Healthy Toddler Quesadilla


Hello! Things have been busy in our household, especially with the holidays approaching. I’m having a great time building my dietitian private practice and learning a tremendous amount about business in general. We are also having a great time watching Matthew “explode” developmentally. After a lot of worrying about his late bloomer-ness (that’s totally a word, right?), the little guy decided to start walking on his own. He is also finally about to get some top teeth to accompany his lonely 2 bottom ones at the ripe old age of 16 months.

For you Moms of late bloomers and late teethers, maybe you can relate. Matthew loves solid, finger foods, but depending on the menu (especially when dining out), we have to supplement some of his meals with baby food. So we still have some baby food in the pantry, even though we aren’t using it quite as often anymore.

I see a lot of toddler snack/meal ideas on Pinterest and quesadillas seem to be immensely popular. With that in the back of my mind, I decided to experiment in making them a bit healthier using what I had on hand, but still making them tasty and of course, “chewable” for my tot. I came up with the following, and boy was it a hit! That kid devoured it with a big cheesy grin on his face.

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Vegetable Cheese Quesadillas:

You will need:
2 corn tortillas
Thick “sprinkle” of regular shredded cheese (I used cheddar/Monterey jack combo, or “Mexican” Blend.)
1/2 jar of mixed vegetable baby food (peas and carrots), or cooked frozen peas/carrots.

Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spread one corn tortilla with about 1/2 jar of mixed vegetables, or sprinkle cooked frozen peas/carrots. Sprinkle with a thick, even layer of shredded cheese. Sandwich with the other corn tortilla and place in pan. Grill on medium to medium-high heat until lightly browned on both sides and the cheese is nice and gooey. Once finished, cut into small, triangles for their little fingers. I used a pizza cutter and it worked great.

For this age group, I recommend using regular, whole milk cheese. These kiddos do not need low or reduced fat cheeses at this point. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend young children aged 1-3 years have 30-40% of their calories as fat, where as adults just need 20-35%. Also, the corn tortillas worked out well as they were a little thinner and a little easier for Matthew to chew through with his 2 little bottom teeth.

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That quesadilla didn’t have a chance. Didn’t get that bib on quick enough either….

So, if you are in need of a lunch or snack idea, this is one super easy and quick way to satisfy those adorable tummies in nutritious way. If your kid is picky when it comes to vegetables, this is a great way to sneak them in. Definitely experiment with the vegetable combos, it doesn’t have to be just peas and carrots!

If you or someone you know lives in the central TX area and needs help with any nutrition concerns, give me a shout! I perform nutritional counseling and education for a variety of situations. Check out my website http://www.food4success.com for more info or feel free to contact me anytime.

Until next time!

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