Foods to Tantalize Toddlers & Preschoolers

A Growing Wise Kids Column

Now that your baby isn’t so little anymore, how does mealtime change? Although the core nutritional Weston A. Price principles remain the same, food variety continues to broaden after your little tyke passes the one-year mark. While certain foods will make their first appearance during this time, others can now be given in larger quantities. As babies graduate into toddlerhood, breast milk and/or formula contribute a smaller percentage of calories, while solids begin to play a much larger role. This learning-intensive time of life is a good opportunity for making each mealtime a highlight of the day. This will set the stage for happy associations with food throughout life, not to mention the benefits of robust health and vibrant energy. (To learn more about dietary principles and food choices for babies from birth to age one, refer to the article Nourishing a Growing Baby.)

Table of Contents

Fat is Still Where it’s at
Making Fat Practical
Foods to Introduce After Age One
Foods to Offer With Caution for Allergy Protection
Be a Food Detective


Example Toddler Day of Meals With Six Tablespoons of Fat
Calculating Fat Needs in Tablespoons
Proper Grain, Nut and Seed Preparation
Toss the Plastic Sippies!
Foods to Avoid at Any and All Ages
Gluten and Gluten-Free Flours


Yogurt Dough Crackers
Gluten-Free Chewy Banana Bread
Really Raw Honey Balls/Bars
Arrowroot Cracker Bites

Fat is Still Where it’s at

As with infancy, fats remain the number one nutrient when it comes to a toddler’s diet. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that mother’s milk contains over 50 percent of calories as fat, much of it saturated fat.1,2 Fats and cholesterol provide critical nourishment for growth and brain development. Saturated fatty acids are especially important for generating myelin in the brain.1 (Myelin is the fatty material that surrounds nerve fibers.)

Additionally, a generous amount of natural animal fat in the diet provided by raw milk, grass-fed meats, organ meats and egg yolks will support a happy disposition and a strong immune system, as well as help children build strong muscles and sturdy bones.3 Be forewarned, good fats also provide these little ones endless amounts of energy! These animal-based fats also offer vitamins A and D, which are necessary for protein and mineral assimilation, normal growth, and hormone production.4

Prior to one year of age, egg yolks, dairy products (such as butter, yogurt and kefir), and liver should serve as the primary fatty animal foods. While these foods should still be heavily emphasized after one year, other meats, including chicken, turkey, lamb, beef and seafood, can begin to play a bigger role in the diet. Animal foods should be from the cleanest, most reliable sources. Raw milk is now a primary beverage. Also, continue to incorporate chicken and beef bone broths as much as possible in stews, soups and grain dishes.3,5

The appropriate amount of fat for children has been the subject of some debate over the years. Mary Enig, PhD, a world expert on the subject, has mapped out our needs. In her book Know Your Fats, Enig suggests that natural dietary fats should provide approximately 50-55 percent of calories in a child’s diet from birth to two years. High levels of fat are good and healthy for all ages of life, but they are especially important for toddlers whose brains and bodies are being formed.

Making Fat Practical

Let’s put a toddler’s needs of this most valued nutrient in usable terms for your everyday life. Instead of counting calories, it is easier to estimate fat consumption in terms of tablespoons. If the average toddler takes in approximately 1500 calories each day, he needs about six tablespoons of fat per day to obtain 50-55 percent of his calories as fat, which can come from butter, egg yolks, meat fat, coconut oil, whole raw dairy products, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

Foods to Introduce After Age One

Listed below are the foods that are either brand new to a toddler’s diet or can be offered more frequently and in greater variety. Included are ideas on ways to incorporate these foods into little toddler-sized meals.

Grains, nuts, and seeds. These foods make up the last foods that should be introduced into baby’s diet, since they are most likely to cause digestive woes. Production of digestive enzymes gradually increases as babies grow. The last enzymes to be fully functional, which can take up to 36 months, are those that break down carbohydrates.8 Therefore, cereals, grains, and breads are still challenging for toddlers to digest. However, with proper preparation through soaking and sour leavening, your toddler can start to enjoy a range of grains. It is a common traditional practice to soak grains in water and a little yogurt or buttermilk for up to 24 hours, which jump starts the enzymatic activity in the food and begins breaking down some of the harder-to-digest components.1 This slow-cooked, slightly sour porridge can initially be eaten with butter and egg yolks mixed in or combined with other foods.5

As your toddler grows, food choices within this group expand, as does the frequency with which they are consumed. This is excellent timing, since your little one’s ability to grasp food is likely kicking in around this time and these foods make excellent finger foods. Homemade crackers, such as those made from the Yogurt Dough can be made into small Cheerio-sized bites or cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Topping those crackers with a homemade Nut Butter (recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon) is an excellent way to introduce nuts and seeds. (Note: as this recipe can be salty to some, start with less salt and add to taste). As your little brain sponge becomes more adept at chewing harder items and less likely to choke on small foods, Crispy Nuts from Nourishing Traditions make an excellent finger food. Finally, well-soaked and cooked legumes can also be included in little Jimmy’s meals. Try refried beans with lard or coconut oil to infuse them with fat. More veggies. The veggies usually best tolerated during the first year are primarily squash, zucchini and root family foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes and beets. Leafy green vegetables can now be introduced, as long as they are well steamed or cooked with a generous amount of butter. Raw salad veggies, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, can also make an appearance and are best accompanied with fats from olive oil, avocados or cream. Fat, oils and fatty foods ensure proper utilization of the nutrients in these foods since their absorption requires sufficient levels of vitamins A and D in the diet. 9 In fact, nutrition pioneer Weston A. Price considered these fat-soluble vitamins to be “activators” upon which the assimilation of all other nutrients–protein, minerals, and vitamins –depends.10

“But my kid refuses to eat veggies!” In his article Feeding Our Children, Tom Cowan, M.D., explains “…because children have a relative paucity of the enzyme that converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, children younger than five years generally do not do well with vegetables. I tell all my parents not to worry about their children not liking vegetables, as this is normal in this stage of life. In fact, because they are slow in this enzymatic conversion, perhaps it is best left to the cow to do this conversion and for the child to eat butter and cream. This is actually probably more as nature intended it anyway.” Well, well, that sure helps alleviate some dinner time battles!

With that said, veggies, especially those in the cruciferous family, do offer an abundance of nutrients, and properly prepared varieties should be incorporated into family meals in a balanced way. Try some fun ideas to make these colorful foods part of a meal, yet be gentle and don’t become overly worried when few are consumed. Blending veggies into bone broth-based creamed soups is a tasty way for the whole family to enjoy these foods. Try sautéing chopped cabbage, onions, garlic, and carrot bits into your morning egg scramble. Make zucchini rounds sautéed in butter with a touch of salt or chili powder. Creatively cook veggies right into your meat dinners, such as shredded carrots and zucchini in meat loaf or chopped red peppers, carrots, and onions into sloppy joes. Into that next roast you put in the crock pot, add in some broccoli and cauliflower along with potatoes and carrots, during the last 30 to 45 minutes.

Desserts and sweeteners. At this time, kids can join the rest of the family in occasional sweet treats. Focus on simple, properly prepared options, such as fresh peach slices with a dusting of Rapadura (evaporated cane juice sugar) or berries topped with whipped cream made with a little maple syrup and arrowroot powder. Fat-infused cookies, breads (see Banana Bread recipe below), and ice cream loaded with pastured raw egg yolks and raw cream are not only delicious, but are also vehicles for more quality fats.

Raw honey is another food that can now be incorporated into your toddler’s diet.1 Even better is lacto-fermented honey, which develops a richer flavor and is an even better aid to digestion than just the raw variety.11 Actually, one of the reasons honey is typically heated is to remove the moisture to prevent fermentation. According to the folks at Really Raw Honey, a company that sells a fermented product, honey will ferment by simply adding water and keeping it in a warm place.12 Try the Honey Ball recipe below with a fermented product.

Finger foods. Simple, easy-to-access foods, especially portable choices, become almost a necessity during this phase of life. Several ideas that you may have not thought of yet include freeze dried berries (available from your local natural food grocer or Wilderness Family Naturals (, Salmon Jerky in Nourishing Traditions, dried sardines (available from Asian food stores), Arrowroot Cracker Bites (see recipe below), homemade popsicles made with raw yogurt, raw cream, and fruit, and silver dollar Crispy Pancakes from Nourishing Traditions. Homemade tortillas and leftover pancakes can also be used as bases for roll ups with a cream cheese-fruit mix, sliced meats and other sandwich fillings, or toasted and made into pizza crusts.

Foods to Offer With Caution for Allergy Protection

Allergies, asthma, eczema, and other immune system and food-related conditions are becoming quite prevalent with children today. When it comes to an allergic reaction to food, the immune system mistakenly thinks a particular component of a food is harmful to the body. Thus, when the food is consumed, antibodies (the immune system response to foreign bacteria or toxins) flood the body with substances such as histamine that cause allergic symptoms, which can turn up anywhere in the body, including the respiratory system, intestinal tract, or skin.13 Essentially, negative reactions to food associated with a full-blown allergy, or even a less severe sensitivity, stress the adrenal glands and immune system and can cause seemingly unconnected issues later on in life.14

The best plan is prevention. While caution when gradually introducing new food is important, following the traditional diet principles set forth by Weston A. Price even before pregnancy is the first step to preventing these unnatural reactions to food. Offering baby nourishing breast milk infused with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals for at least the first six months and preferably the first year of life is the next step. Starting baby off with a well-developed intestinal system populated with flourishing beneficial bacteria and with nutritional practices to create a hardy immune system are essential strategies to preventing serious allergies.15

Finally, foods should be properly prepared to maximize digestibility and nutritional density. For instance, sprouting and sour leavening essentially “pre-digest” grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This process helps convert starch into simple sugars, proteins into amino acids, and fats into fatty acids, thus allowing the food’s nutrients to be more easily assimilated and metabolized. This explains why sprouted foods are less likely to produce allergic reactions in those who are sensitive.16

The potential for allergic reactions tends to run in families. Pay extra attention if either parent has allergies, and more so if an older sibling has expressed symptoms. Fortunately, if food allergies do appear in the very young, some will outgrow the responses (around age three), potentially even outgrow toxic reactions to peanuts.17 With that said, it is best to work with a holistic health professional when introducing problematic foods, since allergic reactions can be severe.

Experts estimate true food allergy occurs in 6-8 percent of children four years of age or under.18 Although this number is small, it may be wise for some parents to use extra caution when introducing certain foods into their child’s diet. The top food offenders, which are discussed in more detail below, include pasteurized cow’s milk (unlike nourishing raw milk), peanuts, gluten, egg whites, seafood, and soy .19 Research shows that waiting to introduce these foods may reduce the incidence of allergies.20

Pasteurized/homogenized milk. This commercially available food is frequently tied to allergic reactions and symptoms such as recurrent ear infections21 and eczema22 just to name a few. What is often misunderstood by most parents is that pasteurized/homogenized milk is a vastly different product than nourishing, nutrient-dense, enzyme-filled raw milk from animals roaming on pasture. Not only are there healthy bacteria in raw milk that keep it clean, the intact enzymes the raw variety contains are essential for its digestion and assimilation. This is exactly why so many people who are labeled “lactose intolerant” can usually tolerate raw milk from cows or goats beautifully.23 However, there are those who still do react adversely to dairy even if it is raw, so evaluate your child’s individual response.

Peanuts. This “nut” is actually not a nut at all, but rather a legume from the pea and bean family that happens to be uniquely endowed with fat.24 Peanuts are also rich in B vitamins such as pantothenic acid and biotin, calcium, vitamin E, and potassium. Due to the highly allergic nature of this food, it is often suggested that those with a high potential for an allergic response wait until age three to try them.25 Even then, be sure to purchase only organic varieties, since peanuts tend to be a heavily sprayed crop. Finally, aflatoxin, a carcinogenic mold occasionally found in peanuts is virtually eliminated by cooking or soaking, thus they should not be eaten raw.26 Children who are allergic to peanuts are not necessarily allergic to tree nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, since they come from separate plant families.

Gluten. Gluten is a collection of hard-to-digest proteins (namely gliadins and glutenins) that give bread its springy texture and “glue-like” qualities. There are several theories about why gluten causes trouble for so many. First, grains are usually not prepared properly by soaking or sour leavening, as previously mentioned. Secondly, it is believed our bodies were not designed to handle the quantity of gluten found in most foods today, which are overly-processed convenience foods contain a lot of white flour from high-gluten wheat varieties.

Evidence indicates that high-gluten diets alter the normal lining of the small intestine in healthy people,27 which opens up the possibility that gluten, particularly in large amounts, is unsuitable for many of us. Those with celiac disease, the most well-known gluten-sensitivity condition, suffer with inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestine resulting in diarrhea, malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies.28,29 Gluten troubles have been linked to failure to thrive in infants and delayed growth in older children.30 Research reveals that non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or immune reactions to gluten, may affect as many as 90 million Americans.28 Kenneth Fine, MD, director of the Intestinal Health Institute in Dallas, Texas believes 60-70 percent of the population possesses the genes that make a person susceptible to developing gluten sensitivity.31

Wheat contains the most gluten of any grain, and the more closely related a grain is to wheat, the greater its ability to cause trouble.33 Troublemakers include spelt, rye, barley, and triticale (a wheat-rye hybrid). On the other hand, rice and corn contain no gluten, thus are easier to digest, particularly for those sensitive to gluten.32,33 Other gluten-free grains and alternative flours include sorghum (millet-like grain), amaranth, quinoa, almond, arrowroot, flax, potato and tapioca. Although oats contain a substance similar to gluten, modern research suggests that eating moderate amounts of oats (not contaminated with other grains from processing in the same factory) does not cause problems for most people with celiac disease.34,35

Remember, proper preparation is at the core of one’s ability to digest a food. It has even been suggested that the long fermentation of traditional sour dough bread-making may break down a good portion of this hard-to-digest component in gluten-containing grains.3,36 Bottom line–use caution with gluten-containing grains and when serving them to your family, be sure they are thoroughly soaked or sour leavened so those enzymes and bacteria can do what they do best! (See the articles Our Daily Bread and Be Kind To Your Grains for some intriguing reading on the subject).

Egg whites. Egg whites should also be avoided up to one year of age due to their high allergenic potential (to the residing proteins) and lack of fat.37 Some allergy experts advise waiting until around two years of age to introduce whites if there is any potential for trouble. Furthermore, the yolks offer so much more nutrition; it is wise regardless of one’s age to emphasize the yolks over the whites.

Fish and shellfish. This is another food category deemed high on the allergy food list that parents of sensitive children may want to introduce carefully. In fact, a new study released at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual conference in March of 2004 stated that seafood allergies surpass those to the commonly acknowledged peanut. The researchers of this study found that a shellfish allergy is reported by 1 in 50 persons and a fish allergy by 1 in 250. Shellfish with the most potential to cause reactions include shrimp, crab, and lobster. For fish, salmon, tuna, and halibut topped the list.38

Citrus fruits. Oranges, tangerines, lemons and other citrus fruits can now be included in your toddler’s diet. Their texture makes them difficult for baby to consume before the age of one anyway, but allergy prevention is another concern since they can also be troublesome for those with sensitivities.

Be a Food Detective

While pasteurized/homogenized milk should be avoided at all times, the others foods discussed should simply be introduced with caution in those children who have a high allergy potential. For a majority of healthy children, these foods, when properly prepared, are fine to incorporate after one year of age. Be a food detective with your children, watch their reaction and stay tuned to their state of wellness.

At age three, when toddlers progress to the preschooler stage, their diet should, for the most part, mirror yours. Use your heightened parental sense when it comes to food and the best time to introduce new items to your little ones. Above all, be sure to choose the best ingredients and properly prepare everthing with the methods detailed in Nourishing Traditions. These traditionally prepared foods are the key to your wee one’s nutritional absorption and a positive intestinal and immune system response.


Example Toddler Day of Meals With Six Tablespoons of Fat

The following one-day meal plan contains approximately 1500 calories and 87.5 grams of fat, mostly from saturated sources with moderate amounts of monounsaturated fat and small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Use this example to begin to see how approximately six tablespoons of fat looks in toddler’s day of meals.

1/2 cup soaked oatmeal 3 g
1 egg yolk 5 g
1 tablespoon butter 14 g
1 teaspoon honey 0 g
1/2 cup blueberries 0 g
1 teaspoon cod liver oil 4.5 g
4 ounces raw milk 4.5 g

medium avocado with salt 4.5 g
kombucha 0 g

1/2 cup grass-fed meatloaf 14 g
1/4 cup fermented sweet potatoes 0.5 g
4 ounces raw milk 4.5 g

half of a banana fried in 2 teaspoons bacon fat 9 g
4 ounces full fat yogurt 4 g

1 cup cream of veggie soup 6 g
hash browns fried in 1 tablespoon coconut oil or lard 14 g
¼ cup raspberries 0 g

TOTAL FAT 87.5 g

Calculating Fat Needs in Tablespoons

Although one’s meals should have a relatively relaxed feel and flow from day to day, here are the mathematical details to figure out one’s specific fat needs. To calculate the needed tablespoons of fat for an average of 1500 calories, take 1500 calories and multiply it by 0.50 to figure out how many calories are given by 60 percent, which is 750 calories. Then take 750 and divide it by 9, the number of calories in one gram of fat, which gives you 83 grams.

Last step–stick with me here–since a tablespoon of fat weighs approximately 14 grams,39 divide 83 by 14 to get the approximate tablespoons equal to 83 grams of fat, which in this case is just under 6. Therefore, an average toddler needs approximately 6 tablespoons or around 83 grams of fat each day. This same formula can be used with any number of calories to figure out the average number of tablespoons of any size person.

Proper Grain, Nut and Seed Preparation

Instinctively, traditional peoples soaked or partially sprouted their nuts and seeds. These foods contain enzyme inhibitors which, when neutralized by soaking or sprouting, allow for optimal digestion and absorption of the food’s nutrients. For nuts and seeds, soak them 6-8 hours in salt water in a warm place. The salt helps activate enzymes that neutralize their anti-nutrients. After soaking, drain the nuts in a colander, rinse (if desired), then dry them in a warm oven (no higher than 150° F) or a dehydrator until crispy (which may take 12 to 36 hours). Add some tamari to the soaking water to add a little flavor.

As for grains, phytic acid is present in their outer layer or bran and attaches to minerals, such as magnesium and zinc, and prevents their absorption.44 This mineral-robbing acid is greatly reduced by soaking grains in slightly acidic liquid, such as water with a little yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, whey, lemon juice, or vinegar. Generally, use the same volume of liquid as whole grain flour (preferably freshly ground) and soak in a warm place (room temperature) at least seven hours, but preferably 24. To make your own sprouted grain flour, sprout the berries, rinse and dehydrate in a warm oven or dehydrator until the berries crunch between your teeth. Now the berries are ready to be run through your grain grinder and be used in any desired recipe.

See Nourishing Traditions for more details and recipes using these soaking methods.

Toss the Plastic Sippies!

Until recently, if you wanted a spill-proof cup for your toddler, plastic was the only option. Now, several companies make sippies out of non-reactive materials. Kleen Kanteen ( makes a stainless steel sippy with a stopper to prevent leaks and an adaptor that fits a silicon spout. Although they are pricey, the potential leaching that occurs with plastic cups is not worth the risk. Just keep them at home to minimize misplacing them! Another option is the Sigg Kidz bottle out of Switzerland ( or They have an 11-ounce (0.3 liter) size that comes in fun kiddy designs. While the outside is made from durable aluminum, the inside has a special baked-on water-based epoxy resin liner that does not leach. One disadvantage to this product is that there is no stopper as with the Kleen Kanteen or traditional sippies. The spout simply twists to open and when turned up side down, liquid will pour out.

Foods to Avoid at Any and All Ages

Commercial dairy products, especially ultra-pasteurized. Your best choice is raw milk and milk products from cows or goats allowed to roam the range of fresh grass, without the addition of hormones or steroids. Check out for more details on this nourishing whole food as well as contact information for quality raw milk dairies across the country; or, contact the nearest local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation, posted at

Modern soy foods, such as soy milk and soy protein. Although touted as health foods, they are quite deleterious to health. (See the article “Ploy of Soy” at and The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla Daniel for more details.) Eating small quantities of traditionally prepared soy products such as miso, tempeh, natto, shoyu, and tamari is acceptable. Miso is a fermented soybean paste used as a soup base. Shoyu and tamari are traditionally fermented soy sauces. Look for high quality, raw brands that still contain active bacteria and enzymes. A cup or two a week of miso soup made from properly prepared and well-aged miso is fine if that is something your family enjoys; in fact, properly prepared miso is an excellent source of vitamin K. Along the same lines, a small serving or two of tempeh or natto can also be nourishing. These soy foods are even better consumed with makings of a traditional Asian meal, such as fish broth, organ meats, rice, fermented vegetables (such as kimchee) and sea foods.40

Margarines, shortening, as well as overheated, refined oils. These ingredients are readily found in processed foods. Damaged oils can in fact be found right out of the bottle. Although some of today’s companies utilize traditional extraction methods, most commercial oils are processed in large factories with new “technology” that exposes the food to excessive temperatures (often up to 450°F), high pressure, light, oxygen and solvents. The result is oil that has been bruised and battered, filled with harmful, cancer-causing free radicals. This is how a majority of commercial oils become rancid before even hitting the grocery store shelves!41 Instead, focus on the traditional fats such as butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and lard.

Fruit juices. Due to the high sugar content and lack of fiber in these readily available beverages, the whole fruit is much preferred. In fact, when compared to the average soda, the common fruit juices–apple and orange (fresh or from concentrate)–contain the same amount of sugar, (approximately six teaspoons per 8-ounce serving.)42 To jazz up clean water, add a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange. Lemonade made with fresh lemon juice and liquid stevia is a nice treat. Herbal teas can also be refreshing and many brew right in a glass of room temperature water. (Try Yogi Tea’s Hibiscus Paradise–it is delicious!) Kombucha, ginger beer and water kefir sodas (see Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon) are other healthful alternatives.

Reduced-fat or low-fat foods. Opt for the full-fat versions, which provide the fat that allows for better absorption of their many nutrients. Furthermore, sugar often takes the place of the fat that was removed, and sugar is a damaging ingredient to consume in excess.

Extruded grains, such as cold breakfast cereals, including puffed cereals, or rice cakes. Not only have these over-heated and pressurized foods caused rapid death in test animals, but the process destroys the existing nutrients and makes the end product exceedingly difficult to digest.43 Opt for homemade oatmeal, cold cereal and granola (see the Breakfast Cereal and Coconut Granola recipes in Eat Fat Lose Fat) as well as soaked pancakes and soaked crackers (see the Coconut Crackers recipe in Eat Fat Lose Fat). Or try some homemade baked or fried tortillas to satisfy that “crunch” craving.

Avoid all processed foods in general. Here is a trick: do a double-take any time you are opening a bagged or boxed product of any kind. Make sure you are making a conscious decision about what you are about to serve the family. And if you are still hesitating, read the ingredients list. . . out loud!

Gluten and Gluten-Free Flours


  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Kamut®
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Wheat


  • Almond meal
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Coconut
  • Pea, bean
  • Lentil
  • Millet
  • Potato
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum


Yogurt Dough Crackers

Make a batch of the Yogurt Dough found in Nourishing Traditions and add a touch of sweetener (1 tablespoon of honey works well). Roll it very thin with a rolling pin or, for a more uniform thickness, try a pasta roller or tortilla press. Dust with flour, prick with a fork, and sprinkle with salt. Place on a cookie sheet with a silicon baking mat and cut the dough into cracker sizes with a knife or pizza roller. (The baking mat makes it easy to cut and bake, instead of transferring individual crackers to the cooking sheet.) Also try kid-friendly shapes by using cookie cutters, thus making an animal cracker alternative. Bake in a 350°F oven for 8 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness. Watch closely and take out when slightly brown. Those on the outer edge may brown faster than those in the middle, so keep a close eye and remove crackers as they are done. This recipe is the inspiration of Judy Anderson, a fellow WAPF-enthusiast.

Gluten-Free Chewy Banana Bread

4 ripe bananas (up to 2 cups mashed)
2 eggs
3/4 cup date sugar
1/4 cup Rapadura
sprinkle of stevia extract powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal
1 cup arrowroot powder
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)

This makes 2 loaves. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mash bananas well. Add eggs, sweeteners, melted butter, coconut milk and vanilla. Mix well. Add almond meal and arrowroot, baking powder, guar gum, baking soda, salt and optional coriander. Mix well. Batter will be thin. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake approximately 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle tests clean. Refrigerate. This is pretty chewy while warm, but firms up after refrigeration and tastes very yummy. Add some nuts for added flavor and texture. Adapted from a recipe in The Gluten Free Kitchen by Roben Ryberg.

Really Raw Honey Balls/Bars

4 cups ground crispy nuts, seeds and/or nut butter (see Nourishing Traditions for directions)
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup unsweetened carob or cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups Really Raw Honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Note: you can reduce the amount of honey or combine with another less sweet sweetener like brown rice syrup, if desired. Mix all ingredients together by hand or in a food processor. Roll into balls. For variety, roll in ground almonds, sesame seeds, or desiccated coconut. For a crunchy feel, add 1/4 cup of nut pieces at end. Refrigerate or freeze for extended life. Can also spread in oiled 9 x 13 baking dish and topped with desiccated coconut for a honey square instead of ball. Found at

Arrowroot Cracker Bites

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
4 egg yolks
1/4 – 1/3 cup water
2 cups arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon stevia extract powder (or more to taste)

Cream butter and coconut oil with yolks using a handheld blender and then add in the remaining ingredients and blend by hand. The consistency should be smooth but thick. If it is still chalky, add just enough water to make it stirable. Spread mix over a well-oiled baking sheet or glass baking dish about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 200 degrees for about 2 hours or until slightly browned and crisp and able to be broken into pieces easily. If the batter is thick, the crackers may need to be flipped and cooked a bit longer to get them crisper. Make bite-size pieces and store in container. These make a great Cheerios replacement.


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This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2006.

Jen Allbritton, is a wife, mother and Certified Nutritionist who enjoys researching, writing, and experimenting in the kitchen with WAPF-friendly dishes. Her column Growing Wise Kids is a regular addition to the Foundation's quarterly magazine, Wise Traditions. Jen has a degree in Kinesiology from the College of William and Mary and has been passionately learning and teaching others about food's affect on health for over 14 years. Contact her with column ideas:

6 Responses to Foods to Tantalize Toddlers & Preschoolers

  1. B says:

    Hi there, from my understanding reading other WAPF articles, arrowroot may contain high levels of phytic acid, so do you do anything special to the arrowroot to lower the phytic acid content for the cookies? If so, what do you do?

    • Maureen says:

      Arrowroot powder is made from the starchy root of the plant, not the seed, and therefore would not contain any phytic acid.

  2. Siobhain Flynn says:

    Thank you this article is helpful. We both are gluten sensitive although tested negative for this but still have the effects which means we can not eat processed food as most of it contains gluten. We have to assume our children are the same and have noticed when they are over in friends homes and if they eat anything containing gluten they have a bag reaction. My children were breast fed but gave them stainless steel bottles from the start for water which are like kleen kanteen with a sippy cap not shown here. Now they wont go anywhere without them and complain of funny taste from plastic cups so it pays to teach them early. Siobhain

  3. Kate G. says:

    What are your thoughts on coconut milk after one year of age instead of raw milk?

    • Maureen says:

      Coconut milk is a culinary delight rich with good fats, but by no means is it a replacement for nutritious, raw milk. It contains no Vit A or D and few of the other fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and none of the protein which milk contains. It is not at all the same thing and can not replace good quality milk at all.

  4. Jamie says:

    How long do the arrowroot cracker bites last? Thankyou!

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