To help you make it through, and get your bellies filled, we’ve collected a few three-ingredient toddler-proof recipes. The key when cooking with a toddler is having a few staples on hand, and keeping prep as easy and simple as possible. Because toddlers are a bit famous for well, interrupting basically everything.
One of my kids’ favorite meals is an old classic. You can make this one with your toddler with 3 simple ingredients. For extra toddler giggles, pretend to throw the pita in the air like you’re in a pizzeria before you start.
- 1 pita bread
- ¼ cup pizza sauce
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Any toddler-safe topping of your choice!
Preheat. Dial the oven to 325 degrees.
Cut. Use a knife to cut the pita bread into wedges before you add toppings. This will keep the slices easy to separate after they are cooked in the oven.
Add toppings. Spread the pizza sauce on first to your desired taste. Then have your toddler sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
Heat. Place the newly formed “pizza” in the oven for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey.
Serve. For your toddler, cut into tiny pieces that are appropriate for a tot-size bite. Eat your delicious creation with gusto.
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love a smoothie, so you just can’t go wrong with this toddler-friendly recipe. Plus, your little one will be a happy camper sipping this sweet drink and probably feel really cool drinking a special drink just like mom.
Pro tip: smoothies are naturally sweet, so it makes it easy to sneak in a veggie or two into the drink without your picky eater noticing. Think veggies that your tot normally would turn their nose up at, like zucchini, cucumber, carrots, and leafy greens. With toddlers, you can keep the flavors simple.
- 1 cup yogurt
- A ripe banana (plus any extra fruit you’d like)
- Choose a veggie (suggestion: ¼ cup of spinach works great)
Gather your ingredients. Allow your toddler to help peel the banana. You can assist with placing the yogurt into the blender (just make sure to keep little hands safe from blender parts!). Throw in a small amount of spinach.
Blend. Blend the smoothie really well to make sure it has the texture you’d like and there are no extra chunks. You can hold on to the blender and allow your toddler to ‘help’ by pressing the blender button if they are able to.
Serve. Voila! Your smoothie is ready to be served. Your toddler can sip their creation from a reusable pouch, cup with a straw, or a sippy cup. Whatever works with your busy schedule, mama.
A Dash of Sweetness
What would life be without some sugar to go with the spice? This crowd-pleaser is sure to be a hit because it combines a tasty toddler favorite – apple sauce—with a taste of carrots. This puree is perfect for lunches, mid-morning snacks, and even dessert.
- 6 peeled and cored apples, chopped into pieces
- 3 peeled carrots
- 1 cup of water
Boil. Add all ingredients to a bigger pot on the stove and wait for it to boil. Once it’s boiling, bring the heat down to simmer. Cover and simmer for 35-35 minutes. When it’s done, the carrots should be easy to slice when you prick with a fork. Wait for the mixture to cool.
Blend. Use a food processor (or blender) to blend the carrots, apples, and water together until you have a puree. It should only take about 30 seconds of pulsing to get an apple-sauce consistency that is free of large chunks. Your toddler can help “press” the blender button again if they are able to (just pretending is fun too!)
Store. This will keep in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for several months. For a variation on this recipe, try a little cinnamon to spice it up.
This 3-ingredient pasta dish is sure to win rave awards with the under-5 crowd. The best part? It contains a mix of carbs, proteins, and fats (avocado for the win!) to keep your kiddo feeling satisfied—and hopefully stop the mid-day snack-raid. Actually, who are we kidding, the snacks never end. Sigh.
- 1 serving uncooked angel hair pasta
- ½ cup of chicken, cooked and chopped
- ½ avocado
Cook. Place the pasta in a pot of boiling water and wait the allotted time for the pasta to cook al dente. This one’s mom’s job.
Blend. Use a blender to blend together the chicken and avocado (a food processor would also work). Your toddler can help press the button on the blender with a little help.
Drain. When the pasta is cooked and ready, drain the water and return to pot.
Stir. Your toddler will love to help stir the ingredients together. Assist those little hands with stirring in the green mixture of chicken and avocado. Season to taste, and if you’d like, sprinkle cheese on top for even more of a protein boost.
If you try these recipes, we can’t guarantee your toddler won’t make a mess— but we can guarantee they’ll look darn cute doing so.
These are a great start for your kid to learn some cooking skills plus get quality time with mom. And who knows? You might just have the next Kids’ Baking Championship winner on your hands in a few years.