Friday, 14 September 2012

Food ideas for toddlers

I have heard that some toddlers eat whatever is placed in front of them. Although my little two and a half year old girl eats pretty well and generally tries most foods, she is definitely not one of those toddlers.

Vegan or not, most of my friends with toddlers share my experience.  

I am always trawling blogs on the lookout for new ideas for food that Sylvia might enjoy, so I thought I'd share some of our recent food successes - hopefully they work for someone else too!

Guacamole face

Borrowing yet another idea from the TV show Play School, I made guacamole dip with avocado, chopped tomato, garlic, red onion, lemon juice and salt and cut up a variety of veggies. Whoever said you shouldn't play with your food?

This is Sylvia's creation: 

Healthy cinnamon crackers

This is a great recipe from the blog Peas and Thank You. It is actually meant to be a cereal, but Sylvia just loves them as crackers served warm from the oven. They are made with chickpea and millet flour, so pretty nutritious!


I've blogged about brown rice sushi before. It was delicious, but Sylvia wasn't too keen on it. She prefers this version made with regular seasoned sushi rice and filled with avocado, capsicum, cucumber and carrot. Dipped in large quantities of tamari or soy sauce, of course!

Pesto pasta and broccoli

I made this pesto with basil leaves, olive oil, nutritional/savoury yeast, garlic, walnuts and lemon juice. I mix the broccoli with a bit of salt and Nuttelex.

Like adults, children have their likes and dislikes. These might change. They are still exploring tastes and textures. I understand them feeling reluctant to try new and unfamiliar things, especially when they feel pressured to do so.

I think it's a lot about control and independence. I find that Sylvia is more likely to try and eat food if the setting is relaxed and she doesn't feel compelled to try it. She is more interested in the food if she is involved in making it.

Toddlers test boundaries and I don't think food should be a battleground. I'm fine with giving Sylvia the freedom to occasionally have not so healthy foods containing sugar etc. and to try foods that may not be 100% vegan in social settings if it means that she has a relaxed and healthy attitude toward food and is happy eating our vegan food at home most of the time.


  1. How gorgeous that your toddler likes sushi and pesto! I can't even imagine my parents eating those foods, let alone trying them out on me when I was a little tacka!

    1. I know, very sophisticated right? :) I don't think I had these foods when I was little either!

  2. I'd love a toddler who ate what they were given. I can imagine my sylvia would love to make the guacamole face and then refuse to eat it but she is into hummus so maybe would try that! She loves sushi with oodles of soy sauce too but only eats the rice and nori - I figure it is better than chips when we are eating out. But she has gone off pasta and pesto :-(

    1. I know what you mean - it is hard when it is so unpredictable what they will try and like. The one thing Sylvia always loves is hot chips with tomato sauce when we are out :) I also find that Sylvia will often try different foods when we are out/visiting friends, and acts as though she is starving and not fed at home!

  3. What toddler couldn't go for that? I wouldn't say no either - especially to that sushi!