack Bites

So many parents who write me asking how to get their kids to try new foods. Themed lunches are a great idea to entice them to take a bite. I’m fully aware some of us including myself may be too busy to create themed lunches all the time,  but once in a while it may help your picky eater. Ps:  If you DO create these lunches, that’s so awesome! I’m a firm believer that once your child at least tries something, they may give that new food a chance. These chickpea snack bites are a delicious protein and fiber addition to your kids lunch box.
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Much like all dishes I make, this was inspired by my boys. My older son loves squirrels! He helped me make this with a cookie cutter. Here’s another tip for picky eaters who only eat white bread. I know some of you struggle with kids asking, “what are these black seeds on my bread?”.  Right? Try mixing it up. Make a sandwich with one white bread and one wheat. We made the pine cone ish looking thing (I’m telling you I don’t this often), with a grape and a baby carrot. The leaf is a red apple which I carved quickly with a knife. And of course star of the box is the chickpeas. So yummy!

Chickpea Snack Bites

P.S. if you don’t give sugar to your child, you can always serve it plain or with parmesan and garlic.

After we made the lunch, we made eating the meal a fall activity. Every morning, two squirrels pass through our back yard. We went looking for them at lunch time. When we couldn’t find them, we set up a picnic blanket on leaves. They never show up when you want them to. I read a book and voila.. it was a fun day.

Chickpea Snack Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 can garbanzo beans (organic if possible)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. coconut sugar
  • 1 tbs. maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Wash garbanzo beans and drain
  3. Rub off shells and remove (don't worry about removing it all, just try to)
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  5. Bake garbanzo beans for 20-30 minutes, check every 15 minutes and shake baking sheet for even cooking
  6. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients
  7. When beans are crispy, transfer them to a bowl and mix in maple syrup mixture
  8. Bake for another 5 minutes to carmelize
  9. Cool and allow to dry and serve
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/11/chickpea-snack-bites/

**Thank you Yumbox lunch for sponsoring this post. If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

When I talk to moms about food and picky eating, veggies are always a struggle. There’s no surprise there! Halloween is fast approaching. This holiday is a great time to introduce green foods.Many kids won’t touch anything green let alone eat it. Sometimes it’s a little more convincing to call things green monsters, incredible hulk juice, etc.  If you make your meals a little fun and festive, they may just give it a try. Once they’ve tasted it they just might realize it’s not that bad. These zucchini broccoli tater tots recipe is super tasty, even my husband and I enjoyed them.

I made these tots just a little more fun by putting candy eyes on them. I called them little green monsters. Fortunately, my son eats broccoli on its own, but no more than three or four stalks. He gobbled up about 10 of these. Dipped it in some “blood” (ketchup) and he thought it was so cool. Kinda gross to me, but hey.. we aim to please.

I packed it in a  Yumbox for a quick lunch while we went to an indoor playground. It was a perfect complete healthy meal. Also a quick tip: coat your avocado slices in olive oil and it will stay nice and green, no browning.

broccoli-tot-box-final-photo

zucchini-broccoli-tots-1

Give this a whirl, it has protein, grains, and veggies all in one.

 

Zucchini Broccoli Tater Tots

Ingredients

  • 1.5 C. steamed broccoli
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. cheddar cheese/Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 tsp. 21 seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Steam broccoli
  2. In a blender, add all ingredients and blend until pasty
  3. Form tater tot shapes
  4. In a pan, cook in a little olive oil, flip so all sides are brown
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/10/zucchini-broccoli-tater-tots/

*Thank you Yumbox for sponsoring this post. If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Avocado Grilled Cheese Sticks

The grilled cheese sandwich is often a childhood favorite for many. I think every kid enjoys the cheesy bread. My goal with every meal is to try to serve all food groups. That’s why I decided to make it a tad bit healthier by adding an avocado to it! I also coated the bread with a milk and egg mixture for added protein. This avocado grilled cheese sticks recipe is so easy to whip up and so delicious. It’s also perfect for little fingers to grasp and hold. Give it a whirl, you can’t go wrong!

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Avocado Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 2-4 slices of bread
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1-2 slices cheese of choice
  • 1 tbs.butter

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, scramble egg and add milk, set aside
  2. In another bowl, mash avocado, set aside
  3. Place mashed avocado onto bread, top with cheese, then add second layer of bread (like a sandwich)
  4. Carefully, cut the filled sandwich into strips
  5. Dip each strip in the egg mixture
  6. In a pan, on medium add butter and cook strips. Brown all sides of strips and serve
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/09/avocado-grilled-cheese-sticks/

Chicken Veggie Patties

I’ve tried several times to make chicken nuggets taste like the nuggets most kids associate with.  This comes pretty close!  I’m well aware store-bought nuggets definitely have its time in place, but I wanted to give you a homemade option to try!   Best of all, it’s all great ingredients and not processed! Furthermore, I know many of you have children who are really picky about texture. This chicken veggie patties recipe is soft and juicy and super tasty.

This recipe is quite versatile. You can chop up the chicken more finely or leave in cubes, depending on your kid’s taste. You can also omit some veggies including the green onion, peppers, or broccoli. Zucchini is relatively tasteless, so I definitely recommend keeping that in.

Chicken Veggie Patties (3)

Chicken Veggie Patties

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. green zucchini (one small zucchini), grated
  • 3 broccoli florets, grated (optional)
  • 2 extra small bell peppers, chopped finely (optional)
  • 1/4 c. cooked chicken, chopped finely (I use rotiserrie chicken)
  • 1/4 c. green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Wash and grate zucchini and dry with paper towel
  2. Chop all vegetables and set aside
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients until well incorporated
  4. In a pan add 1 tbs of olive oil on medium high heat
  5. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, scoop about a tablespoon of batter onto the pan for each pattie. Use a spoon to flatten the scoop into a patty form. Cook until golden brown and flip on the other side for a few minutes.
  6. Serve with chives and sour cream if desired
https://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/09/chicken-veggie-patties/

Note: Recipe on video is doubled and added carrots instead of green onions… did i mention versatile? I would follow the recipe for perfect results, if you’re a newbie though.

 

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Chicken Veggie Patty How To