Quinoa recipes for kids don’t need to be intimidating or yucky. These kid-friendly quinoa recipes are perfect for picky toddlers, with additional options for quinoa for babies, too!
Trying to find quinoa kid friendly recipes can be intimidating. In fact, trying to feed kids any kind of healthy food can be difficult at times.
Different textures and colors truly take things to a whole new level.
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And toddlers, especially, are known for loving foods one day and despising them the next, which is why quinoa recipes for kids often get thrown to the wayside.
And while quinoa recipes for toddlers are easy enough to find, quinoa isn’t the cleanest grain around.
It’s messy, which is expected when serving quinoa to a baby, but otherwise, it’s just a pain to clean up.
Is Quinoa Good for Toddlers?
Yes, quinoa is good for toddlers and it’s great for kids of all ages.
Quinoa is packed with protein and is a great source of fiber, Vitamins A, C and E, and minerals, like magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium.
Plus, if we’re making a healthy quinoa dish for ourselves, why not also make it a kid friendly quinoa recipe?
The point is for all of us to enjoy food together, and that’s one of my tips for intuitive eating for kids – eat what you’re modeling to them.
Recipes that the whole family will enjoy is a real win. Making two (or three) different dinners just isn’t fun or practical, and there’s really no reason to be intimidated with grain recipes for kids.
These kid friendly quinoa recipes are both palatable and practical.
Since many of these baby quinoa recipes are solid and easy to hold, it’s MUCH easier for kids who haven’t mastered the hand-eye coordination to eat and enjoy with a fork just yet.
If you want other finger foods for toddlers, check out some of these ideas.
Tips For Quinoa For Kids
When considering introducing quinoa recipes to toddlers, I have a few tips to help them ease into the idea.
- Try Colored Quinoa: Kids make choices based on how a food looks. Sometimes a more colorful food is more appealing. Try a colored quinoa variety!
- Beware of Cooked vs Dry Quinoa: Pay attention to whether or not your recipe calls for pre-cooked quinoa or simply dry quinoa. You don’t want to cook it beforehand if it isn’t required in a recipe. If you do this, it can cause your quinoa to get mushy.
- Cook With A Different Liquid – Quinoa is pretty bland on its own and really takes on whatever flavors it is mixed with. If you’re wondering what to add to quinoa to make it tasty, try milk, coconut milk, chicken broth, bone broth or another flavored and nutritious liquid instead of water.
- Incorporate some fun add in’s! My go-to is often a quinoa salad that’s kid friendly, filled with fruits and veggies they know and like. Some favorite quinoa add in’s include:
- spices – like mint, cilantro, basil – These are great in quinoa recipes for babies because you are expanding their palates at a young age!
- fruits – like berries, cantaloupe, kiwi or orange (tropical fruits do very well)
- sauces – like tomato sauce, mashed avocado, tahini, hummus
- beans and lentils – so many ideas for lentil recipes for toddlers!
- fun add in’s – chocolate chips, mashed banana and peanut butter for a sweet quinoa recipe, similar to my quinoa breakfast bowl recipe
Quinoa for Picky Toddlers Tips
While many of these quinoa recipes for picky eaters should be pleasing for kids, toddlers and kids have their own preferences! Sometimes when we make certain foods and our kids don’t like it the first time, we want to just give up. But don’t give up!
- Try pairing a new food, like quinoa, with foods you know your kids already like (here are plenty of toddler snack ideas if you need them). Here are some ideas for freezable toddler meals that we utilize often. For example, if your child loves blueberries, instead of just giving blueberries plain, try mixing them in with a new granola recipe or a quinoa salad.
- Pair different textures! Have something crunchy on the plate to go alongwith soft quinoa. Texture is a big thing for kids so if it isn’t the right texture, the odds of these quinoa recipes for picky eaters succeeding are far lower.
- Try it with breakfast. If your kid loves breakfast, add it alongside a favorite. We have plenty quinoa breakfast recipes for kids in here, so all ideas are on the table.
How to Cook Quinoa for Kids
If a recipe does call for cooked quinoa, here are my favorite quinoa cooking tips:
- Before cooking, you want to make sure you rinse it.
- Heat some oil up in a pan on medium heat and toast your quinoa for a little over 2 minutes. Make sure it gets a little toasty and that all the water from rinsing it is gone.
- Stir in 1 3/4 cups water to 1 cup of quinoa and bring the water to a boil. Cover, turn your stove to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the quinoa from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. Don’t take the lid off your pot.
- Fluff with a fork once it’s done. This is how I do it for my lemon herb cheesy quinoa and it turns out perfectly each time.
Quinoa for Babies
Quinoa is good for babies, too! When making quinoa for baby, I like to serve it preloaded on a spoon with mashed avocado or hummus, or I’ll offer it through one of the handheld recipes below.
I also like to throw it in some of my favorite baby friendly recipes, like baby led weaning meatballs and even baby french toast. It meshes in well and can add more structure and of course, more nutrients!
It sounds crazy but it doesn’t change the flavor at all and is adding extra nutrients and a new food for babies.
After you see these easy kid friendly quinoa recipes, you’ll feel inspired to add them to your rotations for snacks, lunch, and dinner in the future.