These zucchini oatmeal cookies are so easy to make with wholesome, minimal ingredients and no added sugar!
If you're looking for healthy oatmeal cookies for toddlers (and babies!), this is it! You and your child can enjoy them for breakfast or snack or add to school lunch boxes.
Fun Facts About Me
Once upon a time (in my twenties), I was OBSESSED with baking and even worked as an assistant baker at a catering bakery. I seriously considered becoming a pastry chef. Around the same time, I also obtained a certification as a wedding planner.
Ultimately, I went back to school to obtain a Masters in Nutrition. I guess it's safe to say that my twenties were a time of much "experimentation" as I decided to turn my back on my first career choice in search of my true calling.
But I digress.
Back to baking. So many people ask me how I have the time to constantly come up with new recipes to share, and the answer is being in the kitchen truly is therapy for me (well most of the time. When I have a screaming toddler at my feet, not so much). So I make time!
I've struggled a lot with depression and anxiety in the past, and baking really helps me to relieve some of the tensions and stress I carry. It also gives me such a HUGE sense of accomplishment.
Sweets for Babies and Toddlers
When it comes to desserts, I believe that they should be an indulgence and fully embraced. That they should be savored not feared. NO! I don't want a sugar-free cookie. I want to fully experience the real thing that won't leave me feeling dissatisfied and most likely to set me off on a binging spree soon after.
However, when it comes to baking for babies or toddlers, my approach is different. I've mentioned how critical the first years are for developing lifelong eating habits and preferences. Also, the current recommendation is to avoid sugar until age 2.
No doubt our little ones are going to grow up and encounter all kinds of treats. And when that time comes, we need to have a strategy for handling sweets to help them navigate this sugar-filled world while helping them to develop a healthy relationship with food.
But until then, let's use their ignorance to our advantage.
Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies
If you are in search of healthy cookies for babies and toddlers, you've come to the right post. If you want to start with a super basic oatmeal cookie recipe, try these 3 ingredient banana cookies!
Then try the Sweet Potato Chickpea Cookies.
And if you find yourself with an abundance of zucchini during the summer months or you are looking for ways to get your child to eat it, these zucchini breakfast cookies are the perfect solution!
They have just the right amount of sweetness without any added sugar. And remember, our littles ones have more tastebuds than us so they will experience flavors more intensely.
You're truly going to appreciate how easy these cookies are to make with minimal ingredients. The hardest part is preparing the fresh zucchini.
I encourage you to grate a whole bunch while you are at it so you can easily incorporate some into your child's meals throughout the week.
Here are some suggestions:
I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.
- Coconut oil - can also use olive oil or melted butter
- Spelt flour - If you've never tried baking with this whole grain flour, you totally should give it a try! It has all the nutritional benefits of whole wheat flour but results in lighter texture. Imparts a slight nuttiness and sweetness to the cookies too! You can also use oat flour, all purpose flour or 1:1 gluten free baking mix, if you prefer.
- Banana - use a very ripe banana as it is the only sweetener
- A box grater - use the side with the larger round holes for getting coarsely shredded zucchini
- A mini ice cream scooper - helps ensure you get same-sized cookies so that they bake evenly.
- A large baking sheet - This is my favorite! Doesn't warp and ensures even cooking.
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat - makes cleanup a breeze!
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients.
- Fold in zucchini and walnuts. Don't over mix.
5. Using a spoon or mini ice cream scooper, scoop out the dough and place on a baking sheet.
Tips for Success
- Prepping zucchini: There's no need to peel the zucchini. Grate using the coarser side so you can see the actual zucchini pieces. Wrap in towel and squeeze out as much excess water as possible.
- Add the grated zucchini at the very end. If you mix it in earlier, the batter will become wetter than ideal.
- These cookies do not spread much at all. If you want the cookies to be "bread-y" keep the dough ball-shaped. If you desire a chewier texture, flatten slightly using your fingers (refer to the picture above for comparison).
- If you'd like, you can add some semi-sweet chocolate chips for your older child.
How to Store
- I do not recommend storing these on the counter.
- In the refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- In the freezer - I like to use the flash freeze method and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave out on the counter for 1-2 hours or thaw in the fridge overnight.
- There's no need to reheat. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Healthy Zucchini Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
- 1 cup (100g) rolled oats
- 1 cup (120g) spelt flour or almond flour, see note
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 medium banana, mashed (120g or ½ cup), see note
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 egg, whisked (See note)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) shredded zucchini, about 1 medium zucchini , see notes
- ⅓ cup (36g) chopped walnuts, or other nuts or seeds (for babies: 2 tablespoons ground)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, add the banana, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Be sure there aren't any banana chunks.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in zucchini and walnuts.
- Using a mini ice cream scooper (or a tablespoon), scoop out the dough and place on baking sheet. You can flatten slightly using your fingers or leave as is.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden and the inserted toothpick comes out clean. If you're using different flours, may need to adjust the cooking time. I've tried with almond flour and it took around 20 minutes. You want to bake until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove and let cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Be sure to mash the banana with a fork and get it as smooth as possible before adding to the bowl.
- Oat flour or all purpose flour will work well also.
- I haven't tried but several moms have told me that flax egg is a great substitute for the egg.
- For zucchini:
- There's no need to peel the zucchini.
- Grate using the coarser side so you can see the actual zucchini pieces.
- Wrap in towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Add it to the batter at the very end. If you mix it in earlier, the batter will become wetter than ideal.
Tabitha Zimmerman says
This looks great! Can’t wait to make these for my daughter! Would whole wheat flour work in this recipe?
They will be a bit dense but if you don't mind that then go for it! Or if you have white whole wheat flour that would be a better option
Absolutely love these. Simple and delicious.
Aww I'm so glad!
Love your recipes! What would you serve these with as part of a balanced breakfast?
Hi! I love to serve these along with some fruit, any leftover veggies, yogurt or milk, or smoothie.
Hi! Could these be done as mini muffins?
Haven't tried but imagine it would turn out quite dense! You should try my zucchini carrot muffins 😉
Any substitute for baking soda if I don’t have that or baking powder? Can I soak the oats before hand so it is not as dense?
No I wouldn't substitute with baking powder as they act differently. Not sure what a good substitute would be though...And no need to soak the oats
This was the first of your recipes I tried and now I'm hooked. My 7 month old son loves them and they're a great snack for on the go. I've even snuck a few with PB spread on them...so yum!
Aww yay! This makes me so happy to hear! Hope you'll try my other recipes too!! Thanks for saying hi 😉
I made these with almond flour and a flax egg (my son is allergic to eggs) and they turned out really well! Thanks for all your recipes. They really help get those nutrients into my picky toddler :).
I'm so glad! It's good to know that this recipe works with flax egg!
These cookies are soft and yummy! Just made a batch today for my 12mo. I substituted with whole wheat flour and it turned out just fine 🙂
Yay!! Thanks for letting me know!
My kids enjoy these very much !
Great Recipe! My daughter loves them and I'm going to make a second batch today. It's so good to make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for a handy afternoon snack.
So happy to hear!
Thank you for your recipes! Can I freeze these? If so, how long will it keep well in freezer?
Nice! I love all your recipes I have millet and sorghum flour I wonder if one of those will work as a sub?
I haven't tried but I imagine either one will work!
this looks good! any sub for coconut oil?
I love the flavor that coconut oil imparts but you can use olive oil!
Do you squeeze the water out of the zucchini? If so, do you measure before or after?
Yes! measure before
With so many kids being allergic to nuts do you have a recommendation on a substitute for the walnuts? I was thinking hemp seeds for the “nutty” flavor and some texture.
Yes! Any seeds will work. You can even leave it out completely, but I recommend the seeds for some healthy fat and texture 😉
My daughter's allergic to all nuts. Can i just leave them out?
You can or add any seeds (pumpkin - depending on the age chop, sunflower, flax, chia, hemp, etc.)
Thanks so much! Can’t wait to make these x
any other subs for zucchni?
Haven't tried but I believe carrots or sweet potatoes will work well
I really appreciate everything about this post! Thank you for sharing! Your recipes are amazing! I feel accomplished too when I bake your recipes! ❤️
Aww so kind of you to leave me this thoughtful, encouraging comment. Thank you so much!
Looks delicious and nutritious! I actually have all of the ingredients in my home aside from the spelt flour! Can we use regular or whole wheat in substitution? 🙂
Sure! But if you ever feel up for it, grab a bag of spelt flour next time when you're at the store! I think you'll love baking with it 😉
If my daughter is allergic to eggs can I use a flax “egg” as a substitute instead?
I haven't tried it yet but from my experience with baking similar cookies, I do believe it will work! If you try, please let me know how it turned out! I will try soon as well 😉
Hi Min these look delicious!
I only have oat, white and amaranth flour at home right now. Do you think any of those might work?
P.S. Just made your spinach muffins for the millionth time, my 15 month old loves them!
Hi! I haven't tried it personally, but I do believe it will work. This recipe is pretty forgiving! I've tried it with almond flour and it turned out nice. And yay!! Those muffins are definitely one of our freezer staples too!