How to Make Kid-Friendly Quinoa


Kid-Friendly Quinoa Starts with Familiar Flavors

Kids can be picky eaters. Many prefer foods and flavors that are familiar. Even if they ate a wide array of foods at a young age, they often become more picky by the age of 4 until they are teenagers.

If you have a less adventurous eater at home, I have a simple, kid-friendly quinoa recipe that will seem familiar. Plus, it’s simple to make – bonus for you!

Thanks for this inspiration Sarah Rose!

At 12, my niece is still a picky eater. I encourage her to try new foods. I have the most success when I dress new foods in familiar flavors, textures, and styles. Which got me thinking…

Quinoa always reminded me of the pastina my Mom made me when I was a kid. I loved it with butter. Pastina with butter was one of my all time favorite foods. Don’t most kids love pasta and butter?

So, I recreated that experience with quinoa for my niece. Much healthier than pasta, quinoa is a seed that is a complete protein, packed with magnesium, fiber, and other essential nutrients. I’m totally ok if kids first eat quinoa with butter or a butter substitute – if it gets them to eat quinoa!

My niece, one of the pickiest eaters I know, gobbled two bowls of this quinoa last night. This morning when taking the picture above, she kept saying, “Wow, this still smells really good – even cold!”

The next step for kid-friendly quinoa?

Add peas, diced carrots, or corn. Before you know it, you’ll get picky eaters to eat veggies, too!

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Kid-Friendly Quinoa: an Intro Recipe They'll Love
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 4
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup stock (chicken or veggie)
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 TBS non dairy butter substitute (can use butter if you eat dairy)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup peas
  • ½ cup diced carrots
Cooking the Quinoa
  1. Bring stock to a boil.
  2. Once it boils add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the quinoa and gently stir with a fork.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to bring the quinoa to a simmer.
  5. Cook covered for 15-17 minutes on medium low heat until cooked.
Fluffing and Seasoning the Quinoa
  1. When quinoa is cooked, all water should be absorbed, but the grain should not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Once cooked, turn off heat. Let the quinoa sit, covered for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Then fluff it with a fork.
  4. Add butter or butter substitute, salt and pepper to taste.
If Adding Veggies
  1. Steam peas and carrots for 5-7 minutes.
  2. Drain.
  3. Stir into quinoa when adding butter/non-dairy butter substitute, sea salt and pepper.
Copywright Nourishment Connection 2012

Watch kids eat and enjoy!

If your kids aren’t veggie eaters, add them slowly. Start with sweet ones, like carrots. Legumes, like peas, are packed with fiber and nutrients for kids. But hey, even if they just eat the quinoa, they are getting a complete protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals – and I’ll take that!

5 Responses to "How to Make Kid-Friendly Quinoa"
  1. Your website has a lot of great ideas. I love it!!! I am very grateful that someone is taking a “healthy” initiative in this area. Not to mention that your recipes and methods really work.

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