When Lila was a tiny baby, she was not about that puree life. She turned up her nose at pureed veggies, scoffed at baby cereal, and just forget about anything mushy. No, that little girl wanted FOOD.
We turned to Baby Led Weaning, and found that she ate MUCH better. Shredded chicken, cheerios, diced fruits, pieces of cheese- she gobbled it up with abandon. But it was still such a struggle to eat her to get vegetables, and getting her to eat enough iron was nearly impossible.
I searched and searched for recipes to suit her taste, and finally found the winner in these veggie muffins. This easy recipe has all of the good stuff- whole grains in, fruits, veggies, and even protein- with (less) of the “bad stuff.”
As a bonus, they freeze wonderfully and can be made in a mini-muffin pan (baby sized baby muffins!!!), so that you can give your toddler what they need, even with their ever-changing appetites.
The other upside is that this yummy toddler muffin recipe is a great way to use up pureed fruits, vegetables, and cereals that you Baby Led Weaning leaves behind. Finding a recipe for baby cereal muffins that uses up leftover purees is such a relief.
It’s a healthy breakfast idea for babies, and offers well-rounded nutrition in the process. Break it into small pieces if needed, or just let your little one nibble at it in their own way. Always supervise little ones while practicing baby-led weaning, and then sit back and watch as their appetites and tastes expand on their own.
What Ingredients are Needed for Healthy Toddler Muffins?
This recipe uses ingredients that pack a hearty nutritional punch. We recommend using a variety of fruit and vegetable purees, grated carrots, whole grain flour, and baby cereal.
- Squash baby food
- Brown Sugar
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Baby Cereal
- Baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt
Missing Ingredients? Yes, You Can Use Substitutes!
These muffins have a TON of flexibility. We’ve made them dozens of times, and every time we make them slightly different depending on what we have available.
- Substitutes for applesauce: pear puree, peach puree
- Substitutes for squash puree: any baby food will do, but you’ll get different results depending on what you use. For example, we used green beans once…I wouldn’t recommend that. But pear, peach, pumpkin, carrots, and even green peas have worked well for us in the past!
- Can I use regular flour? Yep! It’ll have less of that whole grain goodness, but it’ll taste just fine!
- Can I use a different baby cereal? We’ve tried this with oatmeal and multigrain, but never with rice cereal. I have a hunch it would work, but I can’t promise!
- My baby is allergic to eggs! You can substitute in a half cup of plain yogurt instead of the eggs.
Can I Take Out the Sugar?
We have tried a few different substitutions to eliminate brown sugar from this recipe, but none of them had the result we were looking for. So we decided to stick with a bit of sugar for the sake of keeping these baby muffins appealing to little ones.
If you have toddlers over the age of one, two tablespoons of honey may be the closest substitute we can recommend.
Also Note: We only tried to lower the sugar content so we wouldn’t feel as guilty about the three cupcakes the kid would be eating later.
Combine Your Wet Ingredients
First up, combine your applesauce with brown sugar in a medium sized bowl. Mix until creamy.
Then, you’ll add in your baby food puree, grated carrots, eggs, and banana.
Mix Your Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, combine your flour, baby cereal, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt.
Mix Your Dry Ingredients Into Your Wet Ingredients
Slowly pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients, about a half cup at a time.
Mix until just combined. It’s really important not to over stir at this point, or your muffins will come out tough!
Add Optional Ingredients to Your Toddler Muffins
At this point, you may want to stir in a half cup of blueberries for a little added texture (and a bit more nutrition!)
Or, if your kids are less eager to try new foods, you may want to mix in a quarter or half cup of mini chocolate chips. Chocolate is a great motivator, and can really encourage kids to give an otherwise unappealing food a try.
Pour into a Cupcake Pan
You can make these muffins full size if you’d like, but we prefer to make them mini muffins to make them easier for little hands to grab.
Resist the urge to use cupcake liners for these ones. Yes, it helps with cleanup, but these muffins are super moist and they’ll likely stick to the liners.
These silicone mini muffin tins work really well, since they make it super easy to pop the muffins out when they’re done. Pro tip: You can set it on a cookie sheet to make it less floppy/easier to pull out of the oven.
Bake Your Baby Muffins!
Pop your muffins into the oven for 15 minutes for mini muffins, and about 20 minutes for standard sized muffins.
Allow to cool for ten minutes before removing from the pan, and then cool completely before serving.
These also freeze BEAUTIFULLY, so you can throw them into a gallon size Ziploc and put them in the freezer so you can half healthy baby muffins available anytime!
Veggie-Packed Toddler Muffins
Sneak in more of the good stuff (fruits! veggie! iron fortified cereal!) with these healthy toddler muffins. Perfect for baby led weaning and preschoolers alike!
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (homemade or store bought)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 large bananas, smashed
- 4.5 ounces squash baby food (homemade or store bought)
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup baby cereal (oatmeal or multigrain)
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together the applesauce and brown sugar until creamy.
Mix in your bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs.
In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients- the flour, baby cereal, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
Mix slowly into your wet ingredients until just mixed. Do not over-stir!
Grease a mini-muffin or standard muffin pan (will make about 30 mini muffins or 15 regular). You might be tempted to use cupcake liners, but we advise against it. These super-moist muffins might just stick to the paper!
Pop your muffins into the oven! Mini-muffins will cook for about 15 minutes, and standard muffins will take about twenty minutes. Your muffins will be done when a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
Allow the muffins to cool for about ten minutes, and then remove from pan. If they are giving you trouble, slide a knife around the edges of each muffin before removing. Allow to cool completely, and then serve or freeze by stacking in a single layer in a gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag.
So if your looking for healthy breakfast ideas for toddlers or babies, go ahead and give these healthy baby muffins a try. Let us know how they turn out, and happy snacking!
A version of this recipe was originally published by Lori on allrecipes.com. The original version of the recipe can be seen here.
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