Welcome to Happy Veggie Tots, the new baby and toddler recipe hub at Happy Veggie Kitchen. Whether you’re raising a vegetarian or vegan baby, or just looking for new healthy recipes for your growing tot, I focus on creating recipes for all stages of babyhood that embrace flavor and encourage a love of healthy ingredients!
Why I Started Happy Veggie Tots…
As proud mama to a 1 year old whose love of food did not always match mine, I have had my fair share of trialling baby recipes, reading books, obsessing over textures and flavors and spoons and finger foods.
So I created this space to share some of my successes with other parents and caregivers.
I particularly want to create a space for fellow vegetarian parents to find lots of iron and protein rich recipes to keep their veggie tots thriving. But everyone is welcome here, and I hope omnivore parents will also benefit from my recipes.
My Approach to recipes for babies and toddlers…
I aim to create recipes which will encourage adventurous eating from early on, and minimize the division between baby and adult foods. So I bring my favorite flavors into those first tastes. Many experts agree that babies can handle more flavor than we give them credit for, and that their eating habits can and should synch with their parents early on (and, in the case of breastfed babies, they have already been exposed to their mother’s favorite tastes!) This resonated with me, and I love to add spices and herbs to Odette’s food (even those early purees), and make sure that it resembles the sort of taste combos that I enjoy in my cooking.
While the recipes on Happy Veggie Tots are designed with the needs of babies and toddlers in mind (for example: no added salt or sugar, focusing on the nutrients most important to growing tots), wherever possible they should be yummy enough for parents and older kids to eat too, so you aren’t doing too much cooking exclusively for your baby.
On Introducing Solids…
I have recipes that work for traditional and baby led weaning / self feeding and label everything accordingly. But we didn’t follow any particular approach. Odette was not a great fan of spoon feeding but struggled with finger foods and textures for quite a long time due to a sensitive gag reflex, so that took some creativity! Therefore, I am the last person to recommend a strategy on this.
I highly recommend Melanie Potock’s work if you are looking for well rounded advice on feeding babies and toddlers. She will educate you on the mechanics of how babies learn to eat with their mouth and tongue muscles, which finally helped me understand Odette’s texture issues.
On vegetarian baby & toddler nutrition:
I’ve put together a summary of resources covering how to plan a vegetarian diet for a baby (and the safety of doing so).
- If you like what you see here, please subscribe to receive emails when new recipes are posted! Be sure to tick the box to opt into hearing from Happy Veggie Tots.
- Please also join Happy Veggie Tots on Facebook, where I will be sharing new recipes and other resources that relate to feeding small people!
Any questions or requests?
Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, or any requests for future recipes or resources!