Last weekend I went to a preschool fair for my 20-month-old and it has taken me this long to even begin to process it all. If you are sitting there thinking that I am being overly crazy by even starting to think about school, why you are correct.

It is crazy. Beyond crazy.

But what I learned during this 2 hour fair, is that in my city and in my neighborhood where school funding is low and the ration of kids to schools is extremely high, you have to start early or take the chance that you won’t get into a school you like.

I also learned that people pay an insane amount of money on their child’s education starting at age 3. Yes, 3 is the new age for preschool! I am not sure my 3-year-old will even be potty trained by then, let alone ready to be in a classroom all day learning letters and numbers.

It is crazy. Beyond crazy.

I am sure if I had that much money I would be paying those crazy prices as well. But I don’t, so I won’t. So I got to plan out the best alternative for what we can afford.

So I am jumping on the crazy buss and started looking for a great play-based preschool for my little one to start in the Fall. The school I am thinking about enrolling her into is on the cheaper side of pre-schools [but when reading between the lines it seems the parents have to work at the school, volunteer even more time after the school is closed and make snacks for the entire class, so not that cheap after all]. The good thing is that this school has the same philosophy as mine, that kids should at this age be playing in the mud, having stories read to them, making some amazing abstract art, eating a healthy snack followed by a long afternoon nap. Which seems like the perfect day to me as well.

So when I was making these healthy and delicious muffins, I was dreaming about how these would make a perfect snack in our future preschool.

Just me in the kitchen, mixing away and daydreaming.

Because talking about your kid’s allergies is the new ‘how’s the weather’ conversation starter, these are already made gluten-free and if you take out the nuts and replace the almond milk with whole milk they will also be nut-free. They are loaded with fiber and protein from the quinoa but high in yum with the cinnamon and pinch of sugar. A kid favorite that is also a mom’s favorite.

Mini quinoa muffins for toddler

Get the recipe: Mini Quinoa Coffee Cakes – Gluten Free

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For the Coffee Cake:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 3 tbsp almond meal
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 5 tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 3 tbsp Apple or Butternut Squash puree or Applesauce
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Unrefined Coconut Oil melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts finely chopped [optional]

For the Quinoa Crumble:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked and fully cooled
  • 1/2 tbsp nnrefined coconut oil softened
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line or grease a mini or regular muffin pan.
  • In a large bowl mix together quinoa, gluten-free flour mix, almond meal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until combined. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs then mix in the almond milk, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla. Mix in coconut oil and then pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • Stir until just combined and then gently add in walnuts.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes. While you wait, make the crumble by mixing all ingredients into a small bowl.
  • Pour coffee cake into muffin pan. I used 2 toddler spoons which worked great to get the cake batter into the mini muffin liners. Generously sprinkle the crumble on top of every muffin.
  • Place in oven for 25-28 minutes or until golden on the edges and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes and serve warm.


Age: 1 year and up
Storage: Will store on counter for 4 days, in the fridge for 5 days or the freezer for 3 month.
Yield: Makes 36 mini muffins.
Adapted from edible perspective

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