Mexican Food for Kids

Wanna know some amazing recipes and ideas for Mexican food for kids? Personally, I could eat salsa and guacamole with dinner every single night of the week so I really wanted to figure out a way to incorporate those amazing flavors into our family dinners without overwhelming my kids.

Here are some incredible Fiesta-inspired ideas that will make your family’s Mexican food menu easy, flavourful, healthy and adaptable!

  • Guacamole for kids (& parents!)
  • One easy recipe for tacos, taco salad & burritos 
  • Quesadillas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
  • Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Casserole from Oh She Glows
  • Side dishes: because everyday flavour exposure is really important!

If your family is anything like mine, there are a few meals that you make once a week on rotation. Meals that are loved by Mama, Papa, and all the babes. Food that is comforting but not too complicated.

Mexican Food for Toddlers - Example of Plate

For me, these meals are almost always Mexican inspired and they most definitely always need to check a few important boxes so that we feel nourished and content. We love food and so do our kids. 

Healthy & Complete: I love seeing the rainbow on our plates. A complete and thought out meal contains an abundance of different bright colours alongside protein and starches. 

Tasty: I cook with lots of flavour, spices and fresh ingredients. Getting our kids used to this early on did them the world of good and now they will try anything. 

Fast: We are busy, you are busy, everyone is busy. You can still manage to feed you and your kids healthy, tasty food quickly. I promise!

Big Kid Meal - Mexican Food for Kids

Guacamole for Kids! (And Mamas and Papas)

Guacamole for everyone! Here’s a simple recipe the kids will love.

  • 2 x large avocados 
  • 1 x small clove garlic pressed or chopped finely
  • 1 TBS mayonnaise or sour cream (optional: my kids love the creaminess of it ) 
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 fresh lime juiced

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and place in a medium-sized bowl with the rest of your ingredients.

This is the part of the recipe that can change things for kids. In my experience, the texture of food plays more of a role than the taste in my kids like or disdain. Getting the texture of foods right is so important when making Mexican food for kids.

My youngest two love it chunky so I start out with a knife and fork, simply slicing the avocado lots and gently mixing it together so it’s not too “mushy”. My eldest will not eat avocado if he has to chew into it, so I take a little out and make it super mushy and serve it as a dip. When my babies were all starting to eat I would just slice some avocado separately, a little squeeze of lime on top, served alongside the meal instead of guacamole. 

Same flavors, same nourishment, different texture but they all eat it. That’s a win!

Ingredients for Making Mexican Food for Children

One Recipe Three Ways: Tacos, Taco Salad, and Burritos

This is how you can get away with doing the same meal planning, prep and cooking with all the same healthy ingredients and all those incredible flavours and also manage to serve it up three different ways. This is everyday magic.

My kids all-time favorite meal night is Taco Tuesday (or Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). Planning ahead, it’s really easy to wrap those same taco fixings up into a soft shell burrito the next day to send for lunch! 

When we invite friends over we usually serve it up as a Taco salad buffet which is so much fun for the kids, also if you have different dietary needs in your family you will really appreciate the versatility of this meal.

Basic Ingredients for Kids Mexican Food

Get your pantry ready! You will need…

Fresh Produce: 

  • 1 x Cucumber
  • 1 x Red pepper, Orange pepper or Yellow pepper
  • 1 x Red onion
  • 1/2 bunch of Cilantro
  • 1 x clove garlic
  • Head of butter lettuce

Protein: 

  • 1/2 lb – 1 lb ground beef or a Vegan meat substitute
  • 1 x can beans
    • our favorite is Annie’s Organics refried black beans or Heinz chili style beans

Extras: Optional but muy deliciosa

  • Mild salsa
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Sour cream/ Tofu sour cream V
  • Shredded Cheese or “Cheeze” V
  • Guacamole (see above recipe) 
  • 1 x can of chopped black olives
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Hot sauce 

Spices etc:

  • 2 TBS chili powder blend 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 TBS olive oil 

Starch:

  • Your choice of
    • hard tacos shells
    • soft tortilla shells for burritos
    • tortilla chips
  • Sweet potato tater tots (optional but fun!)
  • Rice (I cook 1 1/2 cups for our family of five)
    • sometimes I get fancy and stir in a tsp of cumin to the rice before I cook it or substitute some coconut milk for part of the water

Recipe for Kid-Friendly Mexi Taco Mix

Dice up half a red onion and your clove of garlic and get it sautéing in a pan with 2 TBS of Olive oil. Once your onions have turned a little translucent add your ground beef or ground beef substitute and turn down heat to medium/ low. Once you have cooked the meat throughout and everything is looking browned and sizzling away, add 2tsp chilli power, 1tsp ground cumin and 2 TBS water. Mix in and let simmer till the liquid has steamed off and everything looks  saucy. Set aside. 

Put your rice on to cook, 20 minutes will be lots of time to finish the rest. 

Chop your fresh produce into small salad sized pieces. I keep everything separate to create a buffet style feast so that everyone can take as much or as little as they want. Lettuce in a big bowl and all the rest of your vegetables piled on plates or in bowls. You can get as lavish or as basic as you like.

Sometimes I will just chop my veg and put it on the chopping board, lined up next to each other and put the whole thing on the table, sometimes I have separate, pretty little containers for everything. Your dinner, your way. Have fun!

Prepare your “extras” and serve alongside salad ingredients. My kids go through an entire can of black olives on taco night! 

In a small pot warm up your refried beans and heat up your meat again so everything is ready to serve. 

Tacos

I, personally, think the layers really matter in a taco. Especially if you are adding cheese. Most kids love it when cheese is ooey gooey (don’t we all). So, add your hot beans to the bottom, followed by cheese and again by the hot beef mixture. The cheese will melt and this is a game changer for my littles. Let the kids follow up with salad and the extras of their choice. 

I like to help by spooning guacamole on the very top, if you spoon it on and pull the inside of the spoon away from the taco it creates a little lid so that everything doesn’t fall out.

Burritos

For burritos, pretty much stick to the same layering technique as tacos but in a large soft shell tortilla, if you’ve never rolled a burrito before check this awesome tutorial out and good luck… let the kids jump in to fill and wrap it too. Mexican food for kids can be fun during both the cooking AND the eating.

Taco Salad

Taco salad is our top pick for dinner at least twice a week. Let them pick whatever they want from your amazing, colorful buffet and serve it all up with tortilla chips & sweet potato tater tots.

We play a great game at the table that really encourages the kids to try eating different foods together. We call it “my favorite bite” and its super simple and fun. Everyone gets a turn describing their favorite bite from their plate and then everyone else tries the combination. It’s amazing watching the kids faces light up when they try something together for the first time! 

Serve these three meals with rice, salad and more of your yummy Mexican style fixin’s on the side. Like I mentioned before, the ingredients are so versatile in this recipe that you can mix and match differently every time. It will be a healthful, scrumptious meal for all. 

Quesadillas for Kids - Recipe

Quesadillas: Quick & Yummy Mexican Food for Kids

If you are really stuck for time and still want to serve up something that has a little flair and flavor, Quesadillas got you covered! This easy Mexican food for kids option works for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! 

All you need is a hot pan, soft tortilla shells, cheese (or cheeze (V)), some refried beans for the side and sliced cucumber and/ or avocado. This will take you less than 10 minutes and should satisfy even the pickiest eater. 

Grate some cheese onto a soft tortilla and fold in half, fry in a hot pan till golden brown on both sides.Cool slightly and serve with warm refried beans and sliced veg, maybe a little salsa? Fantástico!

Mexican On the Go – An Easy Family Potluck Dish

If you want to show up to a potluck or family dinner with a little taste of Mexico that everyones kids will love, check out this great recipe from Oh She Glows. What kid doesn’t love a pasta casserole?

Cooking Meat for Taco Night

Preparing Your Children for Adventurous Eating

One of the best ways to prepare your kids for a lifetime of loving spices and flavors and Mexican inspired recipes is to try and expose them to the flavors as much as you can. Even if that means sprinkling a little coriander on their cauliflower or adding some fresh cilantro or lime to their favorite dips. Chili powder & nutritional yeast on popcorn is amazing and roasted sweet potato with cumin butter is delectable.

They say it sometimes takes up to 8 exposures to foods for kids to even give that food a chance so don’t despair if they don’t take to it right away. Keep on serving up your favorite Mexican flavors and likely your kids will be loving them requesting them for meals as much as mine do!

Heidi

Heidi is a mom of three who pretty much feeds our whole small town! She truly is a mama extraordinaire.

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