These Spinach Sweet Potato Tater Tots are a fun way to offer nutrient dense toddler vegetable recipes to your little ones. Packed with iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and carbohydrates, this veggie tots recipe is great for meal prep and the side to any meal.
This post is written as part of a long term partnership with NC Sweet Potatoes.
I feel fortunate that m child enjoys fruits and vegetables. Obviously, we go through stages and she changes her mind from time to time (kids love one thing one day and hate it the next), but overall, she’s pretty good.
How to Get Toddler to Eat Vegetables
I don’t think there’s any one secret here. Every child is different, obviously. But I DO think that how we approach fruits and vegetables makes a big difference in our kids’ attitudes.
For example, if you’re not someone who eats many fruits and vegetables yourself, it’s not likely that your child will just go ahead and enjoy broccoli, asparagus or berries on their first attempt.
We all want more toddler vegetable recipes that our kids will actually eat. But as a parent, you need to model them yourself. Show that you enjoy eating them.
When your kids are older, involve them in the preparation and cooking to peak their interest.
Keep Serving Them
What I learned in school about making vegetables for toddlers is that you just have to keep serving them. And be consistent.
Brainstorm a bunch of healthy meal ideas for toddlers and try a few new ones each week.
Then try the same ingredient in a different recipe. The Cleveland Clinic states that children may need to try a new food 10 or more times before they accept it.
I am constantly reading struggles from parents, where they’re googling how to get toddler to eat vegetables. I know it’s tempting to just search for hidden vegetable recipes for toddlers and it’s not a bad idea to search for ways to include more fruits and veggies.
But if your children don’t see YOU eating fruits and vegetables (even if they are “hidden”), why will they?
Sometimes it can also help to pair a new fruit/veggie with a food they already like, so it’s not all new together at once. That can be very overwhelming.
Do Some Prep To Have Healthy Recipes for Toddlers Available
I think part of it is having healthy meal ideas for toddlers in mind. Personally, we make muffins a ton because they are easy to add fruits/veggies to, they are easy for kids to hold and are flavorful. And they make a bunch at once!
In my roundup of 40+ baby muffins, there are several ideas for veggie muffins for toddlers and healthy food ideas for kids. There are even some spinach recipes for toddlers.
Let Your Child Choose If and How Much To Eat
This principle is part of Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility, which I hope to expand upon in a future post. Essentially, as the parent, you decide what you serve to your child.
For example, you can pick out the healthy recipes for toddlers or veggie tots recipe to make for him/her. But, the child chooses if and how much he/she wants to eat.
This sets the foundation for a positive, happy relationship with food where there is no force feeding.
Children learn to eat based on their hunger and fullness cues, which I think are far more important than temporary stages where they won’t eat certain vegetables.
Should You Include Hidden Vegetable Recipes for Toddlers?
I don’t necessarily agree with the sneaky vegetable recipes for toddlers because you don’t want kids to think you have to hide something for them to eat it.
Camryn knows broccoli is broccoli, and asparagus is asparagus. She’ll either eat it or she won’t. I want her to be familiar with it so she can learn it and identify it.
I’m not against adding veggies for toddlers in, because that is what we’re doing here with these sweet potato tater tots recipe. Sweet potato recipes for toddlers are the very best, in my opinion, because they’re easy, quick and flavorful.
Why Sweet Potato Recipes For Toddlers Are An Easy Introduction
Sweet potatoes are one of the very first vegetables/carbs that are often introduced to babies. They cook quickly, they’re super nutritious and they can take on different consistencies!
In baby led weaning, they can be mashed and pureed for easy swallowing.
Even if you think your toddler won’t eat vegetables, give it a try.
And the bonus is that it’s basically a superfood, which is why I think sweet potato for toddlers are great!
I truly believe it’s one of the best vegetables for toddlers, in terms of consistency and versatility.
Once they get a little older and can hold things like bread, this sweet potato quick bread recipe is a fan favorite. Just leave out the chocolate chips if you want to keep the sugar content lower.
How To Make Healthy Sweet Potato Tater Tots
First, you’ll cook your sweet potatoes. I love to microwave mine, because it takes 6-8 minutes. If you have an instant pot, it takes 14-18 minutes. Or, of course, you can bake them but that’s the longest time method.
Then while the sweet potatoes are cooling, you’ll shred your spinach. I love to use a mini food processor for this.
Then, you’ll remove the skin from the cooled sweet potatoes and mix the mash with the shredded spinach. If you’re wondering how to hide veggies in foods for toddlers, this is an easy way to do it with spinach.
But, like I mentioned earlier, perhaps you show them the ingredients ahead of time or have them help you mix it!
Then, you’ll add the breading mixture in with the sweet potatoes and spinach.
Form into small tater tot shapes and put in the oven. This is among the best healthy recipes for toddlers.
How Long Do Veggie Tater Tots Take?
Not long! You can have these on the table in under 45 minutes, and even quicker if you do some prep ahead of time.
Veggie tots make for a perfect meal prep side, too (more easy meal prep recipes here).
We love to serve these sweet potato tots with ketchup, guacamole or hummus depending on my mood or what Camryn is currently eating for the week 🙂
- 2 cups sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), mashed
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 1 T Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375.
- While oven is preheating, microwave sweet potatoes for 5-6 minutes, or until softened. Let them cool.
- Add spinach to blender or food processor and process until it has a shredded texture.
- Once sweet potatoes have cooled, separate filling from skin. Discard skin or save it for future use. Mix sweet potato filling with shredded spinach.
- Prepare breading by mixing breadcrumbs, egg, shredded cheese and spices.
- Add breading mixture to sweet potato mixture. Shape batter into tater tot shapes (I made 30-35 tots) and spread over baking sheet with parchment paper, spacing about
½-1 inch apart.
- Bake for 28-30 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges.
- Serve with ketchup, guacamole or hummus.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 693mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g
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Tater tots or french fries?