$14, 40 minutes, 4 make-ahead toddler snacks

Even though the days of pouches, purees and bite-sized offerings of our food -along with the constant worry of potential allergies and or/choking- we’re 100% in the toddler food stage. This means that Liv can eat pretty much anything I eat (ok, so I’m still afraid to give her shellfish) and it’s so much fun to ask her what she’s in the mood for. Even though snacking and meals are easier in theory, I still plan ahead as much as I did during the solids introduction phase. Since we’re often out and about, I’ll have some snacks and water bottles on hand in the car with us. Just like during the our puree days, I still like to get as much bang as possible for our bank and proverbial time buck. 

Here are 4 snacks I made (with multiple servings) in less than 40 minutes for less than $14. You can freeze almost all of them to quickly reheat throughout the week.

Make ahead snacks

The snacks:

-Peanut butter cinnamon dip

-French toast sticks

-Pint-sized pizzas

-Baby black bean burgers

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Many of the ingredients I already had on hand, but are inexpensive to stock up the missing pieces. I was able to get all organic ingredients at Trader Joe’s (minus the English muffins) for less than $14.

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-1 can (14 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

-1 carrot

-1/2 yellow onion

-1/2 cup “dry” ingredients (almond meal, oat flour, and oatmeal all work nicely)

-garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, cumin

-One container of cream cheese, softened

-2 heaping tablespoons nut butter of choice

-cinnamon and honey

-2 eggs

-4 slices of your favorite bread (optional: cut into shapes or sticks)

-1 tablespoon milk

-1 teaspoon vanilla

-nutmeg and cinnamon

-4 English muffins

-1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

-Toppings and cheese of choice

Grab your ingredients, set the oven to 350 and your timer for 40 minutes!

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Here are the steps to make everything:

1) Set the oven to 330 degrees and spray and cookie sheet with nonstick spray. 

2) First, focus on getting the black bean burgers in the oven. In a small food processor, add 1/2 the can of black beans, the carrot (roughly chopped), the onion (roughly chopped), sea salt, pepper, and seasonings of choice (cumin and coriander are lovely; I used 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon of taco seasoning I had on hand from TJs). Process until you have a smooth puree. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the dry ingredients and remaining beans (keeping them whole for texture variation). 

3) Using a melon ball scooper, make burger patties (smaller ones- I got 8 from the batch) on the cookie sheets and place in the oven. They’ll be in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

4) Next, wash the food processor out and make the cream cheese dip. Place the entire serving of cream cheese into the food processor along with 2 heaping tablespoons of your kiddo’s favorite nut butter, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey. Blend until smooth. A little tip: store this in the now-empty cream cheese container. (If you need to eat a little to make it work, do what you need to do.)

5) Prep the pizzas to get them in the oven with the black bean burgers. Take 4 English muffins and slice them in half before placing each half cut-side up in a roasting dish. Top with marinara sauce, cheese and any toppings. Flip the black bean burgers and get the pizzas in the oven, too. (By this time you should have about 10 minutes left of cooking time.)

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6) Make the French toast sticks. Heat a pan to medium low while you whisk the eggs in a bowl with the milk, vanilla, and a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the bread slices or shapes to the egg mixture, coat well and cook in a little butter for about 1-2 minutes per side, golden and fully-cooked.

That’s it!!

If you want to freeze anything, make sure to allow the food to come to room temperature before freezing in sealed freezer bags or freezer containers.

To reheat: place the pizzas or burgers in the toaster oven. The burgers also reheat well on the grill or stove top. 

For the French toast sticks, microwave, heat in a pan on the stove or place in the toaster oven.

The cream cheese dip should easily last a week, if it isn’t eaten by then πŸ˜‰ Liv thought the fruit and her hands were equally wonderful dippers πŸ˜‰ You could also serve it with crackers, berries, banana, on graham crackers, bagels or pancakes. Another delicious option would be to spread the mixture onto a tortilla, add fresh fruit, roll up and cut into bites.

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Hope you enjoy!! <3

xoxo

Any favorite make-ahead toddler snacks??

More:

1 month of baby food, 1 hour, $20

and Round 2!

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Comments

  1. This is fabulous because I can make these for myself as well! Haha! love these ideas πŸ™‚

  2. um….i don’t have a kid but i would totally eat all of these. thanks for the how-to!

  3. Amber Schumann says:

    Wow!! This needs to happen this weekend…

    Every night I find myself scouring the fridge and scrambling to put together SOMETHING of nutritional variety to send with my daughter to her caretakers during the week. You just made it look so easy. Giving this a try this weekend!

  4. Such cute ideas! We’ve definitely made and frozen French toast sticks (love those!) and this is a great reminder about black bean burgers. I’ll have to make some to freeze soon! πŸ™‚

  5. These are so adorable!

  6. This isn’t a toddler meal since I totally make and eat it for myself haha but I love to mix cocoa powder, nut butter and a little honey to dip my fruits (and sometimes my finger!) in πŸ˜€
    Definitely gonna try the cream cheese dip soon.

  7. What a great way to teach your kids healthy eating! These would be great adult go to snacks to!

  8. Love! I often struggle with what to feed my toddler on my off days from work with her (she goes to daycare 4 days a week where breakfast, lunch and a snack are provided, and pretty much eats whatever we eat for dinner, so I don’t need to put much thought into it most of the week) and these are great ideas! Though I will admit that she still likes pouches and I don’t fight her on it…convenient and an easy way to get in some fruits and veggies.

  9. Michelle says:

    I always have the peanut butter dip in the fridge. I also make it with Greek yogurt. M
    When my 3 yr old dips his apples or bananas sometimes there is more dip than fruit. I always tell him, it’s called dip, not scoop. Gonna try those burgers on him. His other favorite snack is cucumbers and Greek yogurt ranch dip.

  10. Yum! I think I would enjoy these snacks for myself πŸ™‚

  11. Wow, all those meals are so cute!

  12. so…… I’m not a toddler nor do I have one, but I totally want to eat these snacks πŸ™‚

  13. I’m renaming these “4 make ahead snacks for a college student on a budget” and I can’t wait to eat them ;)!

  14. I am definitely bookmarking this for the future, thanks!!

  15. I just made the black bean burgers for lunch for my 1 year old and he loved them!! He ate two just himself. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Ummm peanut butter AND cinnamon, why didn’t I think of this! Genius!!! I’m not sure my little one will go for it just yet, but I sure as heck will! Thanks for the ideas, they’re great! xx

  17. Great ideas! Just one quick question, you add the dry ingredient, like the oatmeal in the black bean mix and then bake right?

    Thanks!

  18. I just made the black bean burgers for my little guy and he loved them! I love finding mer healthy protien options for him- thanks Gina!!

  19. Really LOVE these ideas! My only question is this – how long do the pizzas and french toast sticks need in the toaster over to reheat? And at what temp?

    Thank you so much!

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