Cheese is one of the best foods for babies and growing kids because it is rich in calcium, protein and also the best source of energy. In addition to those benefits, most cheeses are delicious, making them excellent finger food for babies or toddlers. Cheese can be included in a baby’s diet from 7 months onwards. However, it is still important to consult with your baby’s pediatrician before introducing cheese to him or her, especially if your family has a history of dairy allergies. Also, you need to note that some types of cheese are not suitable for babies or toddlers.
Some of the cheeses that are safe for babies or toddlers are cottage cheese, cream cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, Colby, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Babybel, and Romano. On the other hand, you need to avoid giving babies cheeses that are mold-ripened, unpasteurized, and ripened, especially to babies less than one-year-old. Some of these cheeses include Brie, camembert, chevre, soft-ripened feta cheese, Danish blue, stilton, gorgonzola, and the likes.
To incorporate cheese into your toddler’s diet, you can do it in many ways. You can add some cheese to your kid’s porridge or fruit purees. Sprinkle them on mashed veggies, or add them as toppings to pancakes and sandwiches. You can also stir them into pasta or rice or use cheese as a spread for bread sandwiches. If you are looking for some delicious and cheesy treats for your baby, here’s a list of the best cheese recipes for toddlers.
1. Healthy Cheese Balls
Healthy foods are required, especially for growing kids. Cheese balls are delicious snacks, but you can make them healthy by adding spinach. It is also great if your toddler is not fond of eating veggies, as you can hide the spinach in the cheese balls. This recipe also includes potatoes, which are an excellent source of vitamins.
Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:
- 3 medium russet potatoes
- ½ cup of spinach
- 1-ounce cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup of cottage cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
- Peel and cube the potatoes and put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Let it boil for up to 15 minutes until the potatoes become soft. After boiling, drain the water and allow the potatoes to cool completely.
- Chop the spinach and mix them together with the potato. Mash them together.
- Grate the cheddar cheese into the potato mixture. After that, add some cottage cheese and lightly whisked egg. Mix them all thoroughly until combined well.
- Get a shallow dish and mix together the bread crumbs, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Scoop some of the potato mixtures by the tablespoon and shape them into rounds as big as a golf ball. Roll the balls into some bread crumbs and set them aside.
- In a large skillet, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Add the cheese balls carefully without overlapping. Let them cook until golden on all sides.
- Put the cheese balls onto a plate lined with paper towels. Let them cool and serve them to your toddler.
2. Cheesy Potato
This is another recipe that is perfect for your toddler. It is loaded with the goodness of cheddar cheese, cream, and potatoes. For this recipe, all you need are:
- 4 medium-sized potatoes
- ¼ cup of butter
- ¼ cup of sour cream
- 2 cups of cheddar cheese
- Peel and chop the potatoes.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, bring water to a boil and put the potatoes in the water. Simmer the stove for up to 15 minutes until the potatoes are well-cooked. After that, drain the potatoes and empty them in a vessel.
- In a large pan, melt the butter and add the sour cream and boiled potatoes. Mix them all well. After that, add the cheese and combine them together. Turn of the heat, serve and enjoy.
- You can also cook this in the oven using a greased baking tray for up to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts.
3. Broccoli, Cheese, and Potato Nuggets
You can also make some cheesy but healthy nuggets for your toddler. Here are the ingredients you need:
- 1 ½ cups of potato puree
- 1/3 cup of broccoli puree
- ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons of panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons of canola oil
– Get a large bowl and combine the potato puree, broccoli puree, egg, cheese, 3 tablespoons of panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and salt. Mix them all well.
– Put the remaining cup of panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and set it aside.
– Shape rounded tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into balls. After that, flatten them slightly to create nuggets. Dip each nugget in panko. You can use your hands to gently pat on the coating.
– In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the nuggets to the pan and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown. After that, remove them from the pan. You can repeat this step with the remaining oil and nuggets. Serve to your toddler and enjoy.
4. Easy Spinach Pasta
This is another delicious but healthy toddler meal that is cheesy. It includes delicious cheese that your toddler will love, along with healthy vegetables. To create this dish, you will need:
- Fresh spinach
- 1 cup of uncooked mini pasta
- ½ tablespoon of butter
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 2 tablespoons of cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta based on the directions on the packaging.
- In a small frying pan, melt the butter and sauté the spinach until just wilted.
- Mix the spinach with the milk and cheeses and chop them finely using a food processor if you have one.
- Mix the sauce with the cooked pasta. Serve and enjoy.
5. Cheesy Mashed Potato Bites
This is a delicious potato recipe for toddlers and kids. These are bite-sized mashed potatoes that are filled with cheese and broccoli, then baked. Here are the ingredients you need for this recipe:
- 2 cups of mashed potatoes
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup of steamed broccoli
- Salt and pepper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Mix the mashed potatoes with eggs and cheese.
- Stir in the steamed broccoli gently.
- Bake them at 400°F for 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
You can also add ½ cup of ham or sausage crumbles and swap spinach for broccoli. You also have the option to try different cheeses or a mix of cheese.
These are some of the best cheese recipes for toddlers that we can share. All of these are healthy and delicious, giving benefits to their growth. Your kids will surely love them.