Mini quesadillas are perfect for tiny toddler hands! These mini Broccoli Quesadillas are nutritious, easy to make in under 10 minutes, and a great healthy toddler recipe to make together.
Mini quesadillas are great for toddlers to eat. Here’s why:
- They’re just the right portion size for toddler meals
- Their fillings don’t fall out like the large quesadillas – especially if you don’t cut them into triangles
- The mini triangles are not intimidating to picky eaters. Sure, a toddler can just eat a half or a third of a normal-sized quesadilla. But if you have a picky eater toddler, seeing a huge quesadilla triangle might seem overwhelming and they might refuse to even take a bite if they think they will never finish it. So giving toddlers a tiny triangle made JUST FOR THEM means they are much more likely to try it. And taking the first bite is usually half the battle
By the way, if you have a picky eater, try these tricks to get your toddler to eat when they refuse.
Cooking with toddlers
Quesadillas are a perfect easy recipe for cooking with toddlers. Here’s why:
- No raw ingredients
- Super easy – perfect for their short attention spans
- They can remember the ingredients on their own and feel proud for making their own healthy meal
- It can reduce picky eating because kids get to see the ingredients and the food in a no-pressure setting instead of at the table, where they are expected to eat
Cooking with toddlers can be stressful – it’s messy, takes forever, they’re always touching things they shouldn’t be touching…. but it’s such a great activity to do with your child!
While cooking, kids get to spend quality time with you, get to learn to follow directions, get their hands messy and get sensory play, and they learn along the way. I recommend cooking as one of the life skills to teach your toddler.
Healthy recipes for picky eaters
If you’re new here, this blog is about overcoming picky eating in toddlers. It’s taken us months of feeding therapy for picky eating to get to the point where our son is eating broccoli and bread-like textures like tortillas.
This mini quesadilla recipe has just 2 ingredients for the filling: cheese and broccoli, so it’s not overwelming for picky eaters.
Cheese for mini quesadillas
Any kind of meltable shredded cheese works for this recipe. We used a Colby Jack mix. You can add a bit of Pepper Jack if your child doesn’t mind spicy food. Cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda, Muenster, or a mix of those would work great too.
I usually grate my own cheese when I have a few extra minutes. Store-bought shredded cheese has additives in it to prevent it from clumping together, and just doesn’t melt as nice. I want one ingredient in the cheese I use for my son: cheese.
Cheese is a great source of calcium, fat, and protein for toddlers. If you’re concerned about whether your toddler is getting enough protein, quesadillas are a great way to get protein. A small whole wheat tortilla with some cheese can get your child about ~5-7 grams of protein, depending on the exact ingredients you use.
If you add some diced ham, turkey, or chicken, that’s even more protein!
Most toddler and preschool kids need only about ~15-20 g of protein per day.
If you are concerned about how much protein your toddler is getting, read this blog post: how much protein a toddler needs. I walk you through the toddler protein needs of kids aged 1-5 and give lots of suggestions for protein-rich foods – both meat and meatless protein-rich food. I also talk about how to serve those foods for picky toddlers.
The broccoli for these quesadillas must be cooked before you add it to the tortilla! The tortillas only cook for about 5 minutes, and that is not enough time to cook raw broccoli. If you use raw broccoli, it will still be raw in the quesadilla and won’t have a nice texture.
How you choose to cook the broccoli is up to you. I usually toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and roast it at ~375F for ~20-30 minutes. I find that roasting the broccoli gives it the best flavor and makes the most flavorful quesadillas.
You can also steam, boil, or microwave the broccoli for these mini quesadillas, which will be faster.
Broccoli is surprisingly a vegetable most toddlers like to eat! Luckily it’s super nutritious, too. It’s very high in fiber, Vitamins C, K, and also has a good amount of Vitamin E, Folate, and Potassium.
Sure, 1/3 cup of broccoli is not going to have a HUGE amount of nutrition, but every little bit helps.
We aim to get our son to eat 1 cup of vegetables a day. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s a goal. It helps that I make him pureed “baby food” such as this Pineapple, Banana, and Spinach Baby Food. It has a quarter cup of spinach in it. Hey, that’s another 1/4 cup of vegetables he eats without him even knowing it!
You can add other ingredients to this quesadilla, such as:
- Diced ham
- Diced deli-sliced turkey
- Cooked shredded chicken
- Chopped cilantro or parsley – this is a great way to get your toddler to tolerate green garnishes, if they typically refuse to eat things with specks of green
- Black beans
If you add bulky ingredients such as shredded chicken or black beans, you might need to reduce the amount of broccoli, or add more cheese. This is to help the quesadilla stick together.
Healthy quesadilla dips
If your toddler eats these, you can serve the quesadilla with some healthy dips:
- Guacamole (avocado is so healthy!)
- Homemade salsa (without the spices – this is essentially a tomato salad!)
- Sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lime juice and pinch of salt
Looking for other toddler recipes to cook together?
- Mini chicken quesadillas – no raw ingredients, high in protein
- Mashed potato nuggets – no raw ingredients, use leftover mashed potatoes
- 3 ingredient tuna salad – super easy and high in protein!
- Jello from juice with fruit – a healthier dessert idea for kids
Looking for other healthy toddler recipes?
- 11 hidden vegetable breakfast recipes for toddlers
- 13 healthy toddler recipes with hidden vegetables
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know with a comment and a star rating below! And please share this on Facebook and save it for later on Pinterest:
- 2 small tortillas (~7-8 inches)
- 2/3 cup cooked broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 - 1/4 cup shredded cheese, such as Colby Jack or a mix of cheeses
- Place half the broccoli on each tortilla half. Cover the broccoli with shredded cheese.
- Fold the tortillas in half and place carefully into a non-stick skillet at least 10 inches wide. Cook over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the cheese is melted.
- Cut into small triangles and serve with your favorite quesadilla dips.
Other fun add-ins to try:
- Diced ham
- Diced deli turkey
- Shredded cooked chicken
You might need to reduce the amount of broccoli if adding bulky ingredients like shredded chicken.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 233mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g
The nutritional information provided is just an estimate and will vary based on the actual ingredients you use. If you are tracking nutrition for yourself or your child, check with a nutritionist, dietitian, or pediatrician about whether this recipe is right for you or your child.