I’ve been reading all about finger foods for toddlers for quite some time. It wasn’t until my son turned one that he really starting to get into finger foods. Like most moms I was totally worried because he was not really liking food and it seemed later than some. He was fine. He’s a happy breast-fed baby who was happy with more breast milk longer than I thought he would be. In fact he is still quite happy with breastmilk, but now he like foods as well. Because of my food interests I had of course made a Pinterest board of fun foods for baby including finger foods for toddlers. Now I get to explore them.
Today started with some zucchini muffins. Really these are zucchini, carrot and grated apple muffins and are delicious. I followed the linked recipe almost-see notes below. Lucky for us we have a garden every year and we have plenty of zucchini so I grate and freeze up bags that I can pull out during the winter for just these sort of projects. Carrots and apples are a staple in our house. So with what I needed in hand I grated, poured, melted, cracked, measured, mixed, scooped out and baked.
These muffins were a hit as soon as they were out of the oven my little guy was clamoring for them. He can eat them with this fingers the textures are appropriate and there’s a little bit of easy to chew vegetables and fruit in there and I like that. Carbohydrates are very important for children they supply most of their energy for the day and their energy needs are high. For me the challenge is coming up with new more complex carbohydrates for him to enjoy that he can pick up with his fingers cause he’s done with me giving him a spoon. These fit the bill the veggies and fruit add fiber, vitamins and important antioxidants. Additionally, I adjusted the recipe to include some whole wheat flour with the all-purpose flour so they have a little more nutrition and fiber. I also kept in the spices and added more. I have included spices in our boys diet since he was little in his puréed foods. I like warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. They add some complex flavors that compliment kid friendly foods like apples and pears and also have their own nutritional benefits.
I plan to pop these little muffins in the freezer and pull out as needed. It will be nice to have another great whole grain breakfast/snack item. Happy to not be always leaning on Cheerios… don’t get me wrong we love Cheerios over here. Our go to whole grain-Oatmeal has gotten tricky because it is now a finger food and that is just a mess. He is not the biggest fan of pancakes nor waffles. Anyone have any other tasty toddler whole grain breakfast ideas?
So as I write we are a muffin and a half in and I should point out that I also changed the recipe to mini muffins. They are closer to his serving size and not mine, because I knew what would happen -I would fix him half a muffin and then I would end up eating the other half-the mommy clean up trap.
Thanks to Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean blog
I squeezed out the grated vegetables and fruits really well using a clean dish towel.
Add in Whole Wheat flour. I usually either go half in half or 1/3 whole wheat flour to all-purpose flour in my baking. For this recipe I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour to 1 cup all-purpose and the texture was great.
Keep the Spices: In addition to the cinnamon and ginger I also added 1/4 tsp of cardamom.
Make it mini: I used my cookie scoop and filled 24 sprayed mini muffin tins and baked for about 16 minutes.
Freeze it: Store in freezer bags and pull out muffins and defrost as need.
I used butter in this recipe but you can use liquid fat or coconut oil. It’s all high calorie fat none of it is a health food and it should all be included but limited in the diet.
Keep baking, keep cozy and keep feeding yourself and your family well.