The Best Vegetable Preparations for Baby-Led Weaning

Struggling to get your baby or toddler to eat enough vegetables? Here are some of the best, easy vegetable preparations for baby-led weaning!

A baby with broccoli all over her face to help showcase the best vegetable preparations for baby-led weaning.

Whether they’re following baby-led weaning or not, one of the pain points I hear about most often from mamas (and dadas!) of little ones is that they can’t get their babes to eat vegetables. Now, there are some behavioral techniques I recommend for keeping your baby or toddler open to trying a variety of different foods, but there is also a lot of technique you can use in preparing vegetables in ways that are exciting (and intriguing!) for less sophisticated palates. That’s what I’m sharing with you today.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Again

I’ll get into some specific ideas in a second, but before I do I want to go over one of my most favorite aspects of baby-led weaning, and that is continuous introduction with varied preparation techniques.

Say what???

In a nutshell, what this means is just what my subtitle said: If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Now, if your child refuses to eat steamed broccoli one night at dinner, I am NOT telling you to just continue forcing them to eat steamed broccoli every day for eternity.

Instead, wait a couple of days, then re-introduce the broccoli, but prepared in a completely different way. Your little one didn’t like the steamed broccoli? How about roasting it with some different herbs and spices? Or sautéing it in a little butter?

Getting slightly off topic here, but I think this is why most of us grew up hating Brussels sprouts. I would not touch those things for YEARS because I grew up eating those bland bulbs simply steamed and MAYBE seasoned with some salt and pepper if I was lucky. I’m not blaming my parents – I think it was a fad of their generation to serve vegetables this way – but, man, gimme crispy roasted Brussels with bacon and shallots today? I’ll eat the whole batch. Not even kidding.

A baby in a highchair eating food with a quizzical look on her face...figure out how to avoid this with the Best Vegetable Preparations for Baby-Led Weaning!

So your kid’s not digging the mashed sweet potatoes? Try roasting sweet potato spears and calling them “fries” (a winner in any child’s book). Even better, serve them with hummus, tzatziki or some other fun “dip.” Your little one will not be able to stop.

It’s important to keep introducing our kids to a variety of flavors and to not fall into a trap of serving them whatever we “know” they’ll eat on any given day (grilled cheese and chicken fingers – I’m looking at you). If you’re concerned they won’t be getting enough to eat, take a look at my Ultimate Guide to Healthy Meal Prep for Your Littles and also my post on How to Implement a Baby or Toddler Meal Plan for more encouragement and guidance.

If you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to different ways to season or “spice up” your veggies, I highly recommend you get your hands on this book ASAP [*affiliate link]. It has so many great ideas for herbs, spices and other ingredients that will liven up any food you’re trying to get your little one to eat!

Let’s Talk Vegetables!

Okay, now that we got the logistics out of the way, I want to give you all of the inspiration you need to work some veggies into your little one’s diet today.

A basket of fresh produce filled with some of the best vegetables to use in baby-led weaning.

To start, here is a list of all of the vegetables my little one has tried and/or eats on a regular basis:

  • Squash
  • Zucchini (I know, it’s a squash, but she loves it so much it deserves a mention of its own)
  • Beets
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bell peppers

We don’t eat all of these every week, but she’s at least been introduced to them and, although she doesn’t always eat her entire serving whenever we include it in a meal, she’s eaten a healthy serving of all of these at some point or another.

Ideas for Preparing Vegetables

So, I think you can probably tell from my musings earlier in this post that I’m not a huge fan of steamed vegetables. I just personally think sautéing or roasting vegetables give them so much more character and flavor.

BUT, that’s not to say I haven’t steamed vegetables for my little one before, especially since she didn’t get her first tooth until after she was one. When she was younger, she loved broccoli steamed with a little bit of lemon juice and garlic, or green beans prepared the same way.

One zucchini partially sliced on a cutting board with a chef's knife in the background. Zucchini is a great vegetable for baby-led weaning!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR STEAMING…

Place a steamer basket [*affiliate link] in an appropriately-sized saucepan, then fill the saucepan with a small layer of water, just enough so that you can see it swish up the holes in the bottom of the steamer when you slosh the pan around.

Place your washed and trimmed vegetables in a single layer over the bottom of the steamer basket, then season as desired. Put the pan on the stove over medium heat and cover with an appropriately sized lid, leaving it slightly askew with a small opening off to the side so you can see the steam escaping.

Start by setting the timer for 10 minutes, then check on your veggies and continue to steam until they reach the desired doneness.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SAUTEING…

Place a medium skillet over medium heat and melt some sort of oil or butter on it (high-quality butter, olive oil or coconut oil are all great ideas). Once the pan is heated, add whatever vegetables you’re cooking (you’ll want them already cut in whatever manner you’re going to be serving them).

Add desired seasoning and saute until vegetables reach their desired doneness.

A bunch of kale on a cutting board. Kale is another great vegetable for baby-led weaning!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ROASTING…

Although temperatures and timing may vary based on whatever vegetable you’re roasting, I typically roast my veggies at an oven temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit and starting at somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes.

To prepare your vegetables, spread them out on a jelly roll pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper  [*affiliate links]. Drizzle on olive oil and season with desired herbs and spices.

For softer vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms or asparagus, you’ll need closer to the 10-15 minute mark for roasting.

For harder vegetables like butternut squash, beets or carrots, you’ll need closer to 20-25 minutes.

A bowl of beets on a cutting board with a knife in the background. Beets are easy to sneak into other dishes in baby-led weaning!

Other Ways to Work in Vegetables for Baby-Led Weaning

The ideas above are fantastic for prepping a big batch of vegetables in their true form at once. However, I am completely aware of the fact that sometimes you just need to work veggies into the diet elsewhere so that they’re not quite as obvious.

Here are some of my favorite ways to sneak vegetables into other food preparations:

  • Blend them into a smoothie – you can also then freeze these smoothies into popsicles [*affiliate link]
  • Puree them into a muffin, pancake, waffle or baked donut batter
  • Bake them into a healthy version of macaroni and cheese
  • Hide them on pizza (you can even work some veggies into the crust!)
  • Dice them up and mix them with ground meat for sliders (mushrooms work especially well for this)
  • Scatter them into baked oatmeal, along with similarly colored fruits (i.e. diced beets and raspberries)

A tray full of vegetable-filled popsicles, a perfect way to sneak vegetables in with baby-led weaning.

As you can see, as long as you’re willing to get a little bit creative, you’re bound to find a way to sneak some vegetables into your baby or toddler’s diet.

My best advice? Don’t fall into a rut, be willing to get creative, and share your joy of healthy foods with your little ones!

What ways have you successfully been able to prepare vegetables for your baby or toddler? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

A toddler sitting in the back of a car eating some sweet potatoes.

The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Meal Prep for Your Littles

There are no more excuses when it comes to healthy meal prep for your littles. This post covers all your roadblocks and how to overcome them!Title image for the Ultimate Guide to Healthy Meal Prep for Your Littles, featuring a toddler enjoying a healthy, balanced meal.

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time now, you know I’m a huge proponent of baby-led weaning and healthy meal prep. And if you’re new to CaliGirl Cooking, welcome! I look forward to sharing all of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over my past year and a half of motherhood for getting my little one to eat a wide variety of foods today – yes, vegetables included!

Before I get into the amazing resource I’ve created for all my mamas and papas out there, let’s quickly go over the biggest “pain points” I hear when it comes to prepping food for babies and toddlers.

Baby & Toddler Meal Prep Pain Points

  1. I don’t know where to start! What is safe for my little one to eat at a certain age and what isn’t?
  2. I’ve run out of ideas for what to make for my baby/toddler.
  3. My child will only eat the same few foods and never tries anything new or different.
  4. I don’t have time to make special food just for my little one.

The good news?? I’ve got solutions for all of these problems! Let’s break them down one by one.

#1 I don’t know where to start! What is safe for my little one to eat at a certain age and what isn’t?

I first want to start with a quick disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, registered dietitian or doctor. These are simply my opinions and lessons from what I’ve learned over the last year or so of motherhood to help provide guidance. Always seek a professional opinion if you have any serious questions or concerns.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about where to start. I’ve mentioned it before, but my husband and I are HUGE proponents of the method of introducing solids known as baby-led weaning.

A happy toddler gnawing on an entire stalk of celery.

In short, the definition of baby-led weaning (also known as BLW) is as follows: a method of adding complementary foods to a baby’s diet of breastmilk or formula. A method of food progression, BLW facilitates the development of age-appropriate oral motor control while maintaining eating as a positive, interactive experience. Baby-led weaning allows babies to control their solid food consumption by “self-feeding” from the very beginning of their experiences with food. The term weaning should not be taken to imply giving up breastmilk or formula, but simply the introduction of foods other than breastmilk or formula.* (definition taken from this baby-led weaning entry in Wikipedia)

I’ll cover some of the main points of baby-led weaning in just a moment, but if you want to read about it in more detail, I highly recommend the book Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods – and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett [*affiliate link]. This was the only book I read on it and I found it very comprehensive.

But to quickly summarize, here is why we chose (and loved) baby-led weaning:

  • Your children eat the same foods you do, just modified if needed based on their oral motor control and manual dexterity.
  • No purées
  • Your child is in control of their food consumption from the beginning, they self-feed as much as possible, leaving you free hands to enjoy your own meal.
  • Discourages parents from offering alternatives if a child refuses to eat the meal they are served.
  • Encourages use of adventurous herbs and spices from the get-go to introduce your child to a wide range of flavors.

So, if this all sounds great to you and you’re looking for where to start, I highly encourage you purchase the book! [*affiliate link]

#2 I’ve run out of ideas for what to make for my baby/toddler

Have no fear! I have some great resources for you.

First and foremost, did you know I wrote a cookbook on this very topic? Yep, you can purchase my 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers e-cookbook right here on my site. Also, stay tuned to the blog, because I’ll be sharing one or two exclusive recipes from it in the coming months.

Secondly, I’ve found both Pinterest and Instagram to be great resources for meal ideas for babies and toddlers. Here are a few of my favorite accounts to follow:

@feedinglittles

@inspiralizedkids

@realbabyfood (run by Jenna Helwig who also wrote this helpful cookbook: Baby-Led Feeding [*affiliate link])

@kidfriendly.meals

And there are so many more! Just search the #babyledweaning hashtag on IG and you’ll find soooo many great ideas.

A toddler self-feeding herself a smoothie bowl in her high chair.

#3 My child will only eat the same few foods and never tries anything new or different

Okay, there are a few solutions to this, or ways to avoid the problem completely.

Baby-led weaning has many tactics that help broaden your little one’s palate and introduce him or her to a wide variety of foods from a very early age. In a nutshell, there are no foods that BLW says NOT to introduce to your little one as soon as they are developed enough in oral and motor skills to safely consume it.

For example, one of the first foods we introduce to our little one was butternut squash dusted with curry powder, and it is still one of her favorite snacks to this day. Yep, that’s right, my 18-month old can’t get enough of curry powder.

Studies have shown that, in a child’s first three years of life, his or her brain will have up to twice as many synapses as it will have in adulthood. This means that the first three years of a child’s life are crucial for brain development, learning, and new experiences – which many of us parents already knew – but this also includes being introduced to new tastes and flavors.

Another main facet of baby-led weaning is not offering alternatives to a meal if your child doesn’t eat what is served. It’s important to look at a baby’s week as a whole in regards to food consumption and only worry if the food protest continues on for multiple meals at a time. The idea is that kids will eat if they are hungry, and offering alternatives simply gets them into the habit of thinking they can get whatever they want, which is typically something bland, boring and NOT nutrient dense, like grilled cheese or buttered pasta. Did you that babies are only born being able to taste sweet and bitter flavors? This explains a lot when it comes to innate food preferences!

Full disclosure: This has been THE hardest rule for us to abide by when it comes to BLW. As parents, I think it’s hard for us to watch our child not eat anything, then believe they won’t be going to bed hungry. Our solution? We always try to include ONE food that we call a “home run” food. Something we know the little one loves and will eat plenty of, even if she doesn’t eat anything else. This way we know she’ll eat something and not leave the table starving.

There are so many other small details I’m not covering here, but you get the idea, and I highly encourage you to read up on BLW more on your own.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: I missed the boat on BLW and now my toddler is the pickiest eater! Well, that’s where many of the recipes in my cookbook come in. This is when we turn to hidden nutrients. Your little one won’t know they’re eating vegetables and other healthy things if you sneak them into some of their favorite foods. No shame in that game.

For example, my cookbook includes a Hidden Veggie Mac-and-Cheese and tons of muffin and baked donut recipes that are filled with sneaky things like beets, beans and spinach. They taste delicious and your babe won’t even know they’re good for him or her.

A toddler enjoying a plate full of healthy food thanks to a healthy meal prep plan.

#4 I don’t have time to make special food just for my little one

Okay, my mamas and papas, this doesn’t come easily for ANYONE. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but the great thing about BLW is your babe will mostly eat what you eat.

BUT, as a busy mom trying to run her own business, keep up the house, and be the primary care provider for my little one, I also know that sometimes you just need something healthy on hand that can be served at a moment’s notice.

This is the part where I tell you that if the freezer hasn’t already become your new best friend, it’s about time that it does! Seriously, freezer meals and snacks have been such a godsend for us. They’re a great way to always have something healthy and homemade on hand rather than reaching for a store-bought or convenience snack. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fed my daughter her fair share of store-bought stuff in moments of desperation, but if I have something healthy and homemade waiting in the freezer, I’m reaching for it 95% of the time.

Lucky for you, all of the recipes in my e-cookbook are freezer-friendly. I mean, it is called 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers, after all! Breakfasts, snacks, dinner items – I can vouch for every single one of these and tell you that they will change your family’s life.

I still hear some of you, though – I hear you saying you don’t have any time to even MAKE freezer meals. Well, I’m here to tell you that you do. I mean, some of these recipes take 30 seconds to whip up and then you just pop them in the oven and forget about them for 20 minutes. You can find time for that! All of the recipes in my book are clear on how much time they take to prep and cook, so you can use that as a guide for what you may have time to make in any given day.

Having a batch of Beet Banana Muffins on hand in the freezer is a great step in creating the ultimate meal prep system for your littles!

They really are a game-changer, and once you start you won’t be able to turn back. It feels so good to have healthy snacks and meals on hand that you know your baby or toddler will love!

I hope this post has been helpful to you, and given you the inspiration you need to get in the kitchen and make nutritious and delicious food for your little one. If you are looking for a more exact “meal plan” of sorts, I encourage you to check out this post where I talk about the actual schedule and types of food we serve our little one on a daily basis.

Now, I want to hear from you! Did you find this post helpful? Are there any questions you have that I didn’t cover? Anything you want me to cover in the future? Let me know in the comments below!

A messy-faced toddler smiling after enjoying a smoothie bowl. Smoothie bowl are a great part of meal prep!

Happy cooking!

When Is My Baby Ready to Start Solids?

These are some of the primary signs to look for when determining if your baby is ready to start eating solid foods.

A cute baby eating some of her first solid foods (and getting them all over her face) in her highchair.

**As with all of my posts related to baby-led weaning, I kindly remind you that I am sharing my experiences as a mother who has recently gone through this process and found great success in getting my little one to enjoy a wide variety of foods. I am sharing tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way in hopes that these posts will be another source of information you can gather from in the VAST array of research I’m sure you’re already doing to formulate whatever personal parenting style you choose to use with your children. I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or nutritionist and the information I provide should never take the place of or override that provided by these professionals. For more information on baby-led weaning, I urge you to read Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods – and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett [*affiliate link].

Okay, now that that’s all out of the way, I’m excited to share with you today three signs we looked for when deciding if our baby girl was ready to start on solid food.

Before I get to the list, though, I think it’s important that I give you a little background on our breastfeeding and formula journey (yes, we used both!)

A dad feeding his baby girl a bottle in a rocking chair.

OUR BREASTFEEDING (AND FORMULA) JOURNEY

I don’t think enough people get real about just how TOUGH breastfeeding is. Man, it is HARD WORK and something that requires intense concentration to get right, especially when you’ve suddenly had a tiny human thrust into your arms that you’re responsible for keeping alive. Lactation consultants are in high demand and it’s no wonder why. I am so grateful that my mom is a retired NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse and also happens to have a good friend who is a lactation consultant, otherwise I have no idea what I would have done!

My little one had a strong latch from the very first time we tried to breastfeed, and that was a primary reason for why the nurses encouraged me to use a nipple shield right away [*affiliate link]. They didn’t want her destroying me before I’d even had a chance to meet with a consultant!

I ended up continuing to use the shield for a couple of reasons as time went on (until about 4 months old) and, even though it was yet another thing to juggle when I was trying to stay somewhat decent breastfeeding in public, I got the hang of it and it turned into no big thanggggg.

Mama breastfeeding her baby in bed with a cup of coffee in hand.

Things were going well for a while, but around month 5 it seemed like baby girl just wasn’t satisfied after we’d finish a nursing session. And let me tell you, it wasn’t because I didn’t give her enough time…She was a suuuuper slow nurser and would always happily nurse for a solid 20 minutes each side.

I’m sure you can imagine if you’re a mom, but this was stressing me out, and I can bet that wasn’t helping with my supply. This was the time my mom recommended we start thinking about introducing some rice cereal, and after clearance from our doctor to do so, we tried it.

Now, my little one has always loved food, but even though she seemed INTERESTED in the small amounts of rice cereal I started feeding her, the majority of it was ending up everywhere EXCEPT her mouth, and it still seemed like she was hungry. This was when we made the decision to start introducing some formula, for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was finally able to convince myself of the fact that I shouldn’t let my pride about “exclusively breastfeeding” get in the way of my daughter’s happiness and wellbeing.
  2. I need to start thinking of MY wellbeing, too. Was forcing myself to exclusively breastfeed when it was becoming really stressful the best choice for me and my mental state? That was a big, fat NO.
  3. I would continue to breastfeed, but would give her formula to SUPPLEMENT. Then it was a win-win: she (and I) both continued to reap the benefits of breastfeeding, but I would be confident in the fact that she was getting the nutrients and calories she needed through formula.

If you are familiar with baby-led weaning, then you know that your babe’s calories from solids are not intended to take the place of his or her calories from formula/breastmilk until they are around one year old. Rather, solids are meant to be a fun exploration for your little one. If they eat what you serve, great! But don’t worry about them NOT eating because their primary source of calories and nutrients is still formula.

I ended up continuing to breastfeed in some way or another until Raia was 10 ½ months (we would have gone longer but I had a trip to go on and was SO over bringing my pump with me), at which point we weaned to straight formula until 12 months, when we introduced dairy milk. Her milk intake had steadily dwindled the more she got into food, so it was an easy transition and, looking back, I have no regrets.

A cute baby stripped down in a highchair enjoying some of her first solid foods.

I promise I’m about to get into the “signs to start solids,” but before I do so I want to leave you with this little nugget:

It’s so easy to get caught up in society’s idea of the “perfect” way to raise your child, whether it be through exclusively breastfeeding until at least 12 months or putting your child in full-time childcare (and a million other examples). I want you to absorb the societal noise – don’t ignore it – but then take a step back and look at YOU and your family. What is best for YOUR overall wellbeing? We can’t forget ourselves. Screw society. We need to take care of US just as much as we need to take care of our littles.

That all being said, here are the three main signs we saw that told us Raia was ready for solids – and the signs you may want to look for in your little as well:

#1 Sitting Up Unassisted

You want to make sure your little has enough strength to hold him- or herself in a position that they can safely consume solid foods. This is crucial with baby-led weaning as you move straight to solid solids – not purées – and you don’t want them to choke! You can tell if your baby is at this point by placing them in their highchair and seeing if they support themselves or lean forwards or backwards (or sideways) to help prop themselves up.

A baby sitting up unassisted to show she is ready to start exploring solid foods.

#2 Genuine Interest in What You’re Eating

I mean, this video kind of says it all. Am I right?

Those mouth noises just crack me up! It was pretty obvious to us when Raia was starting to have an interest in solid foods. We’re talking, mouth open, ready for us to drop something in as soon as we took a bite. Another common sign of this might be them reaching towards food. Every baby is different.

#3 Adequate Motor Control

You don’t have to worry so much about their oral dexterity (they will learn this through the baby-led weaning process – it’s why gagging happens) but you want to make sure they have the manual dexterity to at least pick up properly prepared “sticks” or other larger pieces of food. You may have heard about the gagging that is often associated with baby-led weaning, but if you read the book I recommend [*affiliate link] you’ll see why gagging is a perfectly normal part of baby’s oral motor skill development. You can also watch YouTube videos on it to learn what to look for and the difference between “gagging” and “choking.”

And there you have it! Short and sweet, but you can see these are all pretty significant landmarks to look out for.

Mom letting baby nibble on a whole apple.

I hope this is helpful for you, and I also hope you’ll reach out with any additional questions.

If your little has reached all of these milestones and you’re ready to embark on your solid foods journey, check out this other related post on what I recommend for baby’s first foods!

Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes (Baby-Friendly!*)

With whole grains and naturally sweetened, these Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes are the perfect make-ahead bite for you AND all the little ones in your life. Who doesn’t like carrot cake for breakfast?

These Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes (with no added sugar) are the perfect recipe for baby-led weaning, but all babies will enjoy them!

*This post is the first in a series of recipes I’ll be doing that ascribe to the philosophy of baby-led weaning, which is the method we have chosen to introduce solids to our little one. We’ve already tested her on all the potential allergens included in the ingredients (eggs, wheat, etc.) and she shows no sensitivity. Please use your discretion to decide if these recipes will be right for your babe. Mother always knows best!

All right mamas, you’ve been waiting so patiently and it’s finally here: my first baby-friendly recipe post! If you’re following me on my @caligirlkids (formerly @caligirlmomma) account, then you’ll know that we’ve been doing baby-led weaning with our little one. If you’re not familiar with baby-led weaning, the basic gist of it is trading in purees, mashes – your typical baby food – for solids and whole foods, essentially whatever you’re eating. You’re meant to allow your kid to explore, feed themselves and have a sense of autonomy about what they do and do not eat, which will (hopefully) set them up to be a more adventurous eater in the future.

We started our little one on solids shortly before she turned 6 months old, and it has been so fun watching her explore, try new things, learn how to chew and swallow, etc. She’s eaten curry-roasted squash, salmon, omelets, so many things. In fact, we have yet to find something she absolutely refuses to eat.

In the few months we’ve been doing baby-led weaning, one of my favorite things to make Raia is some sort of baked good with a hidden veggie inside. She loves grabbing on to pancakes, muffins, etc. because they are fairly easy for her to grasp, and I love the fact that she is getting a serving of vegetables at the same time (and, let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t love carbs?)

You won't be able to keep little hands off of these baby-friendly Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes!

The only thing I have NOT loved about the “hidden veggie” method is the fact that you usually have to roast or steam the vegetable before you blend up the batter and, quite honestly, I usually don’t have time for that! So when I had a bunch of leftover carrots sitting in the refrigerator, rather than turning on the oven or stove, I decided to grate them and then throw them into the batter.

Since babies are more sensitive to sodium than adults, I never add salt to Raia’s baked goods (or really anything I make her, for that matter.) Instead, I get creative with herbs and spices. For these Carrot Cake Pancakes, for example, I added the OG spices clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.

These Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes are easy to make and perfect for baby-led weaning. They're freezer friendly and super healthy!

I’m also really cognizant of how much sugar goes into everything I bake her. Banana and unsweetened applesauce are always great ways to add a touch of sweetness without too much added sugar, but in this particular case I opted to use some unsweetened apple butter we had sitting in the refrigerator. Finally, eggs and just a couple of tablespoons of flour (whole wheat, oat or almond would all work) bind everything together.

I love how every ingredient of these Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes is just thrown into a blender and poured directly into the baking pan. Once baked, I often throw all of the goodies into the freezer and defrost as needed to cut down on food waste. It’s also great to have a stash of different things to choose from.

Make a batch of these Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes the next time you do food prep and you'll have healthy kids' snacks for the rest of the week!

I’ve got a lot more baby-friendly recipes coming your way soon but, in the meantime, if you have any questions or special requests, shoot me an email or leave them in the comments below!

Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes (Baby-Friendly!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins
 

These healthy pancakes are every child's dream. They taste just like carrot cake but use only whole grains and have no added sugar - the perfect breakfast or snack for babies and adults alike!

Course: Breakfast
Keyword: baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, carrots, healthy, pancakes
Servings: 6 pancakes
Calories: 58 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat, oat or almond)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened apple butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Unsalted butter for the pan
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (except butter) in a blender and blend on high until everything is combined. 

  2. Melt a small pat of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted and pan is hot, ladle in the batter to make silver dollar size pancakes.

  3. Cook pancakes over medium heat until edges begin to set, then flip and cook until batter is no longer runny. 

  4. If you are working in batches, add another pat of butter when you start a new round.

  5. Enjoy!