Toddler-Friendly Veggie Dishes that Make Great Adult Side Dishes

I've found myself in a veggie rut. We typically rotate through the same few veggie sides for my husband's and my meals, which means my one year old son usually eats the same few as well. Variety is so great for health and sometimes your palate needs a shakeup too. I hit the internets in search of some new ideas our whole family would enjoy, and I'm also sharing our tried and true options because they're our go-tos for a reason. I hope you and your family enjoy these as well!

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

These are a hit for everyone who tries them! We buy packaged or loose sprouts, depending on which looks best. We cook about 10oz at a time.

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Wash sprouts: Pay attention here; you may find little bugs in the first layer or two of leaves. I peel them back to check, rinse, and shed a leaf or two if needed.
  3. Trim and quarter sprouts: Trim off stalk and quarter sprouts length-wise
  4. Place in bowl and with 2tbs olive oil
  5. Drizzle with 2tbs balsamic glaze (I like this better than balsamic vinegar, but you can use that too.)
  6. Sprinkle with 1/2tsp salt, toss to coat
  7. Pour Brussels on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for 16 minutes, stirring once at about the halfway point if you can.
  8. Remove from oven and pour back into your bowl. Drizzle with 2-3tbs agave or honey, depending on taste.
  9. Sprinkle with another 1/2tsp salt, toss to coat

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Cubes/Fries

Sweet potatoes are an easy, healthy win in the veggie column that your kid will totally love.

Cube 'em:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Use a fork to poke holes in the top of your sweet potato
  3. Bake for 45 minutes
  4. Let cool and peel with your fingers
  5. Cut into 1/2-1in cubes

My son loves these plain, but you can get fancy and season with a little cinnamon or even turmeric.

Fry style:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Peel and cut sweet potato into 1-3in wedges
  3. Place in bowl, drizzle with 1 1/2tbs olive oil
  4. Sprinkle with 1/4-1/2tsp sea salt, toss gently (tongs work well) to coat
  5. Spray baking sheet with cooking oil
  6. Arrange wedges on baking sheet, be sure not to overcrowd them
  7. Bake until tender, turn occasionally if possible, 20-24 minutes

Enjoy!

 

Broccoli with Parmesan Cheese

  1. Either wash a small head of fresh broccoli or cook about half of a bag of frozen broccoli 2 minutes over instructions on bag so it's super tender
  2. If cooking fresh: Bowl 2in of water in a small pot
  3. Chop broccoli into 1-2in pieces, discarding the large part of the stem
  4. Place broccoli either directly into water or in a colander, then into the pot
  5. Lower temp to simmer and add lid
  6. Steam for 12 minutes (a little longer than normal so it's super tender)
  7. Let cool, then chop into smaller, 1/4-1/2in pieces
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan to taste and serve

Carrot Fries

Pretty much anything in fry form is a sure win!

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Peel and slice 3 medium carrots into 1/2in x 3in wedges
  3. Drizzle with 1-2tbs olive oil
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, toss to coat
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping carrots halfway through 

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Roasted Veggie Medley

Here's a great recipe that I'd modify a bit for my son: I would choose a sweet yellow onion and fingerling potatoes. You can also use dried herbs instead of buying all of the different fresh herbs if you don't happen to have them already growing in a pot at home.

Fiesta Corn

My son loves corn! I don't give it to him very often because it's supposedly not all that great for you, but here's a fun way to serve it when you do!

  1. Wash and small dice whichever color of bell pepper you prefer
  2. Open and rinse a can of corn
  3. Add 1tbs olive oil to a medium frying pan on low-medium heat
  4. Add corn and bell pepper
  5. Lightly salt and pepper
  6. Cook until bell pepper is soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes
  7. You can also add a bit of cilantro for the last minute of cooking AND/OR top with cotija or similar cheese when serving

Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Wash and trim asparagus – Did you know you can trim asparagus by snapping the ends off with your hands? They have a natural breaking point!
  3. Place on baking sheet
  4. Drizzle with 1-2tbs olive oil
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Toss to coat
  7. Bake 25 minutes so they're extra soft for littles

Serve with a small amount of mayo mixed with a little lemon juice for dipping!

Green Bean Fries

Another vegetable dressed up as a fry for the win! Recipe here

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Green Smoothie

I make my son a smoothie at least once a week and it usually lasts him two-three days (obviously refrigerated in between). Here's what I put in his:

  1. 3, large frozen strawberries
  2. 1 banana
  3. A handful of spinach
  4. 1/3 cup of yogurt
  5. 1-2tbs of ground flax seed
  6. Spoonful of almond/natural peanut butter
  7. 1 cup or so of water (I don't measure this out, but eyeball it and pour straight from my fridge filter into the blender)
  8. My son is done with breast milk, but I still have a small stash of frozen stuff and will cut open and add a 4oz bag of it to his smoothie if he's sick.
  9. Blend and serve!

Spinach or Kale Muffins

My son loves these and they're perfect for breakfasts or snacks on the go! Recipe here. I modified this by leaving out the brown sugar and adding in a tablespoon of honey instead!

Zucchini Pizzas

These are super easy and my son really likes them (mom does too)!

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Rinse and slice zucchini into 1/4in rounds, leave peel on
  3. Drizzle olive oil on baking sheet
  4. Use spoon to top with a dollop of your favorite pizza sauce (we've been using Ragu)
  5. Top with a pinch of shredded mozzarella
  6. Bake until cheese just starts to brown
  7. Let cool and serve!

Honey Glazed Pea Pods and Carrots

Any veggies that are soft and coated in honey are bound to be a hit with kids. Recipe here.

Which of these recipes are you most excited to try? What are your go-to veggie dishes? I'd love even more ideas to add to my bank!

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Toddler-Friendly Veggie Dishes that Make Great Adult Side Dishes

I have a constant craving for adventure and love to pack as much fun into life as I can. Becoming a mom to one sweet boy has caused me to slow down - a little, and provided me with a wonderful new way to find joy in life. I try my darndest to soak it all in, as I have already found life to move a lot quicker since welcoming this little hunk of love into it. I am married to an amazing man, and I'm still trying to figure out how to embrace the changes in our relationship that have come with new pa ... More

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