You don’t have time to mourn the seasonal loss of garden-ripe tomatoes, juicy berries, crisp asparagus, and the rest of summer, spring, and fall’s bounty. There’s a chill in the air, frost on the ground, and a hungry toddler to feed! Enter: Yummy winter recipe ideas that the whole family can enjoy together. Keep reading for comforting and in-season winter recipes for babies and toddlers that warm the soul and nourish the body all winter long.

Veggie-Packed Meatballs

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: meatballs
Image & recipe: Yummy Toddler Food

Comforting and hearty, meatballs are always a winter favorite. And this recipe—with its “hidden” carrots—from the toddler whisperer, Amy Palanjian, author of Dinnertime SOS, will surely hit the spot. Toss ½ cup each of roughly chopped carrots and lightly packed parsley into your food processor, along with 1 small onion (peeled and halved). Once ground well, add in ½ cup each of Italian-style breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, 1 pound ground beef, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons milk, and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Grind until smooth and make meatballs into 2-tablespoon portions. Place meatballs on a foil-covered and sprayed rimmed baking sheet and bake in your 375 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven for about 23 minutes. Serve with whole grain penne, low-sugar/low-sodium jarred sauce, and a side of roasted broccoli. Got a baby-led weaner on hands? Cut the penne into small pieces and make sure that the meatballs are soft and easy to chew and served in small, jagged chunks.

Alphabet Soup

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: alphabet soup
Image & recipe: Weelicious

A toddler-friendly soup that literally spells YUM? Yes, please! For a nostalgic alphabet soup that’s way healthier than the canned variety, try this lip-smacker from Weelicious. It’s easier than you think! Sauté a small onion (finely diced), celery stalk and large carrot (finely chopped), and a peeled and chopped Yukon gold potato in a medium-sized pot. (Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt while cooking.) After about 4 minutes, add a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, a 32-ounce box of low-sodium veggie or chicken broth, and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Bring to a boil once again, add a 1/2 cup of alphabet pasta, and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, add 1/2 cup each of frozen corn and peas and cook for another 6 minutes or so. Serve with whole grain bread for dipping. For little littles, consider deconstructing the soup and serving on a plate, sans broth.

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: quesadilla 
Image & recipe: Weelicious

Chicken fajita quesadillas are not only a toddler-fave, they’re also easy to make and a fantastic way to utilize leftover chicken. Gather whole wheat flour tortillas, a bell pepper, onion, Mexican blend cheese, fajita seasoning, and shredded or chopped chicken. Over medium-high heat sauté sliced bell peppers and onions until tender and slightly caramelized. Add chicken and fajita seasoning and stir to evenly coat. (For more detailed measurements, check out Weelicious.) Place the mix into a bowl. Wipe the pan clean, add a bit of oil, and lay down one tortilla. On one half, sprinkle cheese, some chicken and veggies mix, top with more cheese, and fold the tortilla, creating a half-moon. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the tortilla turns golden and the cheese melts. Flip and cook the other side. Slice and serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa—and a side of protein-packed black beans—for a hearty, winter toddler recipe you’ll all love. For babies, deconstruct the quesadilla, cut the tortilla into strips, and mash the black beans.

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: sweet potato and salmon cakes
Image & recipe: Feeding Tiny Bellies

Winter is the season when vitamin A-, potassium-, and fiber-packed sweet potatoes shine! Take advantage—and bolster your tot’s stay-healthy omega-intake to boot with Feeding Tiny Bellies’ sweet potato salmon cakes. Pierce your sweet potato several times and microwave until soft and tender (about 6 minutes). Scoop out a half-cup worth of flesh and place in a bowl, adding a drained can of salmon, ¼ cup of Panko breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. Mix until combined then shape into mini cakes. Add salt and other seasonings as you like. Cook in an oiled and preheat a frying pan for 2 to 3 minutes a side. If you want larger patties, simply add an egg into the mix to help with binding. Double down on your “sweets” and serve with sweet potato fries and a tzatziki dipping sauce. Yum!

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: broccoli mac n cheese
Image & recipe: Yummy Toddler Food

Another winner from Yummy Toddler Food’s Amy Palanjian: Five-star, 20-minute broccoli mac n cheese is a comforting winter recipe toddlers adore. Boil 2 cups whole milk and 1-1/2 cups low-sodium broth (chicken or veggie) in a large pot, then reduce to medium-high heat. Stir in 8 ounces elbow macaroni (penne for babies 9 months and younger) and ½ teaspoon salt and simmer for about 11 minutes, stirring occasionally. (It’ll still be liquidy, don’t worry!) While cooking, toss a 10-ounce steam-in-the-bag broccoli into the microwave, drain, and chop when done. Turn the heat off your pasta and stir in broccoli, 1 tablespoon each of unsalted butter and cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and at least 1 cup shredded cheddar. (No shame in doubling the cheese!) Season with additional salt and/or onion powder as needed and enjoy. Craving protein? Make baked chicken tenders, too.

Skillet Butter Beans With Cheese and Spinach

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: butter beans
Image & recipe: Kitchen Skip

Fiber-rich beans are so good for you and your tot! Make them a delicious winter staple with this skillet recipe from Kitchen Skip. Heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. Cook 4 large cloves of minced garlic for 30 seconds, then add a 6-ounce can of tomato paste. Cook for another minute, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. Next, pour in ½ cup water and bring to a boil, all while stirring. Add 2 16-ounce cans butter beans (drained and rinsed), two handfuls of spinach, and 4 ounces of grated Italian cheeses (like a combo of asiago and mozzarella). Mix well and top with another 4 ounces of cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Mush as needed for little eaters. Pair with garlic bread and any veggie you like, keeping in mind Brussel sprouts and carrots are both in their prime during the winter.

Mini Meatloafs

winter baby and toddler recipes: mini meatloaf
Image & recipe: Taste of Home

This award-winning meatloaf recipe from Taste of Home is perfectly portioned for smaller tummies—and perfectly delicious! Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, lightly beat 2 large eggs in a medium bowl and add 1 cup tomato juice, 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Combine then lightly mix in 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef. Shape into six mini-loaves and place on a sheet pan…but before you slide into the oven, combine ¼ cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and brush over the loaves. Bake for 25 minutes for an easy-peasy crowd-pleaser. Add potatoes and winter veggies to the mix to complete the meal.

White Chicken Chili

winter baby and toddler recipes: white chili
Image & recipe: Two Peas & Their Pod

There are few post-sledding winter dinners that are as comforting as a steaming bowl of chili! If you’re looking to explore toddler-friendly flavors beyond traditional chili, this white chicken chili is the ticket. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot, then cook diced onion until translucent (about 4 minutes). Add in minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add drained and rinsed white beans, plus green chiles, low-sodium chicken broth, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cilantro, salt, and pepper—plus shredded rotisserie chicken. Stir and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Feel free to add jalapeno or red pepper flakes for a kick, corn for some veggies, and/or cream cheese for a different texture! (For the complete recipe, go to Two Peas & Their Pod.) Got a baby at the table? Strain out most of the liquid, smash the beans, and ensure the chicken is soft and sliced into strips about the size of two of your fingers pressed together.

Pizza Stuffed Potatoes

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: pizza stuffed potatoes 
Image & recipe: Weelicious

Shake up your winter pizza night with these pizza-stuffed potatoes that toddlers (and their grownups) go ga-ga over. Simply bake some russet or sweet potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. After an hour, take them out, cut each down the center, and mash the insides with a fork. Top each tater with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and any toppings you like, such as pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and/or peppers. Put the stuffed potatoes back in the oven for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese and dig in! Consider serving with a yummy winter citrus salad, filled with oranges and pomegranate seeds to round out this spot-on winter meal for toddlers.

Air Fryer Fish Sticks

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: fish sticks 
Image & recipe: Simply Recipes

Frozen fish sticks may scream “toddler,” but homemade fish sticks are for the whole family to enjoy! Slice 1 pound cod or pollock into 3-inch sticks. Next, set up three shallow dishes. In one, combine 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon each of kosher salt and pepper. In another, whisk 2 large eggs. In the third, add 1 cup panko and 1 teaspoon paprika. Dredge fish in the cornstarch until coated, then the egg mixture, finishing off with the breadcrumbs, making sure all sides are covered. Spray your air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Working in batches, place fish in the air fryer in an even layer. Lightly spray the fish with cooking spray and fry for 6 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Flip and continue cooking for another 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt to taste. For babies a year and under, make sure their fish sticks are about the width and length of two of your pinky fingers next to each other—or feel free to mash. Serve with in-season roasted carrots and go to Simply Recipes for an easy pickle and caper tartar sauce for dipping, too!

Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Hummus

Winter recipes for babies and toddlers: pumpkin hummus
Image & recipe: The Pioneer Woman

Snack plate dinner is always in season! But when you include garlicky pumpkin hummus to the mix, it definitely gives off cool-weather vibes. To make this winter recipe for babies and toddlers, place ½ cup olive oil and 3 cloves of smashed garlic in a ramekin and roast in a 375-degree preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the garlic is tender but not brown. Don’t dump the oil! Next, toss the roasted garlic, 2 tablespoons of the saved oil, 15-ounce can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained), 1 can pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and tahini, ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and a pinch of salt into your food processor. Blend until smooth, then drizzle in a bit more of the roasted garlic oil. Add more salt or lemon juice as needed. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours then serve with snacky goodness like whole grain crackers, cubes of cheese, hard-boiled eggs, sliced veggies, cut-up melon, and clementine segments.

Easy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

winter recipes for babies and toddlers: tomato soup
Image & recipe: Inspired Taste

Canned soup is easy, sure, but so is this three ingredient tomato soup recipe—and the homemade version is way healthier and tastier. To make this classic winter recipe for toddlers, melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Cut 1/2 onion into large wedges and toss in the pot along with a 28-ounce can of whole peeled or crushed tomatoes (including juices), 1-½ cups water or low-sodium chicken or veggie broth, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Simmer, then cook uncovered for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, use an immersion blender to puree the soup, keeping in mind that it doesn’t need to be super-smooth. Season as you wish and slurp it down. As for the grilled cheese, consider adding a little mashed sweet potato for an ultra-gooey, extra healthy, and delicious sandwich.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

winter baby and toddler recipes: mini chicken pot pies
Image & recipe: Feeding Tiny Bellies

A classic winter recipe, only smaller, so it’s perfect for little hands to hold! For this toddler-friendly chicken pot pie, cook ¼ cup finely chopped onions and 1 cup mixed frozen veggies in butter until fully warmed through. Add in 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ teaspoon each salt and garlic powder. Mix until combined. Next, stir in 2 tablespoons of flour until no raw bits remain. Pour in 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth and ½ cup heavy cream, mix until combined. Once bubbly and thickened, remove from heat. Unroll 2 9-inch pie crusts and use a measuring cup to cut out 2.5 inches circles. Place the circles into your mini muffin pan, pressing the sides as needed. Once cool, add 1 tablespoon of the filling into each pie cup. Combine and reroll the remaining dough scraps and use a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to cut out small circles to place on top of each pie. (They don’t need to cover the pies.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy! If you’re craving a grownup-size pie instead, simply double the filling, proceed with a full-size crust, and bake a little longer.

Winter Vegetable Casserole

Leeks, carrots, and sweet potatoes are stars of the winter garden—and this warms-the-tum cheesy casserole will be the star of your toddler’s dinner table (and yours). To make it, boil 2 white potatoes for 8 minutes. Drain and set aside. Next, chop 1 leek, 2 carrots, 1 zucchini, 2 sweet potatoes, and your boiled potatoes into small, bite size pieces and place them in a casserole dish. Pour about 10 ounces of low-sodium vegetable broth over the veggies and 1 tablespoon of mixed herbs. Cover and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes—or until the vegetables are nearly cooked. Once ready, add about 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken. Cover with ⅓ cup breadcrumbs and ⅛ cup grated cheddar cheese and return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes for a hearty, winter vegetarian meal. Feeding a baby? Simply mash and serve!


More on Feeding Babies and Toddlers

View more posts tagged, feeding

Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.

Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.