25 answers

How Do You Feed Beans to Your Toddlers/preschoolers?

I read over and over about how great beans -- protein, fiber, etc. But how do you serve them to your kids? (My kids are 13 mos and 3 years old) I've tried buying canned chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and rinsing them (maybe cooking them on stove top a little) and giving them to my kids and they did not like them. I've also bought dried beans (navy and some white mild bean) and soaked them overnight then cooked them 1.5-2 hours, and still the kids weren't big fans. Any tips? Do you give them straight, or mix them in with stuff?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

MY 3 yr old will not eat just the beans. but I have mixed them with corn and potatoes or put them in tortillas (she loves tacos) or a bit in with a quesadilla. If I just put the beans on a plate, she will not touch them. I usually use the canned beans and mash them.

I love this question! I use white beans, black beans and chick peas- (separately) and I make hummus. take a can of drained beans, clove of garlic, a little olive oil, half of lemon (squeeze in the juice) and salt and put it in a food processor and let my daughter use it as dip. If they won't dip it on chips or crackers, use it as a sandwhich spread instead of mayonaise.

I mix them in. My almost 4 year old loves them in salsa (cowboy caviar), hummus dip, and chili. That's about the only ways he'll eat them.

More Answers

MIX!!!

Eating beans straight is a 'quirk'. Some people enjoy them...and they're just fine/safe to eat plain (you can eat raw potato, and some people enjoy it), but neither plain raw or heated beans or plain raw or heated potato is appealing to most people.

- Hummus

- Chili

- Salads

- Soups & Stews

- Refried (and not just pinto, but black beans as well as some others are *gorgeous* fried w garlic, onion, peppers)

- 'n' Rice (red beans n' rice etc.)

- Pasted (sweet red beans inside mochi, cannelini w/ purple onion and kosher salt let sit for an hour or 3 in olive oil and then half mashed and schmeared over a baguette slice, refried beans in a burrito/empanada/tamal, etc.)

- Salsas and dips

- Southern Style (boiled w/ bacon and ham hocks)

- Raw edible shell beans (string beans -yellow or green- are an example... misted in olive oil and sprinkled over with salt)

- Edible shell beans sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic, salt, & pepper... OR... broiled with garlic and soy... OR... Dipped in rice flour and deep fried (tempura)

- Mixed bean and veggie saute (ex: olive oil, salt, garlic + frozen fava beans + zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, spinach)

1 mom found this helpful

Bean Salsa Salad:

1 can each - kidney, pinto, black, & garbanzo beans
diced onion, cucumber
equal parts of any salsa & Thousand Island salad dressing
finely minced jalapeno (optional)
& you can also throw in some cilantro, fresh tomatoes, etc.

I pretty much make this a "kitchen sink" salad!

& as for your kids not liking beans: you have to totally & thoroughly season them....whether it's mixed in with other foods such as Zatarains dirty rice or red beans & rice mixes.....or simmered for hours (4-6) with S & P, garlic, onion, & some ham for seasoning - I also add diced carrots & celery with these beans & serve them as a soup with cornbread. We've also been known to just open some cans of butter beans & toss in some ham chunks, a little bit of seasoning....& it's an instant dinner, not just as good as a pot of soup simmered all day - but tasty on it's own!

EDIT: Oh, & I also make a pot of green bean soup! Fresh green beans, a couple of diced onions, some celery, lots of S&P, some garlic. I let them simmer until tender & then add some ham & chunks of raw potato. Once the potatoes are tender, then I add just a little bit of milk to thicken the broth (more to change the color of the broth than anything). I want it a little bit creamy, but not a cream-based soup for health reasons.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, my son is a bean maniac...I literally open a can...rinse all the goop off and serve!
Start with hummus...that might be a good starting place. My son's favorite are Goya pink beans - they are totally soft and don't have that sorta shell on the outside.
To mix them in - what about tacos i make 1/2 can of black beans and 1/4lb of ground turkey and add taco seasoning...
Or try regular taco meat with a bit of the fat-free refried beans to help make the taco a little roll-up.
good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I think they are easier to take when hidden in other recipes. I used to make beans and rice for my son as a toddler and it had carrots, celery, a little tomato sauce and some seasonings along with the beans and rice. I also make bean salad (with mint, olive oil and balsamic vinegar for flavor). Tonight I mixed them in with a bunch of sauted veggies and sausage. They are easy to hide in tacos, burritos or other Mexican dishes. My 2 year old loves the beans and picks them out. My 5 year old isn't thrilled with them but sometimes eats them if they are in a dish he likes.

1 mom found this helpful

Our son loves hummus. He will eat it with multigrain crackers and its pretty healthy. He also loves organic baked beans just warmed up out of the can.

He also likes the french string beans. I think he prefers to eat them like french fries!

1 mom found this helpful

We don't eat a ton of beans, but we do put black beans in quesadillas. I also make a bean dip with refried beans, sour cream, and cheese (in layers). Not that that is the healthiest thing by any stretch, but if they'd eat it with veggies or whole wheat pita, it would be ok. My little guy isn't that excited by hummus, but lots of kids eat it no problem.

When my son was younger i would give him just black beans from the can- he loved them. Now I do refried beans with tacos- chick peas and kidney beans in soup. Or I mix together black beans and rice. He enjoys them. Also- baked beans too- although I think those are his least favorite.

I love this question! I use white beans, black beans and chick peas- (separately) and I make hummus. take a can of drained beans, clove of garlic, a little olive oil, half of lemon (squeeze in the juice) and salt and put it in a food processor and let my daughter use it as dip. If they won't dip it on chips or crackers, use it as a sandwhich spread instead of mayonaise.

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