Nutritious couscous makes for great baby food and snacks! Whether you’re looking for a homemade toddler snack, baby finger food or baby led weaning ideas, these couscous nuggets can’t be beaten for simplicity. Just four ingredients, no added salt or sugar, but a great flavor that the whole family will enjoy.
Introducing Odette to finger foods wasn’t quite the fun adventure I’d hoped. Despite being skeptical of spoons and really wanting to feed herself, she had a sensitive gag reflex and it was hard for her to learn to properly bite off, chew and manage foods in her mouth.
So that was a conundrum!
These couscous nuggets ended up being an early success story, thanks to the crumbly nature of baked couscous nuggets.
Couscous for Babies
Couscous is great for babies who are just starting on textured foods. It’s versatile and can be added into favorite purees initially just to give baby a sense of texture without overwhelming them. It’s a good source of carbs and plant based protein.
And for parents, it’s simple to prepare! Just let it sit in boiling water for about 5 minutes. It’s the easiest grain to make in tiny individual portions. You can simple prepare just 1-2 tablespoons of it at a time, in a mug.
But today we are turning our couscous into a finger food instead.
Couscous as a Finger Food / Toddler Snack / Baby Led Weaning
So back to my personal conundrum, where I had a baby who wanted to eat finger foods but wasn’t all that great with chewing. Sigh. Well, these couscous nuggets worked out well for her.
In this format, the couscous crumbles off so there is not a lot of chewing required. If you cook for the lower amount of time given, they will stay nice and soft for younger babies or those who aren’t yet competent chewers. They would be fantastic for baby led weaning.
If, you cook the couscous nuggets for the full time given, they will have a crispy outer edge which will appeal more to older babies, toddlers, kids and adults.
Let’s not forget the parents who bothered to make the nuggets though.
Mr. Veggie and I were big fans too. Despite the lack of salt and sugar, they have a fantastic flavor from the concentrated tomato paste and generous dash of herbs. So your whole family can enjoy them together, or you can at least snack on a few while feeding your little one.
A creamy garlic dip makes a great accompaniment!
They are also great cold as on-the-go snacks, and can be frozen.
Please note that I am no expert on the subject of baby feeding, and can only draw on my own experiences. All babies seem to like different things.
If you’re interested in learning more about introducing different textures and teaching your baby how to self feed, I highly recommend Nancy Ripton and Melanie Potock’s Baby Self Feeding.
4 Ingredient Cheese & Tomato Couscous Nuggets for Babies
- 1 cup of dried couscous
- 1 Tbsp mixed Italian herbs
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1.5 cups (100 g) grated strong cheddar cheese*
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 400F.
- Measure out your couscous and herbs into a bowl, and then pour 1 cup of boiling water over the top. Cover with a plate or paper towel and leave for 5 minutes.
- Add the cheese and tomato puree into a saucepan. Heat until the cheese just begins to melt, and then add in the couscous and stir until the mixture is completely combined.
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper, and brush with olive oil.
- Use your hands to shape the couscous mixture into nuggets. (I got 20 nuggets from this recipe.)
- Brush or spray the nuggets with olive oil, and bake for about 15 minutes (for soft texture) or closer to 25 minutes (for crunchier edges).